Thursday 26 November, 2020

World Literacy Day: Education in the COVID era and beyond



Celebrated on September 8 every year, International Literacy Day is an opportunity for governments, civil society and stakeholders to highlight improvements in world literacy rates while also reflecting on existing literacy challenges.

This year, Literacy Day focuses on “Literacy teaching and learning in the COVID-19 crisis and beyond,” especially on the role of educators and changing pedagogies. 

The theme highlights literacy learning in a lifelong learning perspective, and therefore, mainly focuses on youth and adults. 

The United Nations said in a statement: "The recent COVID-19 crisis has been a stark reminder of the existing gap between policy discourse and reality: a gap that already existed in the pre-COVID-19 era and negatively affects the learning of youth and adults, who have no or low literacy skills, and therefore, tend to face multiple disadvantages. During COVID-19, in many countries, adult literacy programmes were absent in the initial education response plans, so most adult literacy programmes that did exist were suspended, with just a few courses available virtually, through TV and radio, or in open air spaces."

The UN said 2020 provides an opportunity to reflect on and discuss innovative teaching methodologies and how they can be used in youth and adult literacy programmes to face the pandemic and beyond.

The United Nations listed questions that should be asked as governing bodies explore the issue of education in the COVID era.

  • What is the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on youth and adult literacy educators and teaching and learning? 
  • What are the lessons learnt? 
  • How can we effectively position youth and adult literacy learning in global and national responses and in strategies for the recovery and resilience-building phase? 

World Literacy Day 2020, according to the United Nations is an opportunity to analyse the role of educators and formulate effective policies and systems to support educators and learning.

The global celebrations of International Literacy Day on 8 September 2020 will be composed of two virtual meetings:

  • Meeting on ‘Literacy teaching and learning in the COVID-19 crisis and beyond: the role of educators and changing pedagogies’ (13:30-15:30 in Paris time)
  • Meeting on the Laureates of the UNESCO International Literacy Prizes 2020 (16:00-17:00 in Paris time).

Both meetings will be accessible by registering through Zoom.


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