International Literacy Day 2022: Dates, origins, theme, and significance

·1-min read
International Literacy Day is aimed at transforming literary learning spaces  (Kimberly Farmer / Unsplash)
International Literacy Day is aimed at transforming literary learning spaces (Kimberly Farmer / Unsplash)

International Literacy Day is around the corner and now, more than ever, there is a need for education.

Global literacy efforts have been heavily dampened by the pandemic but, as students return to learning spaces, this day focuses on leaving no-one behind.

The hybrid annual worldwide event, held over two days, will be hosted by Unesco this September.

When is International Literacy Day?

From September 8-9, the global event will be held in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire.

It aims for a three-pronged approach that organisers say will leverage, adapt, and transform education to use more than just reading materials to improve literacy.

Digital spaces will also be put to use to increase the diversity of learning spaces, making education inclusive and accessible.

The Unesco International Literacy Prizes awards ceremony will be held on Thursday, September 8, from 12.50pm, with guest Unesco laureates from the UK, China, South Korea, India, UAE, Brazil, Malaysia, and South Africa.

Day two of the event will include presentations from the laureates and various panels on global literacy.

What is the origin and meaning of International Literacy Day?

The theme for International Literacy Day 2022 is ‘Transforming Literacy Learning Spaces’.

However, organisers have been awarding prizes and working towards their literacy goals since 1967.

The Unesco site states that literacy is “a matter of dignity and human rights” and their agenda includes working towards “a more literate and sustainable society”.

After the pandemic, Unesco found that almost 24 million learners could never return to formal education. Furthermore, 11 million of those were likely to be girls and young women.

Now, as literacy has expanded to the digital world, celebrations span from donating books to local classrooms and libraries to sharing free resources made more widely accessible.