06.09.2017 - UNESCO Office in Brasilia

Literacy in a digital world - UNESCO message on the occasion of the International Literacy Day

Message from Ms Irina Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO, on the occasion of the International Literacy Day, 8 September 2017

Literacy in a digital world 

Digital technologies permeate all spheres of our lives, fundamentally shaping how we live, work, learn and socialize. 

These new technologies are opening vast new opportunities to improve our lives and connect globally -- but they can also marginalize those who lack the essential skills, like literacy, needed to navigate them.  

Traditionally, literacy has been considered a set of reading, writing and counting skills applied in a certain context. Digitally-mediated knowledge societies are changing what it means to be literate, calling for new and higher-level literacy skills. At the same time, in return, technology can work to improve literacy development.  

This must be understood in the wider context. Worldwide, 750 million adults today still lack even the most basic literacy skills. Some 264 million children and youth are not benefiting from school education. Furthermore, international surveys show that a large share of adult and youth populations all over the world, including developed countries, are inadequately equipped with the basic digital skills required to function fully in today’s societies and workplace. Narrowing this skills gap is an educational and developmental imperative.  



<- Back to: Dynamic Content Single View
Back to top