Today is International Literacy Day, 2021
– Funmilayo Adesanya-Davies
International Literacy Day (ILD) Celebration started since 1967, according to UNICEF and the United Nations. The international Literacy Day is always marked on every 8th September to create awareness in masses about the importance of literacy as a universal dignity and human right.
International Literacy Day celebrations have taken place annually around the world to remind the public of the importance of literacy as a matter of dignity and human rights, and to advance the literacy agenda towards a more literate and sustainable society. Despite progress made, literacy challenges persist with at least 773 million young people and adults lacking basic literacy skills today.
“LITERACY” according to the Oxford Advanced Dictionary is defined as:
The ability to read and write and the understanding of something or a particular knowledge. Example is to have a computer knowledge or other skills either from schools or as a tutelage.
Research shows that the global literacy rates between ages 15 and above is over 86.3 Percent while males is 90.0 Percent and Females is 82.7 Percent.
In Africa, the illiteracy rates between ages 15 and above is over 34.7 percent particularly in Sub-Saharan Africa. In Nigeria, in 2020, the literacy rates between ages 15 and above is 62 Percent males is 71 Percent and Females is 52 Percent.
Also in South Asia between ages 15 and above is 27.1 Percent and Arab States between ages 15 and above is 20.6 Percent. The 2019 highest literacy rate in Nigeria is 89 Percent from the South-Western Nigerian while Lagos State took the lead with 90.2 Percent among states.
This year 2021’s theme for International Literacy Day: Literacy for a Human-Centered Recovery: Narrowing the Digital Divide.
What is digital? Digital describes electronic technology that generates, stores, and processes data in terms of two states: positive and non-positive. Meaning of digital in English – Cambridge Dictionary is using or relating to computers and the internet, social media etc. The digital revolution has made it much easier for us to work from home. Electronic media refers e.g. to the use of television, radio, telephone, game console, handheld device etc.
Electronic media are media that use electronics or electromechanical means for the audience to access the content. This is in contrast to static media (mainly print media), which today are most often created digitally, but do not require electronics to be accessed by the end user in the printed form.
The primary electronic media sources familiar to the general public are video recordings, audio recordings, multimedia presentations, slide presentations, CD-ROM and online content. Most new media are in the form of digital media. However, electronic media may be in either analogue electronics data or digital electronic data format.
Nigeria’s educational system needs to be further developed and well managed. Urgent actions are seriously needed to invest in our children’s and youth’s futures as they hardly compete on the global stage and of worldly standard.
Programmes such as Big Brothers Nigeria’s reality show should be given lesser attraction for instance, while our educational system becomes more digitalised.
The issue of insurgency in our country would need to be managed and fought through digital technology, if we must make any head way in the fight against banditry, kidnapping, terrorism, jihadism and fulanization.
It’s time for Literacy for a Human-Centered Recovery, so as to narrow our Digital Divide locally, nationally and internationally.
Happy International Literacy Day to all.