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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