09.09.2016 - UNESCO Office in Juba

South Sudan joins the Rest of the World in celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the International Literacy Day

On 8 September 2016, South Sudan celebrates the 50th Anniversary of the International Literacy Day (ILD). The ILD was proclaimed by the General Conference of UNESCO in 1966 on the recommendation of the World Congress of Ministers of Education held in Tehran, Iran one year earlier in 1965.

While the ILD 2016 is marked as celebration of the past five decades of national and international engagement, and of the efforts and progress made to increase literacy rates around the world, the South Sudan Ministry of General Education and Instruction (MOGEI), the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), and all partners in the campaign to scale up literacy in South Sudan, remain aware of the scale of the literacy problem in South Sudan and the disadvantages associated with the level of illiteracy in the country.

With support from UNESCO, the Ministry of General Education and Instruction has organized a national event in the town of Aweil to celebrate the ILD. A team of high-level government officials led by the Honourable Minister of General Education and Instruction, Deng Deng Hoc Yai, accompanied by UNESCO and other sister United Nations agencies, is in Aweil for the celebration, which will be  marked with speeches, dances, songs, drama, testimonies of adult literacy learners, and a football match, among others. The football match is the climax of a specially organized football tournament for literacy and peace.

Preparations for the celebration of the ILD in Aweil have been made possible by the strong support of the Governor of Aweil, who tasked a number of his officials to ensure adequate preparations for the event.  UNESCO commends the Governor, Honourable Ronald Ruay Deng, for his demonstration of political will towards hosting the ILD celebrations, and calls upon all leaders of South Sudan at all levels of government to demonstrate sustained political will to fight illiteracy as a way to empowering the South Sudanese people. It is only with sustained political will at all levels of government, sufficient allocation of resources to education, and community awareness of the value of literacy that the war against illiteracy, can be won.

On this occasion of the celebration of 50 years of International Literacy Day, which this year is being marked under the theme Reading the Past; Writing the Future, UNESCO calls upon all stakeholders to redouble their efforts in the fight against illiteracy in South Sudan, and to remain committed to the fight against illiteracy. Literacy empowers people; literacy builds society. Illiteracy makes people vulnerable, and societies fragile. UNESCO renews its commitment to do all it can to contribute its share to reduce the level of illiteracy in South Sudan, and registers its gratitude for the generous support it is provided by USAID, the Government of Norway, and UNWOMEN for the literacy work it is doing in South Sudan.


For further information, contact

Mr. Awol Endris Adem

Education Programme Specialist

UNESCO Juba Office

Email: ae.adem@unesco.org

Tel: 0920001102

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