During International Literacy Day, September 08, the world should be celebrating global improvements in literacy levels, yet in 2020 COVID-19 has created a hidden tsunami for millions of children in their ability to learn to read.

COVID-19 has forced more than 1 billion students and youth out of school, triggering the world’s biggest educational disruption in history, almost overnight. Schools are scrambling to redesign their teaching and learning to allow for students to study from home. This has raised huge practical and logistic issues for students, teachers and parents.

“770 million people in the globe can’t read or write a single word and a further 2 billion people struggle to read a sentence,” said Mr Andrew Kay, CEO of the World Literacy Foundation.

“Millions of disadvantaged children across the globe in regions like Africa, Asia and Latin America are locked out of classrooms, and without access to any technology, books or education resources for remote learning.

“We are now witnessing a rapid downward spiral in literacy standards and sadly many children will not return to their education and will face lifelong poverty.

“Reading skills are the key determining factor for a child’s future academic success and reaching their full potential.  What are the consequences of illiteracy? Poverty, unemployment, and life-long social, economic and personal problems.”

World Literacy Foundation has launched a literacy fighting fund to support children most affected by the pandemic, providing books, technology and education resources for their communities.

The World Literacy Foundation is a peak global literacy charity serving in 52 countries.

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SOURCE World Literacy Foundation