This year, 8 September will mark the 50th anniversary of International Literacy Day (ILD), the first of which was proclaimed by the General Conference of UNESCO in 1966.
To celebrate this special occasion, an event themed ‘Reading the past, writing the future’ will run from 8 to 9 September 2016 at UNESCO’s Headquarters in France. This global event, held in the presence of the Director-General of UNESCO, will have three main aims: to review the achievements and lessons learnt over fifty years of fostering literacy and promoting more equitable societies, to identify the multi-faceted challenges still facing literacy-development, and to find solutions to these challenges within the framework of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
At the event, the Global Alliance for Literacy (GAL) within the framework of lifelong learning, coordinated by the UNESCO Institute for Lifelong Learning (UIL), and the third edition of the Global Report on Adult Learning and Education (GRALE III), also produced by UIL, will be launched. The 2016 Award Ceremony of the UNESCO International Literacy Prizes will also be conducted during the event, where successful literacy initiatives from around the world will be recognized.
UIL will also showcase two of its publications on literacy during this year’s celebrations. The first, entitled ‘Literacy in Multilingual and Multicultural Contexts’, shows how literacy programmes for youth and adults are being implemented successfully in multilingual and multicultural contexts worldwide. The second, ‘Promoting Health and Literacy for Women’s Empowerment’, investigates the cause-effect relationship between literacy, health and women’s empowerment. The latter publication is part of a series on literacy and gender equality that the Institute is working on. These two publications include material collected by UIL and made available on the UNESCO Effective Literacy and Numeracy Practices Database (LitBase).