Message from Ms. Audrey Azoulay, Director-General of UNESCO, on the Occasion of International Literacy Day文章源自英文巴士-https://www.en84.com/14857.html
8 September 2023文章源自英文巴士-https://www.en84.com/14857.html
“Once you learn to read, you will be forever free” wrote the American abolitionist – and former slave himself – Frederick Douglass.文章源自英文巴士-https://www.en84.com/14857.html
Literacy is indeed much more than merely learning letters and words. It transforms the drops of ink on paper into windows on the world; it is the key that opens the door to knowledge, emancipation and imagination.
Beyond the benefits for the individual though, society as a whole benefits from progress in literacy. For it is a passport to communication with others, thereby strengthening understanding within and between peoples; and it also enables everyone to integrate into society and strengthens participation in civic life.
In the space of 40 years, significant progress has been made: 3.6 billion people have learned to read and write, raising the global literacy rate from 68% in 1979 to 86% in 2020.
However, the current situation is still rife with injustice and inequality. At the halfway point in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, 244 million school-age children are still not in school, 98 million of them in sub-Saharan Africa. At the same time, 773 million adults still cannot read or write – two thirds of them women.
Over and above illiteracy, learning gaps still too often lead to incomplete literacy: six out of ten children attending school at the age of ten cannot read and understand a simple text.
That is why, then as now, UNESCO supports literacy efforts in countries all over the world. And we pay particular attention to crisis situations, where the fundamental right to learn to read and write is under threat.
This is the case in Afghanistan, where UNESCO has led a major literacy campaign benefiting 1.2 million young Afghan men and women since 2008.
In the past two years though, as the de facto authorities have denied Afghan women and girls over the age of 12 their fundamental right to education – a ban that has been extended to higher education since December 2022 – this progress has been in serious jeopardy and so, on this symbolic day, UNESCO is once again calling for the right to education for all women and girls to be restored, without delay.
If literacy is a victory for humanity, it is a fragile one: there is always the possibility of a relapse. Let this International Literacy Day be a reminder of this – and an opportunity to honour all those who are dedicated to making universal literacy a reality, not just a goal.