How can we fight to stop rising illiteracy?

According to data from the United Nations Institute of Statistics, there are approximately 750 million adults globally that remain illiterate.

update_011Of that number, 13 percent are youth between 15 and 24 years old.

In this context and as International Literacy Day is set to be marked on 8th September, an
Abu Dhabi librarian is reminding parents and children that in our international community, we need to actively engage with the subject in everyday life to communicate on a basic level.

“Literacy is something that all children and adults deserve to learn,” said Fatema Abdul Rahman Al Tamimi, programming lead of the Library Management Department at the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi.

books-open-on-table“It’s not just about learning these skills in schools, it’s about how kids can use these skills in their regular life,” she added. “When they go to the supermarket, the park or even when they watch television, these are not educational events, but children still need to be able to read and write to cope with them.

“Abu Dhabi is a multicultural city, and only 20 percent of people here are local – the other 80 percent represent our diversity,” Fatema noted. “Kids need to be able to communicate with these different kinds of people and have the language to grow up in this context.”

With this year’s theme on the topic of developing literacy in a digital world, Fatema is keen that parents and children alike use the resources we now have at our disposal to encourage further engagement.

“Everything is changing now with our increasing use of social media and technology, and we need to adapt our learning to that,” Fatema reflected. “We now need to start thinking outside of the box and take advantage of the different platforms we have to promote literacy. Whether it’s using a digital library, online resources or even a computer game,
we need to use these tools to make literacy fun and engaging.”

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