International Literacy Day – 07 September 2012
(normally the 8th but this year falls on a Saturday)
There are many countries trying to come to terms with learning more than one language. In countries where there are several ‘local’ languages, debate rages about education in the mother tongue or national ‘unifying’ language. Scientifically, competence in L1 leads to developmental competence in L2. Some parents dismiss their own local language wanting their children to learn in a language ‘with a future’. Ministries of education may feel it is too expensive to develop and distribute textbooks in local languages or there are political issues which blind them to the science of learning. This said , there is no denying the power of literacy to empower and for this reason we should celebrate International Literacy Day and try harder to find opportunities to support all children and their parents to develop literacy at least at a functional level.
International Literacy Day, traditionally observed annually on September 8, focuses attention on worldwide literacy needs. More than 780 million of the world’s adults (nearly two-thirds of whom are women) do not know how to read or write, and between 94 and 115 million children lack access to education.
Why literacy means peace