On International Literacy Day, ICESCO calls for Creating Integrated Lifelong Learning Approach
8 September 2022
On September 8 of each year, the world celebrates International Literacy Day, an occasion to cast light on the alarming downward trend of literacy rate in the world and its impact on achieving sustainable development. This year’s celebration is held under the theme, “Transforming Literacy Learning Spaces,” a theme the Islamic World Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (ICESCO) supports, calling for radical and concrete change in the field of literacy to support its infrastructure and enrich its content, forms, curricula and methods through an integrated lifelong learning approach.
ICESCO also reaffirms that the desired future literacy model does not only offer basic reading and writing skills but capitalizes on the rapid changes in information and communication technology, includes life skills and nurtures important thinking skills. The model also focuses on digital, professional and rights-based skills, along with lifelong learning competencies and a sense of creativity and citizenship.
Moreover, in a bid to achieve a concrete step forward, ICESCO stresses the dire need to fight against illiteracy, focus on vulnerable and poor groups, especially girls and women, mobilize sufficient financial resources and increase investment in this field. The Organization also highlights the importance of providing more free and open-source educational resources and exerting more efforts towards decentralization and good governance practices in literacy programs.
As an international organization active in the field of education, ICESCO launched the Girls and Women Literacy Award for the benefit of civil society bodies and NGOs. The Organization dedicated three prizes for leading initiatives based on its working languages (Arabic, English, and French).
Given that Africa suffers from growing numbers of illiterates, ICESCO supports the initiative of establishing the African Institute for Lifelong Learning. This establishment will be a regional hub for building the capacities of stakeholders, institutions, and regional organizations active in the field of lifelong learning. It will also offer opportunities for exchanging successful experiences, spreading knowledge, and sharing expertise in the field of adult education.
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