Kuwait is celebrating International Literacy Day, coinciding September 8, with the small Arab country excelling in this venue, as illiteracy rate is considered among the lowest in the world.
Director General of the National Center for Education Development Dr. Reda Al-Khayat, in an interview with Kuwait News Agency (KUNA) on the occasion said “Literacy became a universal responsibility shared by governments, organizations and individuals.” He stressed significance of caring for such cause; get to know its implications and impacts, as well as raising awareness in societies suffering from illiteracy.Statistics.
In Kuwait and according to statistics by the Ministry of Education in 2014; the number of literacy centers reached 85, with some 20,000 enrollers from both genders, and a teaching staff of 3,267.
Meanwhile, Irina Bokova, Director General of UNESCO, said in a speech on the occasion that the International Literacy Day was devoted this year to the connection between literacy and sustainable development, “providing us with an opportunity to remember a simple truth: literacy not only changes lives, it saves them.” She added that literacy helps reduce poverty and enables people to find jobs and obtain higher salaries.
“It is one of the most efficient ways of improving the health of mothers and children, understanding doctors’ prescriptions and gaining access to healthcare. “The lives of more than two million children under the age of five were saved between 1990 and 2009 thanks to improvements in the education of women of reproductive age.
Literacy facilitates access to knowledge and triggers a process of empowerment and selfesteem that benefits everyone. This energy, multiplied by millions of people, is essential to the future of societies.” She carried on saying that “today, 781 million adults worldwide cannot read, write or count.
Two thirds of them are women. More than 250 million children are unable to read a single sentence, even though half of them have spent four years in school. What kind of societies do we expect to build with an illiterate youth? This is not the kind of world we wish to live in. Bokova pointed out that the UNESCO is working across the world in Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Cambodia, Egypt, Nigeria, Senegal and elsewhere to ensure that literacy is integrated into national development strategies.
“The Global Partnership for Girls’ and Women’s Education and the Malala Fund for Girls’ Right to Education, launched by UNESCO, also focus on literacy. The programmes acknowledged by the UNESCO-Confucius Prize for Literacy and the UNESCO King Sejong Literacy Prize enable us each year to celebrate innovative practices that show that achievement is within our reach.
“New technologies, including mobile telephones, also offer fresh opportunities for literacy for all. We must invest more, and I appeal to every Member State and all our partners to redouble efforts; political and financial, to ensure that literacy is fully recognized as one of the most powerful accelerators of sustainable development. The future we want starts with the alphabet”.