For Immediate Release
U.S. Deputy Chief of Mission Robert Burgess joined Governor of Sarband district Qarahon Chillaev, school teachers, parents and children to celebrate the 47th Annual International Literacy Day at School #4 in Sarband, Khatlon Oblast.
Literacy is foundation for lifelong learning, better well-being, and livelihoods. This year’s International Literacy Day is dedicated to “Literacies for the 21st Century,” highlighting the need to realize basic literacy skills for all. In countries around the world, including the United States, there is increasing concern about declining reading abilities. According to UNESCO, about 774 million adults lack minimum literacy skills. Globally, one in five adults is not literate and two-thirds of them are women. Nearly 75 million children are out of school and many more attend irregularly or drop out. Despite these statistics, literacy is also a cause for celebration. International literacy day is a time to strength global commitment to education and renew the focus on improving reading instruction worldwide.
While addressing the audience in Sarband, DCM Burgess noted, “For more than ten years, the U.S. Government has been an active partner of the Government of Tajikistan, assisting the education of youth to meet the demands of today’s workforce. Together we will make sure that all children experience the joys of learning through literacy programs. Parents and communities play the most critical role in the education process.”
In recognition of International Literacy Day, the U.S. Government contributed more than 125 books to local school libraries. These books include new titles that were written and illustrated by Tajikistan’s writers and artists. The USAID Reading for Children project implemented by Aga Khan Foundation also donated 300 books written in Tajik and Russian.
International Literacy day helps to renew joint efforts to promote literacy and demonstrate the commitment to provide education for all. “We all know that literacy helps families be healthier and safer and provides people sustainable opportunities to support themselves through work, contributing ultimately to the social and economic development of our region and our country,” said Karahon Chillaev, Governor of Sarband.
Last updated: January 29, 2015