The theme for the 2017 International Literacy Day is Literacy in a Digital World.
I grew up in a world where literacy meant being able to read and write on paper. Young people today grow up in a world where literacy means being able to communicate in digital formats.
UNESCO, the agency behind International Literacy Day, states on its website:
At record speed, digital technologies are fundamentally changing the way people live, work, learn and socialise everywhere. They are giving new possibilities to people to improve all areas of their lives including access to information; knowledge management; networking; social services; industrial production, and mode of work. However, those who lack access to digital technologies and the knowledge, skills and competencies required to navigate them, can end up marginalised in increasingly digitally driven societies. Literacy is one such essential skill.
Too often we take our blessings for granted. It’s hard to imagine life without literacy, yet millions of people around the world can’t read and write. International Literacy Day is a time to advocate for opportunities for everyone to become literate in today’s digital world.