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International Literacy Day 2020

International Literacy Day 2020

International Literacy Day observations take place around the world on September 8 every year to highlight the nature of literacy as a civil and human right and its importance for the dignity of every person. UNESCO has sponsored International Literacy Day every year since 1967.

According to UNESCO,

International Literacy Day (ILD) 2020 will focus on literacy teaching and learning in the COVID-19 crisis and beyond with a focus on the role of educators and changing pedagogies. The theme will highlight literacy learning in a lifelong learning perspective and therefore mainly focus on youth and adults. …International Literacy Day 2020 will provide an opportunity to reflect on and discuss how innovative and effective pedagogies and teaching methodologies can be used in youth and adult literacy programmes to face the pandemic and beyond.

Visit the UNESCO International Literacy Day web page for information on the global webinar planned for the day and downloadable copies of the 2020 poster in Arabic, Chinese, French, Russian, and Spanish.


Celebrate International Literacy Day on September 8

Celebrate International Literacy Day on September 8

“Our world is rich and diverse with about 7,000 living languages. These languages are instruments for communication, engagement in lifelong learning, and participation in society and the world of work. They are also closely linked with distinctive identities, cultures, worldviews, and knowledge systems. Embracing linguistic diversity in education and literacy  development is therefore a key part of developing inclusive societies that  respect “diversity” and “difference,” upholding human dignity.”

Audrey Azoulay, Director General of UNESCO
Message on the occasion of International Literacy Day

UNESCO International Literacy Day 2019
International Literacy Day is September 8

International Literacy Day is September 8

The United Nations’ International Literacy Day is observed each year on September 8. The day recognizes the centrality of literacy to the achievement of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals; per the UN website, it “is an opportunity for Governments, civil society and stakeholders to highlight improvements in world literacy rates, and reflect on the world’s remaining literacy challenges.”

The theme for this year’s International Literacy Day is “Literacy and Skills Development.” For more information, visit the UN website at

September 8 is International Literacy Day: “The Future Starts with the Alphabet”

September 8 is International Literacy Day: “The Future Starts with the Alphabet”


Happy International Literacy Day! How are you celebrating today? United Nations will be celebrating international literacy today and tomorrow, with a theme of Literacy and Sustainable Societies. Today UNESCO is also commemorating the 50th anniversary of the World Congress of Ministers of Education on the Eradication of Illiteracy. UNESCO’s Director-General states:

New technologies, including mobile telephones, also offer fresh opportunities for literacy for all. We must invest more, and I appeal to all Members States and all our partners to redouble our efforts – political and financial – to ensure that literacy is fully recognized as one of the most powerful accelerators of sustainable development. The future starts with the alphabet. Visit UNESCO’s website for more details.

International Literacy Association notes, “International Literacy Day (ILD) shines a spotlight on global literacy needs.” The World Literacy Foundation has posted an illiteracy factsheet on its website, noting that 775 million adults worldwide are illiterate. Two-thirds of these illiterate adults are women. The National Coalition for Literacy has posted factsheets on adult literacy as well as factsheets based on PIAAC data.

In the USA, September 8 is also Literacy Day in Georgia, as proclaimed by the state’s Governor Deal. In New York, in honor of International Literacy Day, Pencils of Promise (PoP) is having the Empire State Building lit in yellow, like a giant pencil.

The National Coalition for Literacy encourages you to celebrate International Literacy Day. NCL is also preparing upcoming blogs for Adult Education and Family Literacy (AEFL) Week, September 21-26, and invites you to share how you will celebrate by e-mailing

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