UNESCO marks International Literacy Day 2014

Ms. Esther Kuisch-Laroche, Director of the UNESCO Tehran Cluster Office and Mr. Ali Bagherzadeh, Vice-Minister for Education and Head of the Literacy Movement OrganisationMs. Esther Kuisch-Laroche, Director of the UNESCO Tehran Cluster Office and Mr. Ali Bagherzadeh, Vice-Minister for Education and Head of the Literacy Movement Organisation

On Sunday 7 September, the UNESCO Tehran Cluster Office and the Iranian National Commission for UNESCO jointly organized a Forum on Literacy and Sustainable Development with the participation of Mr. Ali Bagherzadeh, Vice-Minister for Education and Head of the Literacy Movement Organisation.
The event was attended by many experts in the field of Education and several organisations working on literacy programmes.

During the opening session, Mr. Bagherzadeh provided an overview of Iran’s literacy activities to date and spoke of the challenges that the country is facing in achieving higher literacy rates.
Ms. Esther Kuisch-Laroche, Director of the UNESCO Tehran Cluster Office, talked about the importance of literacy for sustainable development and UNESCO’s efforts in that regard.

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On Sunday 7 September, the UNESCO Tehran Cluster Office and the Iranian National Commission for UNESCO jointly organized a Forum on Literacy and Sustainable Development

“This year, International Literacy Day, is devoted to the connection between literacy and sustainable development. This provides us with an opportunity to remember a simple truth: literacy not only changes lives, it saves them.  Literacy helps reduce poverty and enables people to find jobs and obtain higher salaries. It is one of the most efficient ways of improving the health of mothers and children, understanding doctors’ prescriptions and gaining access to healthcare” said Ms. Kuisch-Laroche. She added: “The Islamic Republic of Iran has made remarkable progress in Education over the years. With 98.8% of young children now entering primary school at the official age, significant progress has been made in providing basic education at the national level, and Iran is well on track to achieve this Millennium Development Goal by 2015.” Dr. Mohebhosseini, Head of the Education Department at the Iranian NatCom explained the changing concept of literacy – which now focuses more on functional literacy – and UNESCO’s agenda for Education in the post 2015 era.

 

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Mr. Balasubramanian Murali, UNDP Deputy Resident Representative in Iran

Mr. Balasubramanian Murali, UNDP Deputy Resident Representative in Iran also spoke at the forum.  “Literacy, as the foundation of all education and lifelong learning, is a basic human right which is enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.  Literacy is a development accelerator enabling societies to grow more inclusively and sustainably” he said.

 

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UNICEF Representative in the Islamic Republic of Iran, Mr. Mohamed El Munir Safieldin

UNICEF Representative, Mr. Mohamed El Munir Safieldin, highlighted the importance of education for poverty alleviation and child survival.  In this regards he said: “Statistics from all countries – including Iran – have shown that when education among women above the age of 15 is looked at and the quality life of their children is taken into consideration, there exists a very close relationship.  Educated mothers are always able to provide better quality of care for their children.  Education is a very important aspect of life.”

Their speeches were followed by a panel discussion, during which several of the participants talked about the challenges they face in tackling illiteracy.  The Vice-Minister for Education called for increased UNESCO support with regard to education policies and planning.  Other participants asked UNESCO for practical support in the forms of tools and lessons learned from other countries.

The Director of the UNESCO Tehran Cluster Office welcomed this opportunity to exchange ideas and hear about the important achievements as well as the challenges of the Islamic Republic of Iran in the field of literacy.  She reiterated UNESCO’s full support to the Iranian Government and said she looked forward to working closely together with the Ministry of Education and the Literacy Movement Organisation.

By United Nations In Iran

 

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