International Literacy Day 2021: Know the history, theme and significance of this day

Updated on Sep 08, 2021 07:23 PM IST  |  217.6K
International Literacy Day 2021: Know the history, theme and significance of this day
International Literacy Day 2021: Know the history, theme and significance of this day

International Literacy Day is observed on September 8 every year. This day is celebrated to draw attention to the importance of literacy to individuals, societies, and communities. This day also highlights the need to put in efforts to create literate societies. Literacy is a powerful tool and is a great way to create an aware and informed public. 


It creates awareness about the importance of literacy concerning the rights and dignity of an individual.


Have a look at the history and significance of this day and the theme for this year.






This day traces its origin during the World Conference of Ministers of Education in Tehran in 1965. It was on 26 October 1966 that the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization(UNESCO) designated the celebration of World Literacy Day on an international level.


It was during this time that the world was dealing with issues such as poverty, illiteracy, and unemployment. Thus, the importance of literacy and education was highlighted to create informed individuals who can sustain themselves with the help of education.




According to UNESCO, “literacy is the best cure," and is important in ensuring that every individual has the right to receive an education.


This day holds great significance this year more than ever as because of the pandemic a lot of people have been unable to receive an education. It also highlights the inequalities between different classes as only the privileged few have been able to attend online classes with the help of the necessary devices.


During the pandemic and unprecedented times, efforts are constantly being made to enable every individual to receive education through distance learning.






The theme for International Literacy Day this year is 'Literacy for a human-centered recovery: Narrowing the digital divide'.


It focuses on the digital skills that are required by the youth and the adults who are not literate. It also highlights the efforts made to create an all-inclusive technology-enabled literacy learning.


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