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International Literacy Day

International Literacy Day

International Literacy Day takes place on September 8 every year to raise awareness and concern for literacy problems that exist within our own local communities as well as globally. International Literacy Day was founded by proclamation of The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, or UNESCO, in 1966 “to remind the public of the importance of literacy as a matter of dignity and human rights.” International Literacy Day brings ownership of the challenges of illiteracy back home to local communities where literacy begins, one person at a time.

Significance of International Literacy Day 2022

On this International Literacy Day which is celebrated on 8 September, let’s spread awareness about the importance of literacy for individuals, communities, and societies. Students celebrate this day to raise awareness and concern for literacy problems that exist all across.

What is International Literacy Day?

International Literacy Day (ILD) is celebrated on 8 September every year all across the globe to make people aware of the meaning and importance of literacy for individuals and societies. If we define literacy, then it is the ability to read, write, speak and listen in such a way that it helps us to communicate effectively and make sense to the world.

What do you mean by Literacy?

Literacy is defined as the quality or state of being literate: educated. One who can read and write.

Knowledge Comes Only From Allah

 In Islam, it is regularly stressed that all things come from Allah. In some cases, such as the revelation of the Quran, they come directly from Him. In others, however, they come indirectly. Education is a good example of this. Although we may be taught by a teacher in the classroom, it is Allah who put the teacher in a position to pass on their knowledge.

Even though that teacher likely learned the information they are sharing from their own teacher and so on, the original revelation of the facts came from Allah. This is stressed in the passages 1 – 5 of the Quran’s 96th surah. They read as follows:

اِقۡرَاۡ بِاسۡمِ رَبِّكَ الَّذِىۡ خَلَقَ​ۚ‏ ﴿96:1﴾ خَلَقَ الۡاِنۡسَانَ مِنۡ عَلَقٍ​ۚ‏ ﴿96:2﴾ اِقۡرَاۡ وَرَبُّكَ الۡاَكۡرَمُۙ‏ ﴿96:3﴾ الَّذِىۡ عَلَّمَ بِالۡقَلَمِۙ‏ ﴿96:4﴾ عَلَّمَ الۡاِنۡسَانَ مَا لَمۡ يَعۡلَمۡؕ‏ ﴿96:5﴾

(96:1) Recite1 in the name of your Lord2 Who created,3 (96:2) created man from a clot of congealed blood.4 (96:3) Recite: and your Lord is Most Generous, (96:4) Who taught by the pen,5 (96:5) taught man what he did not know.

Quran, 96:1-5

From the moment Allah began to speak to his people, He sought to stress the role He plays in education and the sharing of knowledge. It is also worth taking note of the first word in the passage, which provided the foundation upon which the entirety of the Quran was built: “Recite”.

Originally, this was a commanded directed towards the Prophet Muhammad exclusively. Today, however, it is a command to all Muslims. To be a dedicated follower of Islam, one must recite the Quran. In order to do this, of course, one must read the Quran.

Reading and reciting the Quran both require proficiency in Classical Arabic. Classical Arabic is not actually the mother tongue of anybody – even native Arabic speakers – and so requires diligent study to master.

The word ASMA أسماء(Arabic) mentioned in the above Surah points our attention to all the branches of education whether it is science art or philosophy. All the fields of knowledge are basically the Nouns, the names as mentioned earlier The ASMA in Arabic. 

Hadith on Education

Abu Mas’ud al-Ansari reported Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) as saying:

The one who is most versed in Allah’s Book should act as Imam for the people, but if they are equally versed in reciting it, then the one who has most knowledge regarding Sunnah if they are equal regarding the Sunnah, then the earliest one to emigrate ; it they emigrated at the same time, then the earliest one to embrace Islam. No man must lead another in prayer where (the latter) has authority, or sit in his place of honor in his house, without his permission. Ashajj in his narration used the word, “age” in place of “Islam”.

Narrated Ibn `Abbas:

The Prophet (ﷺ) embraced me and said, “O Allah! Teach him (the knowledge of) the Book (Qur’an).”

Narrated Ibn Mas`ud:

“I heard the Prophet (ﷺ) saying, “There is no envy except in two: a person who God has given wealth and he spends it in the right way, and a person whom Allah has given wisdom (ie religious knowledge) and he gives His decisions accordingly and teaches it to the others. “

Hisham bin Hassan narrated from Al-Hasan:

concerning the saying of Allah: O our Lord, give us good in this world, and good in the Hereafter. He said: “Knowledge and worship in this world, and Paradise in the Hereafter.”

History of International Literacy Day

Although much progress has been made in improving literacy rates in the more than fifty years since the first International Literacy Day, illiteracy remains a global problem. There are thought to be more than 750 million adults around the world who cannot read. The scourge of Illiteracy spares no nation or culture on earth, including the United States, where an estimated 32 million American adults are illiterate.

What exactly is literacy? Miriam-Webster Dictionary defines literacy as “the quality or state of being literate: educated…able to read and write.” Because you are able to read this post and no doubt spend a lot of time reading online, it may seem incredulous to learn there are people living and working in your own community who not only cannot read this post, but are unable to read a book, a restaurant menu, a road sign, a voting ballot, an instruction manual, a prescription bottle label, or a cereal box.

Can you imagine navigating modern-day life without the basic ability to read and write? Wiping out illiteracy in every local community around the world is what International Literacy Day is all about.

International Literacy Day was first conceived at the “World Conference of Ministers of Education on the Eradication of Illiteracy” held in Tehran, Iran in 1965.  The following year UNESCO took the lead and declared September 8 as International Literacy Day, with the primary purpose being “…to remind the international community of the importance of literacy for individuals, communities and societies, and the need for intensified efforts towards more literate societies.” One year later, the global community accepted the challenge of ending illiteracy by participating in the first International Literacy Day.

International Literacy Day 2022 Theme

The main theme for this year’s International Literacy Day will be ‘Transforming Literacy Learning Spaces’. Through this theme, people will be able to relate to and understand the concept of literacy. 

International Literacy Day 2022 Activities for Students

Here are some of the interesting activities that students can indulge themselves in to keep themselves busy on this international literacy day:

  • Donate books to classrooms
  • Gift a book to yourself and your friends
  • Start a community lending library
  • Schedule a video conferencing session with an author.

Literacy Rate in India

To know development in a society, Literacy is another proper indicator of economic development. For purpose of census, a person in age limit of seven and above, who can both write and read with understanding in any of the language is considered as a literate in India. Literacy plays a major role in the economic development of a nation.

Although India has raised its current literacy rate of 74.04% (2021) from 12% at the time of Independence in 1947, its still lag behind the world average literacy rate of 84%. Compared with other nations, Republic of India has the largest illiterate population.

As per Population Census of India 2011, India literacy rate has shown improvement of almost 9.2 percent. It has gone up to 74.04% in 2011 from 65.38% in 2001, thus registering an increase of over 9 percent in the last 10 years. The nation also suffers from a wide gender disparity in literacy rate with a literacy rate of 82.14% for men and 65.46% for women. Kerala with 93.91% literacy rate is the top state in India.

Lakshadweep and Mizoram are at second and third position with 92.28% and 91.58% literacy rate respectively. Bihar with 63.08% literacy rate is the last in terms of literacy rate in India. Majority of states in India has shown majors signs of improvement in their overall illiteracy rate thus contributing towards a literate nation.

Highest Literacy Rate in India
The southern state of Kerala has the highest literacy rate of 93.91% in India.

Lowest Literacy Rate in India
Bihar with a literacy rate of 63.82% has the lowest literacy rate in India.

Highest Literacy Rate in Union Territory
Lakshadweep with a literacy rate of 91.85% is the most literate UT in India.

Lowest Literacy Rate in Union Territory
Jammu and Kashmir with a literacy rate of 68.74% is the least literate UT in India.

State wise Literacy Rate