International Literacy Day and the Global Alliance for Literacy

  • The 8th of September was proclaimed International Literacy Day by UNESCO in 1966.
  • The theme for International Literacy Day 2020 is “Literacy teaching and learning in the COVID-19 crisis and beyond”.
  • The issue of literacy is a key component of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals and the UN’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
  • Sustainable Development Goal 4 has as one of its targets ensuring all young people achieve literacy and numeracy and that adults, who lack these skills are given the opportunity to acquire them.
  • In India, as per the last census in 2011, a total of 74.04 per cent are literate, an increase of 9.2 per cent from the last decade (2001-11).

What is the Global Alliance for Literacy?

  • The Global Alliance for Literacy within the Framework of Lifelong Learning (GAL) engages a multiplicity of stakeholders to advocate for the importance of youth and adult literacy.

GAL’s objectives

  • Improve stakeholders’ collaboration for literacy development at global, regional and national levels.
  • Strengthen political will, commitments and policy awareness.
  • Promote policy learning and sharing.
  • Promote knowledge creation and sharing for Member States’ evidence-based policy design and implementation.
  • Encourage South-South cooperation.

How does GAL work?

  • GAL’s advocacy and knowledge-sharing efforts are guided by a targeted approach focused on 20 countries with an adult literacy rate below 50 per cent and the E9 countries, where the largest number of illiterate adults live.

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