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UNESCO Marks World Literacy Day

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Today is International Literacy Day. A day set aside to promote literacy all over the world. This year’s celebration according to UNESCO aims to promote literacy in today’s digital world. 

UNESCO defines literacy as the “ability to identify, understand, interpret, create, communicate and compute, using printed and written materials associated with varying contexts.”

In an interview with Reverend Professor Seth Asare Danso, the Vice Dean of the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences Education, University of Cape Coast [UCC], he explained that literacy is one’s ability to read, write, and use symbols and language to communicate effectively in a particular setting or culture. He added that in a global setting, formal education is requisite for literacy.

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For Professor Asare Danso, government of Ghana has over the years put in place policies to promote education at the basic and secondary levels. He mentioned that the F-Cube programme, which ensured that all children of school going age should be in school, was a positive step. He added that policies such as the capitation grant, school feeding programme, school health education programme, and girl child education programme among others were well in line with facilitating education in Ghana towards Sustainable Development Goal 4.

Professor Asare Danso added that in line with this year’s theme of “Literacy in a Digital World”, Ghana lags behind as technology has risen globally. He mentioned that Ghana is faced with, accessibility-related challenges in terms of digital literacy. He explained that some children do not have access to computers and in some cases, teachers are forced to teach in abstraction. He observed that  access to electricity is a major issue, noting that even with available resources, one could not use them without electricity.

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To mark the day, a global event is being held at UNESCO’S headquarters in Paris with the overall aim to look at what kind of literacy skills people need to navigate increasingly digitally-mediated societies, and to explore effective literacy policies.

Source: Martina Korsah / ATL FM News