Doha, Qatar, September 09, 2011 --(PR.com
)-- Observing International Day of Literacy Dr. Naseer Homoud, Foreign Affairs Advisor of Arab Non- Violence Society and Honorary Member of Arab Youth Media Forum said “literacy is the foundation of social and economic progress. It is critical to learners’ success; workplace readiness, and increased productivity, efforts to improve literacy aren’t optional. They are vital to any country’s success.” He went on to say “a basic human right, literacy is at the heart of education for all and essential for eradicating poverty, reducing child mortality, curbing population growth, and achieving gender equality. Despite the major milestones accomplished towards literacy, the goal of literacy for all, including children, youth and adults, remains an unaccomplished goal.”
Commemorating the day, Dr. Homoud outlined the benefits to a more literate society especially for women and girls. He maintained that in most of the developing world, women are directly responsible for the welfare of their families - tending to basic family needs, working on farms and contributing to the family income, managing domestic resources and at least some of the household finances. “What resources women have at their disposal and how they use them has a direct impact on household income, health, education, and nutritional outcomes. Empowering women is a key ingredient for sustaining development gains,” said Dr. Homoud. He added “Literacy Day highlights the importance of literacy internationally, and how it has developed countries, communities and individuals. Literacy also develops the human personality, strengthens respect for people’s rights and promotes understanding, tolerance and friendship amongst individuals.”
Addressing the gathering assembled to mark the day, Dr. Homoud said, “Education and literacy are the foundation and essence of all human development. Literacy confers a wide set of benefits on individuals, on families and communities.” He maintained that social benefits arise on account of better knowledge and awareness that literacy gives which helps in improving the implementation of social welfare programmes, fighting social evils and in building tolerant societies. He apprised that another set of benefits from literacy is economic, as it positively impacts on enhancing skills and earning capacities. Adding political benefits of literacy, he said “a literate environment is fundamental for empowering citizens, who understand their rights and duties and take informed decisions. But, the most important are human benefits as literacy enhances an individual's self-esteem and confidence levels.”
Dr. Homoud highlighted the 2010 UNESCO Global Monitoring Report released in February, on current trends the literacy goal will be missed by a large margin in 2015, with a remaining estimated 710 million illiterate adults worldwide. “Literacy is essential for the development of active citizenship, improved health and livelihoods and gender equality, however it remains one of the most neglected areas, Illiteracy is a violation of human rights. We have the knowledge and tools to change this. It’s a travesty that literacy rates are not rising faster,” said Dr. Homoud. “We have made huge strides in increasing children’s and girls’ education over the past decade, but to make education for all a reality, governments need to put policies in place to prioritize adult literacy within education strategies to ensure adults get the chance to learn,” asserted Dr. Homoud.
“Every individual is endowed with intrinsic human dignity and the potential to learn and change their life and become a helping hand in self growth and the development of society. This International Literacy Day, Arab Youth Media Forum has stepped forward with the motto of creating awareness towards the power of being educated,” said Dr. Homoud. He further said “We also remain committed to the goal of achieving universal primary education worldwide by 2015, as we support the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). A healthier, more literate, more prosperous world, as measured by the concrete achievement of the MDGs in 2015, will make this world a more secure and prosperous. On International Literacy Day, we salute the role the United Nations has long played in promoting literacy and believe all nations have an obligation to educate all their citizens.”