Tomorrow is UNESCO's International Literacy Day today and their theme is Literacy for a human-centred recovery: Narrowing the digital divide. The concept note identifies "the COVID-19 crisis amplified the centrality of literacy to people’s life, work and lifelong learning. Reading and writing skills are essential, for instance, to access life-saving information and sustain livelihoods. In addition, the need for digital skills, which are part of today’s literacy skills, have been recognized for distance learning, a digitally transformed workplace, and participation in a digitalized society."
They also bundle some media and information literacy into their definition of literacy (being able to "manage, understand, integrate, communicate, evaluate and create information safely and appropriately", though sadly without making the explicit connection with UNESCO's MIL programme.
An important central message is how essential literacy is to living one's life, and how many people throughout the world are not provided with the opportunity to become literate in any medium. They pose some key questions for critical reflection - such as:
- How can we mobilize adequate technical and financial support for the promotion of literacy programmes, including the ones that integrate digital skills learning?
- What are the kinds of partnerships and governance required to enhance technology enabled literacy programmes for youth and adults?
You can watch a livestream event on 8 September (starting at 1.30pm Paris time) here in English, here in French, here in Spanish