As the world all over celebrate today as the International Literacy Day, it is important to know that some 775 million adults lack minimum literacy skills; one in five adults is still not literate and two-thirds of them are women; 60.7 million children are out-of-school and many more attend irregularly or drop out.
Literacy is the key driver for sustainable development. Literacy skills are the prerequisite for the learning of a broader set of knowledge, skills, attitude and value, required for creating sustainable societies.
September 8 was first proclaimed International Literacy Day by UNESCO on November 17, 1965 and was first celebrated in 1966. Its aim is to highlight the importance of literacy to individuals, communities, and societies.
From the data collected in the UNESCO’s “Global Monitoring Report on Education for All”, sub-Saharan-Africa stood at second from the bottom on the list of regions with the lowest adult literacy rate with an average 59.7%; while West-Asia stood as the region with the lowest adult literacy rate with an average of 58.6%.
The level of literacy of a region determines to a larger extent the rate of development of that society. For Africa to rise from the bottom of the development chain, we need to put more effort in education: adult education, girl child education, health education and global education. If we must succeed and be recognized in the world, then we must embrace education and literacy.
If we would conquer terrorism, poverty, hunger and disease and mismanagement of resources, then we need to a high literacy level among citizens of African countries.