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Digital technologies can pass through all spheres of lives, fundamentally shaping how people live, work, learn and socialise.

These new technologies are opening vast new opportunities to improve our lives and connect globally- but they can also marginalise those who lack the essential skills, like literacy, needed to navigate them.

The Minister of Education and Training, Mr. Mokhele Moletsane said this when reading the statement made by the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisational (UNESCO) General Secretary on 2017 International Literacy Day commemoration.

The statement says traditionally, literacy has been considered a set of reading, writing and counting skills applied in a certain context. Digitally-mediated knowledge societies are changing what it means to be literate, calling for new and higher-level literacy skills. 

At the same time, in return, technology can work to improve literacy development and this must be understood in the wider context. 

It continues to states that worldwide, 750 million adults today still lack even the most basic literacy skills. Some 264 million children and youth are not benefiting from school education. Furthermore, international surveys show that a large share of adult and youth populations all over the world, including developed countries, are inadequately equipped with the basic digital skills required to function fully in today’s societies and workplace. Narrowing this skills gap is an educational and developmental imperative.

Information and communication technologies are creating opportunities to address this challenge. Digital tools can help expand access to learning and improve its quality. They have the power to reach the unreached, improve the monitoring of literacy progress, facilitate skills assessment, and make the management and governance of skills delivery systems more efficient, the statement says.

International Literacy Day celebrated annually on September 08 around the globe, offers a moment to review the progress and come together to tackle the challenges ahead. This year, the event is devoted to better understanding the type of literacy required in a digital world to build more inclusive, equitable and sustainable societies. Everyone should be able to make the most of the benefits of the new digital age, for human rights, for dialogue and exchange, for more sustainable development.

The day is an initiative of the UNESCO which started in 1966 to promote literacy worldwide.

In Lesotho the day will be marked in Matlameng, Leribe on Friday.


Source: LENA 07/09/2017

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