World Federation of Trade Unions

On the occasion of the International Day for the Elimination of Illiteracy, FISE, the World Federation of Teachers Union, an affiliated member of WFTU, greets all teachers’ unions, all the teachers who daily fight for free public education to all the children of the earth. September 8, International Day for the Elimination of Illiteracy, was established on the initiative of UNESCO in 1965, during the Tehran Summit, and it has been celebrated annually on the same date since 1966. According to UNESCO, 750 million adults worldwide are illiterate and more than 250 million children, mostly in the poorer countries of Asia and sub-Saharan Africa. A high percentage of illiteracy is also encountered in the developed “western” world. According to the U.S. Department of Education, 54% of adults in America (ages 16-74), or about 130 million people, have no greater reading ability than a child of the sixth grade. In addition, until a few years ago, according to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), one in five young people in Europe had a low level of writing and reading. Accurate or not, the facts confirm the division of the modern capitalist societies, at all levels: On the one hand, a portion of people accumulates wealth, knowledge and prosperity, and on the other, large social classes live in conditions of economic misery, intellectual degradation and general insecurity. Social inequalities are a key element of the capitalist system. War, poverty, economic misery, the need for livelihood give birth to phenomena such as child labour and exacerbate the problem. Even the pandemic deprives thousands of children of the opportunity for education because they do not have access to the internet and computers. The actions for the defence of imperialist interests and competing geopolitical plans in Afghanistan and the wider region are leading thousands of children into exile, depriving them of the right to proper education and, worst of all, denying girls general education by restricting their education only through the Koran. The rates of functional illiteracy are also high. That is, the lack of ability of the individual to use the knowledge provided by social life and to use it, that is, to utilize the knowledge he acquires through the written and oral speech and through it, the information he possesses. FISE denounces the governments that serve the imperialist interests, the governments that include education in the capitalist plans. Illiteracy can and must be eliminated, it is not a phenomenon that is born and reproduces on its own. It has causes and it is the duty of our class to fight against them. WE STRENGTHEN THE CLASS STRUGGLE WE STRUGGLE FOR FREE EDUCATION TO EVERYONE WE STRUGGLE TO ELIMINATE ILLITERACY

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FISE: 8th September 2021. International Day for the Elimination of Illiteracy