Literacy Not Just Reading, Writing- It is About Respect, Opportunity and Development

Islamabad: Dr. Fehmida Mirza, Speaker, National Assembly has said that Literacy was imperative for sustainable human development in today’s complex and fast-changing societies. Therefore, we should strengthen our commitment to promoting global literacy and to back this support with resources needed to achieve real progress.

She said that in her message on the International Literacy Day being commemorated worldwide under the auspices of United Nations on 8th September. She said that this day serves us an opportunity to renew our international obligation and put the spotlight on the empowering role of literacy and its importance for participation, citizenship and development.

She said that literacy is not just about reading and writing, it is about self-respect and human dignity and about opportunities that give hope to individuals, families, communities and entire societies. Literacy and integral part of the right to education has shown itself time and time again to be a vital tool of empowerment.

It is time for the right of education to all person, of whatever age, to be realized in practice in order to help to eradicate extreme poverty and increase opportunities besides promoting gender equality and environment sustainability, she said.

Dr. Fehmida Mirza said that despite the fact that education and knowledge are the necessary passports to a better life; the scale of illiteracy is truly staggering. It is really astonishing that more than 800 million adults – of them women – have no secure command of the fundamentals of literacy; millions of children are not in school and even for those who get a start on t heir education, drop-out rates are very high.

She said that “even the simplest acquisition of literacy can have a profoundly empowering effect personally, socially and politically”.

She said that we should focus on the empowering role of literacy since literacy gives people tools with which to improve their livelihoods, participate in community decision-making, gain access to information about health care, and much else besides. About all, it enables individuals to realize their rights as citizen and human beings, she added.

Dr. Fehmida Mirza called upon Provincial Governments, international organizations, civil society organizations and private sector to give renewed attention and support to literacy as a vital instrument for achieving sustainable development especially in the rural areas. She said that each of us can make a contribution and all can be part of the solution.

For more information, contact:
Karamat Hussain Niazi
Secretary
National Assembly of Pakistan
Parliament House, Islamabad
Tel: +9251 922 1082 -83
Fax: +9251 922 1106