Inl'l Literacy Day: Let literacy be a tool for lives of all people in the world to address eternal peace
Dr. Muhammad Mahtab Hossain Mazed
Today, Thursday 8 September is International Literacy Day 2022. Aiming to eliminate illiteracy
On September 8-19, 1965, this day is being celebrated in Tehran, Iran under the initiative of UNESCO.
In that conference, it was proposed to celebrate International Literacy Day on September 8 every year. Later, on November 17, 1965, UNESCO declared September 8 as International Literacy Day. Although UNESCO celebrated the first day in 1966, the International Literacy Day has been celebrated in independent Bangladesh since 1972.
In continuation of this, the government has been celebrating the International Literacy Day every year with due dignity in addition to taking massive initiatives to spread literacy. The UN Secretary-General launched the five-year Global Education First Initiative (GEFI) to increase the political commitment and investment of UN member states to achieve the goals of education for all and the Millennium Development Goals. As a result of this initiative, 14 countries around the world became champions at the conference held at the United Nations headquarters in September 2012. Bangladesh is one of them.
As a result of this success, in 2014, the UNESCO Secretary General awarded the 'Peace Tree' medal to the Honorable Prime Minister Sheikh HasinaDr. MM Mazed, the eminent researcher and founder jatio rogi kallan Society of Bangladesh, wrote a column about today's column... According to the government, the literacy rate is increasing every year in the country. The total population of the country is now 16 crore 51 lakh 58 thousand 616 people. Where 8 crore 17 lakh men and 8 crore 33 lakh women and 12 thousand 629 third gender.
According to the report, the total literacy rate of men and women in the country is 74.66 percent. Out of which 71.56 percent in rural areas and 81.28 percent in urban areas by region.
On the other hand, in terms of gender, male literacy rate is 76.56 percent, female education rate is 72.82 percent and third gender literacy rate is 53.65 percent. According to the census data, 5 crore 9 thousand 72 of the total population live in cities. 11 crore 3 lakh 63 thousand 587 people live in rural townships.
The literacy rate has increased from 51.77 percent to 74.66 percent. 99.25 percent people of the country enjoy electricity facilities. 85.65 percent people drink tubewell water. There are a total of 12 thousand 629 transgender people in the country. The total number of disabled people is 23 lakh 61 thousand 604 people. The population growth rate has decreased from 15.83 percent to 14.66 percent.
In 2011, the literacy rate for men and women was 51.77 percent. And currently there are approximately 7,000 and 97 languages alive in the world. Of these, less than 1,000 people speak 2,000 languages. Apart from this, only half of the total languages have a written form. 46 types of alphabets are used in these languages.
The rest are studied orally. According to Columbia University linguistic research data, one language is disappearing from the world every two weeks. They also need to understand where their location isThe characteristics of multilingualism in the process of globalization and digitized world, its impact on political reality and what can be the result of inclusion of other languages in the process of multilingualism is also a significant aspect of Literacy Day. According to a 2016 statistic, 775 million people in the world lack the basic concept of literacy. This means that 20 percent of the world's total population is illiterate. Among these 20 percent, about 66 percent are women. About 75 million children are still either out of school or have dropped out. Apart from this, the literacy rate in the country in 2010 was 59.82 percent. Accordingly, the literacy rate has increased by 16 percent in the last decade.
There is a deep relationship between illiteracy and development. The literacy rate in this country is currently 73.9 percent and our per capita income is $1909. But not only the literate are called literate, it also includes lifestyle, communication skills and empowerment skills. There was a time when someone who could write his name was considered literate. At present we call him literate who can read simple and short sentences in his own language, can write simple and short sentences and can do simple calculations in daily life. UNESCO redefined it in 1993.
What do we mean by literacy for workers who are connected to transport? They must be able to write their own names, read traffic regulations in their own language, be aware of public and social hazards. Such as excessive honking, not honking the hydraulic horn, where the horn cannot be honked at all, etc. Similarly, it is part of literacy for agricultural workers to read and understand the general rules of crop production, to know and exercise their full right to education in the case of child laborers, to understand which jobs are risky for them.
To make the people literate according to their profession, the government will provide assistance there, private organizations will help according to their capacity. In this way, real illiteracy will be removed from the country and the world, people with necessary literacy will be createdIn the world, the literacy rate of fifteen and above is 86.3 percent, of which 90 percent is male and 82.7 percent is female. According to UNESCO's Global Monitoring Report in 2006, West Africa has the lowest literacy rate. Among the countries with the lowest literacy rate in the world are Burkina Faso (12.8 percent), Nauzar at 14.4 percent, and Mali at 19 percent. In 2015, this rate increased slightly to 64 percent in sub-Saharan Africa. 2007 was declared as the UN Literacy Decade. In 2008 it was celebrated as 'Literacy and Health' by adding health education to it. The theme of this day in 2011-12 was 'Literacy and Peace'. In 1918, the first initiative to increase the literacy rate was taken in our country by establishing night schools.
Then in 1934, with the efforts of Khan Bahadur Ahsan Ullah and Nawab Abdul Latif etc., the Elderly Education Center was established. Adult education programs were successfully implemented under the V-Aid program of the 1960s. In continuation of this, 'Bureau of Non Formal Education' was established in 2004. Our primary education was made compulsory in 1991. Currently, primary and secondary schools are provided with free books and there are scholarships for girls. Article 17 of our constitution lays emphasis on free basic education for children aged six to ten years.
These are positive steps towards increasing literacy. In today's world, 775 million people are still illiterate, one in five adults is illiterate. Isn't this a huge divide? Of this huge illiterate population, 64 percent are women. Seven million children in the world now cannot read or write. Three-quarters of the world's illiterate population live in the 15 most populous countries.
In many countries of Africa we see constant conflict, instability, literacy rate in those countries is very low, that is, literacy has a close relationship with peaceful conditions and development indicatorsWhen the literacy rate in our country was 35.3 percent (in 1991), a major project called 'Integrated Non-formal Education Extension Program (INFEP)' was undertaken. Then in 2010, according to the Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics (BBS) survey, the literacy rate in the country was 59.82 percent. Currently 73.9 percentLiteracy is seen as a tool for personal, social and human development.
Because increasing literacy rate is essential for poverty reduction, child mortality prevention, balanced development, peace and prosperity. According to the changing definition of literacy, we have to measure where we stand by the standard criteria, there is no room to be satisfied by increasing the numbers alone. And he is able to match the current era. But in this situation he cannot, so the definition of literacy will change. Our life has changed, the way of teaching or learning has also changed a lot. One more thing comes here, that is if a person is literate only in the language of his own country in this global context, he is not literate as a citizen of the global village.
Because the necessary information of a person is personal, social, national and international, whether it is related to health or safety, but he has to know. And to know that he has to be familiar with a global language. For example, now whatever is shared through social media such as Facebook, YouTube, Messenger, etc., that literacy has to be done in English. If done only in Bengal, it is limited to certain groups or countries. So the definition of literacy is now bound to be broad and broadLiteracy contributes to peace in society, helps people achieve personal freedom. Added to this is now the ability to communicate with the world through literacy.
Where covid originated, how it spread from country to country, how people get infected, how to protect yourself and family from it, we are getting to know all this online. Familiarity with the devices that connect us online has become essential. 70 percent of internet users in the world are connected through social media. The rate is even higher among young people, about 90 percent. Among those who use the Internet in Bangladesh, 80 percent of people have a Facebook account. More than 60 percent of 13- to 17-year-olds have at least one social media profile. They spend more than two hours a day on social media. Students-teachers, doctors, engineers, children-teenagers, housewives, professionals, most of them have Facebook accounts now.
According to the survey of April 2017, about 22 million people in Dhaka and surrounding areas are actively using Facebook. The number of people using YouTube worldwide is 150 million, WhatsApp 120 million, Facebook Messenger 120 million and WeChat 938 million. Why are we using Facebook? The answer is very simple.I sit on the sofa or curled up on the bed and hide under the blanket on a winter night. I can click on Facebook to see what a friend in Canada or Australia is doing, the weather there, the political situation, what is happening on the streets in America, etcWhat is happening in the area, what terrorist has been caught, why, how was he caught, what good news has come from a relative or friend, what bad news has happened, everything is now in the palm of your hand thanks to FacebookIf we consider these things as an integral part of literacy, we certainly do not have that calculation anywhere, what will be the literacy rate. In the conventional sense, the number of illiterate people in the country is 3 crore 25 lakh. It means, we are still far away from 100% literacy.
Globally, more than 260 million children and adolescents are still out of school by conventional definition, and about 620 million people have not achieved minimum literacy and numeracy skills. However, every year hundreds of millions of rupees are spent in the production and use of weapons. And one in five Dubai residents is a millionaire. Along with luxurious life, they drive wild animals in cars worth ten crores to one hundred crores, keep tigers, bears and chimpanzees in their drawing rooms. However, billions of children are still not familiar with the alphabet of their own countries due to poverty alone. The world needs leadership to deal with this contradiction.
Education is number four among the 17 goals of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals or SDGs. It seeks to ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and lifelong learning opportunities for all. It also calls for increasing the number of skilled and qualified teachers, training and expanding international cooperation by 2030. If the target is achieved by 2030, Bangladesh's inclusion in the list of developed countries by 2041 can become easy.
In 1991, the literacy rate was 35.3 percent. At this time, a project called Integrated Non-formal Education Extension Program or Infep was undertaken with the aim of expanding education nationwide. Then in 2001, the literacy rate increased to 47.9 percent. The Basic Literacy Scheme of the Ministry of Primary and Mass Education was approved by the National Economic Council in 2014.
Its objective is to provide literacy through non-formal education to the population deprived of formal education. However, efforts are being made to bring 100% children under primary school education through various government and private initiatives. Currently the literacy rate in the country is 74.7
As a result, this rate has increased by 1 percent more than last year. 7 percent. Steps have been taken to teach education up to class five to one million children as a second chance for students who have dropped out of primary school. For this purpose, in 2017, one lakh children of six upazilas have been brought under this as piloting.
Later, in 250 upazilas and 15 cities, another 9 lakh children will be brought under the primary education programme. All these are part of the effort to achieve 100% literacy.
During the last two years, 154 crore 24 lakh 12 thousand students of 185 countries of the world are not able to go to school. Its impact on their lives will be long term. Of these, China has the largest number of children and adolescents who have stopped going to school. Bangladesh is on the fourth position in that list.
23.3 million children in China and around 50 million children in Bangladesh are out of school. Indonesia and Pakistan are second and third in the list. In Bangladesh, all educational institutions were closed from March 17, 2020. Started afresh from 12th September 21st. For last 2 years Virtual class i.e. teaching by alternative means; Although it was an alternative to direct teaching.
The main reason why our rate of literacy growth does not reflect education is that literacy is merely an acquisition of skill with which the question of ethics hangs somewhat precariously. But the foundation of education is this ethics and activities for the welfare of the people of the society. If the concept is not clear in this regard, we will wander in the dark, even if the literacy rate increases, we will not get a touch of education. But we need real education now.
Finally, studies were quiet for 30 long months due to the corona epidemic and we have many branches of hope. Let every person of the world be enlightened by the light of education. Let education be for life. May literacy bring the fragrance of incomparable happiness, peace and prosperity to all. Let the life of all the people of the world become the address of eternal peace by using literacy as a tool.
In this world of peace, prosperity and harmony, no more conflicts are desirable for people. Let hunger, poverty and corruption disappear forever from the chest of the world. Pen, paper and book should be the tools of hardship for every person in every house. Let literacy be a powerful tool to create a life and build the digital world of the future.It is our sincere wish that our national progress will be raised to a new level through the realization of the conviction of skill development that will be expressed from the national program organized on the occasion of International Literacy Day in the country today.
Author, Founder, jatio rogi kallan Society