UN World Literacy Day
This year’s theme for UNESCO’s International Literacy Day is “Literacy in Digital World”, which highlights that although we are living in a ‘digital era’ and great progress has been made in terms of digital technology; 758 million adults and 243 million out-of-school children do not possess basic literacy skills. In addition to this, there is a global ‘digital divide’ in terms of who has access to digital technology. More than half of the world’s population do not have any access to the internet and 2 billion people do not use mobile phones (UNESCO, 2017). In an increasingly digital world, this digital divide means that those without access to digital technologies are being left behind and this therefore worsens global inequality.
India has the largest population of illiterate adults in the world and in rural parts of the country, the childhood literacy rate is just 71% (Oxfam, 2016). Salt of the Earth (SOTE) are currently running a child sponsorship scheme, in partnership with our partner Mass-Based Association for Social Service and Rural Development (MASARD) and education is the main component of this scheme. At the beginning of every academic year, the children involved in the scheme will be provided with the necessary school materials and any extra school fees will be paid for by MASARD. Along with daily school meals and regular health checks, the children’s educational progress will be monitored to ensure that the educational requirements are met. By promoting the importance of education, SOTE are working to improve access to education and overall child literacy rates in Tamil Nadu, India.
Written by India Harry, Salt of the Earth Volunteer.
If you are interested in supporting a child through their education in Tamil Nadu, click here.