Ghana, on Friday, joined the international community to commemorate this year’s Annual International Literacy Day (ILD) at Dwenase in the Fanteakwa District of the Eastern Region.


September 8 was proclaimed ILD by the United Nations Educational, Scientific & Cultural Organization (UNESCO) at the 14th Session of its General Conference on October 26, 1966 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.


ILD, therefore, brings together governments, multi and bilateral organizations, Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs), the private sector, communities, teachers, learners and experts in the field of education to celebrate their achievements and reflect on ways to counter remaining challenges for the promotion of literacy as an integral part of life-long learning within and beyond the 2030 United Nations Sustainable Development agenda.


ILD 2017, which took place on the theme: “Literacy in a digital world”, was jointly organized by UNESCO, World Vision, Ghana, Korea International Co-operation Agency (KOICA), the Non-Formal Education Division (NFED) of the Ministry of Education (MoE) and the Ghana Education Service (GES).


In a key note address, Mr Divine Ayidzoe, Director in charge of Statistics, Research, Information and Monitoring (SRIM), MoE, noted that functional literacy without the digital literacy deviation would serve no useful purpose in the current educational dispensation.


Mr Ayidzoe underscored the importance of international development partners and civil society organizations as key stakeholders in the drive for a digital literate population, adding that the time had come for non-literates to be given the space and platform to explore their potentials in our digital world.


Ms Irina Bokova, Director-General, UNESCO, in a statement, stressed the need for collective action in creating and seizing new opportunities to move forward Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 4 on education and life-long learning for all.


Ms Bokova said this year’s event was devoted to better understanding the type of literacy required in a digital world to build a more inclusive, equitable and sustainable societies, adding that everyone should be able to make the most of the benefits of the new digital age for human rights, for dialogue and exchange, and for more sustainable development.


On his part, Barima Gyekye Osei III, Chief of Akyem Dwenase, urged children and students to make reading a habit and allow it to influence their lives positively.


Barima Gyekye Osei III described education as the backbone of every wealthy community and nation, and stressed the need to frequently engage and sensitize the community about the need to invest in education.


In his remarks, Mr Sagan Thiaw, Operational Director, World Vision Ghana, disclosed that World Vision International had invested about US $ 1.5 million for the past 9 years to support communities in Ghana with school infrastructure, training of teachers, provision of teaching and learning materials, and sanitation facilities for schools.


Education, Thiaw said, was a tool of improvement for children, irrespective of their sex and background as it enabled them to achieve the maximum potential and enhance their capacity to benefit from entitlements that promoted their well being.


Source: ISD (Eva Frempon-Ntiamoah)