International Literacy Day 2023: A COL perspective

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As part of its mission to promote “Learning for Sustainable Development” and an agent of change in open and distance learning, the Commonwealth of Learning (COL) is pleased to be part of International Literacy Day 2023 – UNESCO’s annual celebration of literacy as a matter of dignity and human rights, and to advance the literacy agenda towards a more literate and sustainable society.

Literacy is one of the critical foundations of lifelong learning, and quality education for all is integral to COL’s pursuit of using literacy to empower quality education and lifelong learning. This year’s International Literacy Day is being celebrated worldwide under the theme, ‘Promoting literacy for a world in transition: Building the foundation for sustainable and peaceful societies’.

As COL President and CEO Professor Asha Kanwar recently noted in a recent valedictory address at the Global Smart Education Conference 2023, Beijing, Smart Education Policies and Strategies, beyond the need to champion global improvements to traditional literacy, now is the time to address technological literacy and the need for a paradigm shift in education.” The focus is on providing AI literacy at all levels, building the capacity of teachers, promoting innovations and leaving no one behind.”

International Literacy Day was first observed in 1967 to promote global literacy.

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