Sept 8th is celebrated as International Literacy Day. UNESCO started this tradition in 1965 to highlight the importance of education in the welfare of mankind.According to Global Monitoring Report 2008, about 750+ million lack the minimum literacy skills. Being one of the fastest growing economies in recent times, India still constitutes 35% of world illiterate population and has highest number of illiterates in the world.If this is the case in a huge country like India, it must be worse in the countries with low income. As the estimation from UNESCO says it needs additional $16 billion to improve education standards in 46 low income nations. These figures will be worse because of rise in food prices and unemployment caused due to recession.
Education is defined as the accumulating knowledge and passing it through generations in any form.If any society unable to provide minimum education to each and every individual then it can cause disruption in functioning of that society either politically or economically or any other way.Lack of education causes wrong perception or superstitions to grow without any understanding or reasoning and causes all sorts of havoc in the society.World’s deadliest diseases like AIDS,Hepatitis-B etc., are spreading rapidly because of lack of awareness . The countries with low literacy rates are the highest effected ones.Though overall illiteracy is a problem, its female illiteracy % which is more worrying than male %.Now-a-days women are competing equally with the men in every field.So a little encouragement from the society improve these stats.So in an effort to make this progress faster, UNESCO dedicated this years literacy day for that purpose of improving women’s literacy.
Even though there are many initiatives from governments (recently India made education as a fundamental right) and organizations like UNESCO, I think the solution to illiteracy lies in the hands of people like us.Educated people has to contribute in one way or other to get rid of the illiteracy from face of the planet. Everyone have to spend part of our spare time to educate others rather than giving money as donations to the organizations.This reminds me of the quote ‘Time is always precious than money’. As UNESCO sets an ambitious plan of achieving 100% literacy by 2015, its our responsibility to contribute and help it to reach the goal.I think illiteracy is a global problem like Global warming,Terrorism etc., everyone of us has to fight against it irrespective of race,place and culture.
Interesting Links :
Goals of Education for All program , click here
For full Global Monitoring Report on Education for All 2010, click here
World Illiteracy map ,click here
P.S : Do share your views in elimination of illiteracy.