September 8 is celebrated as the International Literacy Day worldwide. To quote UNESCO ex-Director-General Irina Bokova: The future starts with the alphabet.
Literacy as a fragment of education is a fundamental need and is a major yardstick to bring about a better way of living (including gender equality, lifelong learning, eradicating poverty, increasing employment opportunities, building skills, etc.). In other words, it is the cornerstone of development.
Now in a world infested with myriad social issues, conflicts, the aspect of literacy has been heavily challenged, more so in these pandemic-ridden circumstances.
Nations are struggling to restore the damage that the Covid-19 situation has caused. It won’t be incorrect to see literacy as being one of the major casualties of coronavirus.
So, taking into account the gravity of the situation on this World Literacy Day, why not find out about some of the ways in which we can promote literacy at a local level and participate in mitigating the challenge!
1.Donation: You might be aware of various NGOs, or any non-profit organizations dedicated to improving literacy. Try to help them boost their education programs by donating money.
2. i. Contribute to small libraries: Donations must not only be in the form of cash, but also in other forms such as through books.Your donations of books to libraries will be a huge boost towards spreading education. Local libraries (street libraries) in your neighborhood would benefit from your used books. It’s a great way to promote literacy at a local level.
ii.Contribute stationary items, uniforms and food to the local kids, so that they are keen to pursue education. This will boost their morale and in the process literacy. After all, donations shouldn’t be restricted to only money.
3. i. Volunteer to teach: Participate in the literacy events in your locality. You can volunteer to read aloud to kids as that aids in creating early literacy and social skills.Your one small act of kindness will help the literacy rate increase.
ii. Host a book club in your locality. Take initiative and choose interesting, innovative topics, and books to discuss among the local kids to generate interest and advance literacy.
4. Encourage vaccination; You can ensure safe returns to school by supporting vaccine drives. Help children get vaccinated so that schools can reopen. Many can’t afford digital learning, and as a result shall continue to face challenges if schools remain closed. So, promote vaccination which will enable kids to get back to school.