Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Saturday, September 23rd, 2017

International Literacy Day

8th September was celebrated as International Literacy Day in most of the countries of the world in order to underline the worth of literacy and accentuate the efforts that are made for the purpose of eradicating illiteracy and spreading the light of education.
The day was first proclaimed by United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) on November 17, 1965 and this day was first celebrated in 1966. The basic motive of the day is to stress the importance of literacy to individuals, communities and societies. On this day, UNESCO reminds the international community of the status of literacy and adult learning globally.
It is now an incontrovertible fact that literacy plays a pivotal role in the development of a society. Thinking of development and progress without a high literacy rate is nothing more than a daydream. The developed nations of the world have reached to where they are by dint of education and focusing on improving their literacy rate. The underdeveloped and the developing nations need to do the same so as to enable themselves to follow a path to prosperity.
Our country Afghanistan, which is highly influenced by illiteracy and ignorance needs to hold the hand of education tightly if it really wants to change its destiny. Poverty is widespread in the country; unemployment is rampant; crimes and corruption are the order of the day; and insecurity, terrorism and religious extremism threaten the lives of the people. In such a scenario it is only literacy that can play some role in bringing about positive changes. Otherwise, the country would have to keep on suffering from these hardships forever.
Though it is difficult to find direct links between literacy and the eradication of these problems, there are indirect and long-term connections. And for the proof it is better to examine the societies that have been able to solve many of their social, economic and political issues. Our examination would clearly depict that these are the societies that have valued literacy and made tangible progress in that regard. Their experiences taught them to abhor ignorance and hold the hands of literacy for a journey towards development. Definitely, they have strived consistently for what they have achieved. They have opened their eyes to the realities of life and many of them have in fact understood the fact that they have the right to be educated and their governments have the responsibility to provide them the same. We need to follow their footprints in this regard.
Unfortunately, due to the prevailing ignorance most of the people in the country do not have even an imaginative idea of a prosperous society, wherein all the citizens have their due rights. They even do not know that there are certain countries in the world that have most of the facilities of life and they have developed so much that now they have reached to skies to discover them. The situation here in our country is so that if a clergy announces that man can never reach to the skies and the claims of the developed countries of the world are nothing more than white lies, they will definitely believe him with respect and complete submission.
Our people are alien to the industrial and scientific developments and on most of the cases they treat them with hypocrisy. There are many among us who basically take advantage of the scientific inventions and discoveries almost on daily basis but never hesitate to declare them incorrect and false. If they had the potential they would definitely take our society back to the Dark Ages.
Unfortunately, there are many so-called intellectuals in our society as well who spend their time and energy in favoring the conservative and fundamentalist ideas and strive to prove them right.
Because of the issues and people mentioned above our society has become confused. One of the most dominating characters of our society is that it has made the people conservative and they have started praising their past more than their present. They have started hating each other instead of disseminating the golden feelings of love and brotherhood.
Nevertheless, the time has arrived when they should realize that they have to be vigilant and understand that they are being fooled. Their thoughts are being controlled and their emotions are being betrayed. They are being exploited in the name of religion and history. Now, they have to realize that their responsibilities are to declare clearly that they are no more ready to be fooled and to be utilized by others. Their rights are to announce their hatred for ignorance, poverty, conservative ideas, slavish thinking and growing hypocrisy. And, the need to start with a movement against illiteracy and ignorance. They should say no to the darkness and try to follow the light as it is the only way that they can live their life with prosperity and dignity; and World Literacy Day is the day when they should further strengthen their commitments and accelerate their actions.