On the occasion of ‘International Literacy Day’, IPHRC, in keeping with this year’s theme, reinforces its commitment to the provision of
literacy and education among the masses to achieve sustainable development goals. It extends its full and unqualified support to collaborative regional and international initiatives to combating root causes of illiteracy. The Commission also called upon Member States to redouble their efforts to eradicate illiteracy and its attendant obscurantism and intolerance.
IPHRC, highlights that Islam as a religion places high value on literacy and holds prsuit and spread of knowledge and education in high esteem. The first revealed word of Holy Quran ‘Iqra’ meaning ‘read or learn’, ushered in an era of literacy and education for mankind with both mundane and spiritual gains. From the founding of University of Al-Qarawiyin, the oldest university, in 859 C.E by a progressive iconic Muslim woman Fatima Al-Fihri to Malala Yousafzai’s fight against bigotry, Islamic history is filled with examples of the lofty ideals and enlightened socio-cultural values nurtured by a truly Islamic society.
The Commission upholds that literacy is not a privilege but a fundamental human right which has the transformative power to change people’s lives. Although, literacy campaigns over the years have achieved significant quantitative benchmarks, a lot more is desired in terms of educating citizens on their civic responsibilities and creating awareness about one’s own rights and responsibilities towards other fellow human beings.
IPHRC stresses the need to go beyond the present scope of literacy as ‘ability to read and write’, which should also encompass elements of critical thinking and global citizenship to help people translate their aspirations into social actions for building just, tolerant, peaceful and inclusive societies. Recognizing its significance, IPHRC, has included human rights education as the cross cutting theme across all its key priority areas where in the emphasis is on educational approaches that would help nurture human rights respecting societies and promote sustainable means for people-centered socio economic development.