With one in four young people – 175 million adolescents – unable to read a single sentence, International Literacy Day is an opportunity to remember one simple truth: literacy not only changes lives, it saves them, said the head of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).
United Nations senior officials highlighted the role of literacy in achieving a more sustainable future, stressing that knowledge can help combat poverty and improve people’s livelihoods. “In our knowledge-based era, literacy is a foundation for a more just, inclusive and sustainable world,” Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said in his message for World Literacy Day. Continue reading
With the deadline for the MDGs on the horizon, progress can be reported in most areas, despite the impact of the global economic and financial crisis. Several important targets have or will be met by 2015, assuming continued commitment by national governments, the international community, civil society and the private sector. That said, progress in many areas is far from sufficient. Redoubled efforts are urgently needed, particularly in regions most behind to jumpstart advancement and achieve maximum gains. The world community should take pride in its accomplishments thus far, while building on existing momentum to reach as many goals as possible by 2015 and to realize gains for all. Continue reading
According to new data released by UNESCO, literacy rates for adults and youth continue to rise. Young women aged 15-24 are making the strongest gains, but still lag behind young men. In 2011, 87% of female youth had basic literacy skills, compared to 92% of males. Overall, more than half of countries with data have youth literacy rates of 95% or higher. Continue reading