Literacy is the first step towards freedom, overcoming social and economic barriers. This was stated by the Director-General of UNESCO Audrey Azule on the occasion of the international literacy day, which is celebrated on September 8.
"By learning to read, we gain freedom for the rest of our lives," wrote American black writer Frederick Douglas in the mid – 19th century, a freed slave and a prominent fighter for the abolition of slavery. This call for liberation through reading and, more broadly, through the development of essential literacy skills, is addressed to each of us," said the Director - General of UNESCO.
She stressed that literacy was a prerequisite for the development of individuals and society as a whole, was an important tool in the fight against poverty and inequality, promoted well-being and helped to address health and nutrition problems. But despite this, humanity is still far from the realization of the idea of a world in which everyone has basic knowledge and skills.
Today, more than 260 million children and adolescents are deprived of basic education. Six out of ten children and adolescents, about 617 million people, lack basic reading and numeracy skills. 750 million young people and adults have never learned to read and write, and two thirds of them are women.
The head of UNESCO believes that illiteracy not only significantly limits human opportunities, but also creates a vicious circle of social and gender inequality. In addition, according to her, today, in an ever-changing world, it is not enough to have traditional knowledge. In addition, it is necessary to have new skills in the field of digital technologies.