Literacy is a right and no one can disagree to that. In 1966, (when I wasn’t even born yet) The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) declared the 8th September as International Literacy Day, the purpose being to remind everyone about this right we have and that we need to claim.
This year the UNESCO has decided to celebrate this day around the theme of “Literacy for a human-centered recovery: Narrowing the digital divide”, which is another reminder of how literacy can be achieved, despite harsh conditions that surrounds us.
Indeed, as the whole world was shaking amidst the pandemic, like others, children across the globe, also suffered in terms of schooling and education. But even then, we didn’t back down as global nation. Most countries, including Mauritius adapted to the situation and resorted to online learning, because we knew that, as usual, education is the actual key to progress.
Of course, without the digital world and its burgeoning advances over the years, being totally deprived of education in times of crisis would only add to the unfortunate number of 773 million young adults around the world who, according to UNESCO, lack literacy skills today.
So now, more than ever, it is time to continue to innovate and move forward. It’s time to give those who can’t access literacy, even in small steps. And that’s exactly what The SugarCane Boy Bookclubs’ initiative is doing. It is a small step and a small attempt to reach out to children who do not have the opportunity and means to develop their literacy skills.
We believe that literacy is not a privilege and it shouldn’t be. It is the birthright of every child and every individual. It is a right that we should all enjoy. Guilt-free!