International Literacy Day


Literacy refers to the ability to read, write, speak, and listen in a way that ushers towards effective communication and exchange of ideas between parties. The conventional definition of literacy can be quoted simply as the ability to read and write. To advocate the importance of literacy as a human privilege UNESCO commemorates International Literacy Day on the 8th of September every year. The theme for the Literacy Day celebrations for this year is Literacy for a Human-Centered Recovery: Narrowing the Digital Divide.The traditional approach to literacy restricts its scope, yet with the technological advancements and the growing complexities of society, the scope of literacy has scaled up. Digital literacy, Critical literacy, Media literacy, and Civic literacy can be cited as a few examples. All these approaches add value to the human capital of a country.

Moreover, literacy is used as a key indicator to measure the economic development and the quality of education within a nation. When a higher proportion of the population is literate it would foster prosperity to an economy. As per the statistical definition, the literacy of a country refers to the population above 15 years old who can read and write. According to the CBSL Annual Report for the year 2022 the average literacy of Sri Lankans sum up to 93.3%.The free education system of Sri Lanka has highly influenced the better figures.The aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic has created a negative impact on the global educational network. Schools and Educational centers were closed for months, and the mode of teaching shifted to online platforms. This awakened the need for digital literacy among the population. But it’s a well-known fact that digitization is a boon as well as a bane. People have lost connection with each other and are digitally divided. To address this concern the Literacy Day celebrations for the year 2023 have been themed upon the same.

With the booming digitization, people have lost the emotional touch and have isolated themselves from the rest of the world. This is a major concern as the tendency for suicidal attempts and depression has been increasing lately. Therefore the main aim of the Literacy Day Celebrations 2023 is to focus on the recovery of humankind while narrowing the digital divide.Last but not least Sri Lanka as a nation is going through a lot right now. As responsible citizens who are reaping the benefits of free education let’s make sure that our future generations are left out with the same opportunities and would be privileged enough to face the world as a literate community.

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Rtr. Ehansa Rajapaksha
(Blog Team Member 2023-24)

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