International Literacy Day is observed every September 8. This year’s theme was Literacy and Skills Development. In Kenya, activities during Literacy day included a Literacy Walk, visiting Model Adult Learning Centers and a Reading Tent.
Statistics from UNESCO show that worldwide, more than 260 million children and adolescents are not enrolled in school. Six out of 10 children and adolescents – around 617 million, do not acquire the minimum skills in literacy and numeracy. 750 million young people and adults still cannot read and write and among them, two-thirds are women.
Sub-Saharan Africa has the highest rates of exclusion. Over a fifth of children between the ages of 6 and 11 are out of school, followed by a third of youths aged 12 and 14. According to UIS data. Almost 60% of youths aged 15 to 17 are not in school. A key obstacle to achieving the agreed target is persistent disparities in education participation linked to sex, location and wealth.
In an ever-changing world, where the pace of technological innovation is continuously accelerating, traditional literacy skills and numeracy skills are no longer enough. New skills, including information and communication technology skills, are becoming increasingly necessary. Preparing young people and adults for jobs is a challenge that needs to be tackled. In this light, access to lifelong learning, taking advantage of pathways between different forms of training, and benefiting from greater opportunities for mobility, are therefore indispensable.