There are many ways literacy is celebrated throughout the year, but no event is bigger than International Literacy Day (ILD). On September 8th, schools, libraries and organisations all around the world turned their focus to literacy. International Literacy Day is seen as a chance for governments and companies to show improvements in global literacy rates. It also highlights the need to continue tackling some of the challenges many still face; such as accessibility to resources and funding.

Following UNESCO’s 14th General Conference in 1966, ILD has been celebrated annually across the world in an effort to highlight literacy as a basic human right and to attempt to improve literacy skills for all nations.

This year, the focus was specifically on Literacy and Multilingualism. Audrey Azoulay, General DIrector of UNESCO had this to say about this years celebration: “Our world is rich and diverse with about 7,000 living languages. These languages are instruments for communication, engagement in lifelong learning, and participation in society and the world of work. They are also closely linked with distinctive identities, cultures, worldviews, and knowledge systems. Embracing linguistic diversity in education and literacy development is therefore a key part of developing inclusive societies that respect “diversity” and “difference”, upholding human dignity”.

Running in conjunction with International Literacy Day are the International Literacy Awards. This year, the awards were aimed at celebrating programs that focused on the delivery of literacy education in languages that are not as well represented. The prizes were awarded to education projects from Algeria, Colombia, Indonesia, Italy and Senegal. For more information on the winning projects, click the link below: