Media Library

News Releases

Statement by President Michael D. Higgins marking World Literacy Day

Date: Thu 8th Sep, 2016 | 06:46

Marking International Literacy Day (8 September), President Michael D. Higgins today highlighted the importance of equal access to education and the expansion of literacy campaigns so as to include economic literacy.

“International Literacy Day is commemorated each year, to highlight national and international efforts to increase literacy rates around the world.

Since 1965, when Ministers for Education from around the world formally resolved to promote the eradication of illiteracy, there has been significant progress in many areas, and it is appropriate that we use International Literacy Day 2016 to celebrate the past five decades of success, particularly in relation to children.

For the first time ever, we now live in a world where 9 out of every 10 school age children worldwide are effectively literate. Those deprived of, or excluded from, the school experience remain vulnerable.

International Literacy Day reminds us that access to education is vital, not just for the empowerment and advancement of individuals, but also as a crucial pre-condition for the democratic functioning of communities and societies, laying the foundations for a sustainable future for all.

So today, we are called upon to support investment in education as a paramount investment for the future. Let us endeavour to redouble our efforts to recognise literacy as a fundamental human right that transforms lives, and let us extend our reach to include economic literacy, so as to enable all our citizens to understand policy choices that affect their lives.

Functional literacy opens up the ever-changing world of knowledge exchange, lifelong learning and meaningful participation in political and economic processes that impact on people’s lives.”