ISLAMABAD:The United Nations’ International Literacy Day was celebrated on Sunday (September 8) in Pakistan and across the world with the specific theme of ‘Literacy and Multilingualism’.
The day provided an opportunity to rethink the fundamental importance of the language and its diversity for individuals and society.
The European Delegation to Pakistan in a message said,” Let’s celebrate International Literacy Day in Pakistan. The EU is supporting the country with large education programmes in Balochistan and Sindh, helping to better equip school children. One of the key objectives is to improve reading skills.”
September 8 was proclaimed as International Literacy Day (ILD) by UNESCO in 1966 to remind the international community of the importance of literacy for individuals, communities and societies, and the need for intensified efforts towards more literate societies.
This year’s International Literacy Day was celebrated worldwide to promote literacy as part of the right to education, as well as a foundation for individuals’ empowerment and inclusive and sustainable development. Despite progress made, literacy challenges still persist, distributed unevenly across countries and populations. Embracing linguistic diversity in education and literacy development is central to addressing these challenges in today’s world, in which multilingualism has become increasingly common with higher human mobility. Multilingualism contributes to the development of inclusive societies that allow multiple cultures, worldviews and knowledge systems to coexist and cross fertilize. It is also characteristics of many marginalized and at risk populations, including migrants, refugees and other people on the move.
The day was an opportunity to rethink literacy in multilingual contexts by exploring current trends and issues of ‘literacy and multilingualism’ from holistic and interdisciplinary perspectives.
On 9 September, UNESCO has invited the international community to the ‘Literacy and multilingualism’ conference in Paris on the occasion of International Literacy Day.