8 September – International Literacy Day


The modern world dictates ever higher requirements for the level of education of the population. To find a full-fledged source of income, self-actualize and take a worthy place in society, a person needs to have a good knowledge base. Employers evaluate the IQ of applicants, test the speed of analyzing numerical and verbal information. Computer and financial literacy are becoming obligatory for everyone. At the same time, according to estimates by the United Nations (UN), about 13% of the world’s population does not have basic reading and writing skills (over 700 million adults and about 250 million children). More than 120 million juveniles are out of school. In many countries, general education is a privilege, there is an acute shortage of teachers, and children are forced to work instead of studying.

The UN declares the critical need to unite the efforts of states and businesses to improve the education of the world’s inhabitants. The organization has identified the achievement of universal literacy as a separate goal in the sphere of sustainable development (transforming the world for the better). This is a guarantee of overcoming poverty, improving the quality of life of people, ensuring the protection for human rights, equality and stability in society.

Today, the world community is faced with the task of creating an all-encompassing accessible, fair and high-quality education system, within which a person will be motivated to learn throughout life.

International Literacy Day was established to further draw public attention to the problem. It was established on 26 October 1966 by delegates of the 14th session of the General Conference of UNESCO (the UN specialized agency for education, science and culture) and is held annually on 8 September. The initiative to determine such a memorable date belongs to the participants of the World Congress of Ministers of Education on the Eradication of Illiteracy, held on 8-19 September 1965 in Tehran (Islamic Republic of Iran).

It should be noted that a person’s literacy level is determined by how he/she owns reading and writing skills in accordance with the norms of his/her native language. The lowest literacy rates are in Central Africa and West Asia.