The UNESCO Literacy Portal http://portal.unesco.org/education
February 2006

The UNESCO Literacy Portal http://portal.unesco.org/education

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Literacy is a basic cognitive skill, which is compulsory for the development of an individual and of society at large. A prosperous and progressive future of the world will only be possible when universal  quality education is provided to all.
Corresponding to this truth of today’s world, achieving universal  primary education is one of the eight goals (Millennium Development  Goals) set and adopted by the UN General Assembly in its Millennium  Declaration in 2000.
The United Nations Educational  Scientific and  Cultural rganisation (UNESCO) has been striving to  provide education to all. The purpose  of UNESCO’s  educational  programme has  been to promote  education as a  fundamental   uman  right, to improve the quality of   education and to promote  experimentation, innovation and  sharing of information and best practices in    dition to policy dialogue in education.  Literacy is one of the UNESCO’s three  main target areas to accelerate  progress towards the goal of  Education For All  EFA) by 2015;  Teacher Training and HIV/AIDS  prevention education are the  other areas.  Keeping up the tradition of providing high quality content,   NESCO   as  eveloped a new portal on  Literacy.The importance of literacy  can   e best understood by the statement in this portal – “Literacy is an indispensable means for effective social and economic participation,  contributing to human development and poverty reduction”. The portal  assumes significance in the light of the fact that UNESCO is celebrating 2003-2012 as literacy decade and its mission statement declares: Literacy  as Freedom. This web site contains information on themes such as gender equality, HIV/ AIDS, information and communication technologies, life skills, microfinance, non-formal education and poverty reduction in the context of literacy  and educational development.
The main objective of the literacy portal is to provide an online platform  for information sharing on literacy  related projects and activities, which are taking place around the world. It’s most important aim is to enhance  UNESCO’s capacity in coordinating the United Nations Literacy Decade  (UNLD) in building partnerships at all level. This portal provides a  comprehensive overview of  UNESCO’s literacy related activities, its strategy, domains of action,  initiatives. The Literacy portal also provides information and valuable documents from various literacy actors such as  United Nations Organisations (UNDP,UNFPA etc) Member states, bilateral and multilateral institutions  (Commonwealth of Learning, World  ank etc), Non-Governmental Organizations / Community Based  Organizations , Foundations and Private sector. Some of the documents  which can be obtained form this portal are: United Nations Literacy Decade: Progress Report 2004-2005, Literacy-A  UNESCO Perspective, Literacy for All- Information kit on UN Literacy Decade(2003- 2012),Address of  Director General of UNESCO at the launch of UN Literacy Decade, The plurality of literacy and its implication for  policies and programmes, The Dakar Framework of Action,  for Education For All: Meeting our Collective Commitments etc.  This portal also provides updated information on the  events and activities in education sector around the world in its news  section along with information on new publications on education. The portal  has an extensive coverage of projects and conferences related to literacy and education.  The portal also highlights and marks various  nternationally important days  and decades such as International Literacy Day, United Nations Literacy  Decade, United Nation Decade of Education for  Sustainable Development and Millennium  Development Goals.  This portal is a one-stop location for all updates on the state of literacy of  the world.

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