Uganda joined the global community in commemorating International Literacy Day with a series of events and initiatives aimed at promoting literacy and life-long learning opportunities for all. This annual observance serves as a stark reminder of the importance of literacy in fostering social economic inclusion among all citizens of the world. The theme for this year's International Literacy Day across the globe was "Promoting Literacy for a world in transition: Building a foundation for peaceful sustainable society.”
The event in Uganda provided a platform to reflect on the progress made in recent years, but also highlighted the work that remains to be done. It was organized to underscore the significance of lifelong learning by highlighting the relevance of both formal and informal education, as well as fostering discussions on the promotion of inclusive, and innovative literacy programming approaches and strategies. The Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Gender Labor and Social Development are responsible for rolling out literacy programmes in Uganda. Other stakeholders including Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) and Civil Service Organizations (CSOs) work closely with the government to provide complementary learning opportunities aimed at improving literacy rates and access to quality education across the country.
Hon. Minister of State for Youth and Children’s Affairs, Hon. Sarah Mateke, opened the events of the Literacy Symposium and launched the National Non-Formal Adult Learning & Community Education (NALCE) Strategy for Uganda (2023/24-2027/28), which aims to provide a mechanism for the planning, implementation and evaluation of NALCE programmes.
The UN Resident Coordinator, Ms. Susan Namondo Ngongi, was Chief Guest at the event held at the KCCA Hall in Kampala. In her speech read by the UNESCO Project Coordinator, she called attention to the need to prioritize education and foster partnerships to achieve Uganda's goals of promoting literacy for a world in transition. “The Government of Uganda, civil society organizations, businesses, and international institutions like the United Nations must work together to ensure that quality education is accessible to all, regardless of their background or circumstances,” she highlighted.
As Uganda reflects on the success of this year's International Literacy Day commemoration, it is hoped that the nation's commitment to education and literacy will continue to grow stronger, leading to a more literate and enlightened society that contributes to social and economic development.