For the Gift of Literacy
By Shanuka Kadupitiyage Ceylon Today Features
Would you believe that the ability to read and write can be considered a superpower?
From the day we are born to the end of our days, we never stop learning. Literacy (the ability to read and write) is a skill that can help us to learn more and learn fast. Imagine how narrow our minds eye would be if we couldn’t read or write. You wouldn’t be able to read what I’m saying in this article without it.
One of the many skills that we are fortunate to have is the ability to read and write. Thanks to the developed educational system in Sri Lanka, there are many who have this superpower.
Yet, there are some who don’t have this ability because of various circumstances.
Imagine not being able to have these basic skills that have become essential for our daily lives today. Even though this may be a little tough for you to imagine, thousands of people around the world are facing this issue.
In order to remind people around the world that literacy being a basic human right, the International Literacy Day (ILD) has been held by UNESCO each year on 8 September since 1967. Even amidst COVID-19, the tradition doesn’t stop.
Having a programme in place to make sure that everyone gets a chance to learn how to read and write is one of the biggest goals that leaders around the world have. This is why it is a part of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals and its 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. This means that a lot of people around the world are starting to take measures in order to help people around the world read and write more and do both of these better.
Although you may not be a big diplomat ready to change the world, there are things you can do today in order to make a small difference and help yourself and people around the world achieve a future when everyone has access to this superpower. By doing so, you might even be able to call yourself a super-hero.
It all starts from you
Take a good look at what you’ve done for the past week. When was the last time you picked up and ready a book from beginning to end, cover to cover?
If it has been a while then it may be wise to start from yourself and start making reading and writing a habit that you pay attention to more often. Superheroes get stronger when they practice and train using their powers.
Once you have your powers ready for action, try helping the people around you work on their superpower as well. It could be a brother, sister or even a friend or neighbour, take the time to help them become better readers and writers.
Don’t be afraid to give away
If you have any extra books lying around at home that you don’t mind giving away, why not donate them to a library or a school that may be in need of books. Not only will your books be put to good use, you’ll be helping someone, somewhere work on their superpower as well.
Talk with your parents to help find a place that accepts book donations.
Although Literacy Day has come and gone, every day is a day for literacy if you give appreciation to this ability you have and help others build up theirs as well.