UNESCO celebrates International Literacy Day in Nepal
Nepal celebrates International Literacy Day, day after tomorrow, on 8 September. The Day, that is every year observed worldwide with a view to increasing everyone’s attention to literacy, focus this year on “Cultivating Peace”, highlighting the role that literacy plays in shaping more sustainable, just and peaceful societies.
Nepal’s challenges to fully reap the benefits literacy for peace and social cohesion are great. Although Nepal has made important progress to decrease the number of illiterates over the past years, there are still too many girls and boys, women and men, who can neither read nor write. According to recent reports, the Nepal Living Standards Survey 2010-2011 (NLSS- III) has found out that Nepal has an adult literacy rate of 56.6 percent with a huge variation between men and women . While male literacy rate is 71.6 percent, it is only 44.5 percent for women, revealing Gender Parity Index (GPI) at 0.62, with women still lagging behind men by more than 27 percentage points. According to the Education for All Global Monitoring Report 2011, out of 7.6 million adult illiterates in Nepal, 67 per cent are female.
On 8 September, the UNESCO Office in Kathmandu will join the Non Formal Education Center (NFEC) of the Ministry of Education to celebrate the Day with various activities. It will support the NFEC in organizing a special radio news bulletin on literacy and a radio interaction programme among neo- literates, literacy experts and managers on highlighting in the importance of literacy on cultivating peace on 7, 8 and 9 September, 2012. Both will be broadcast through 65 FM radio stations throughout the country under the Ujayalo 90 network. It is expected that the special radio news bulletin and interaction programme will emphasize the importance of curbing the high number of illiterate people in Nepal as a powerful contribution to national prosperity and building peace in the country. In addition, the UNESCO Kathmandu Office jointly with the Tamsipakha Community Learning Center and Community Learning Center Forum, Nepal will observe the Day to highlight the importance of Cultivating Peace.
UNESCO will also support the Ministry of Education to publish a special edition of its Literacy and Non-formal Education Bulletin and participate in the exhibition of literacy and NFE material organized by the Ministry. UNESCO also partners with the Tamsipakha Community Learning Centre and the Community Learning Centre Forum in their celebration of International Literacy Day 2012 by organizing an essay competition among neo literates and oratory competition among secondary school students on “Grand Ma, Grand Pa, now it is your turn to be literate”