The key role of Basic Education and Literacy

My dear Rotarians,

As September dawns upon us, Rotary proudly heralds the beginning of the Basic Education and Literacy Month. This dedicated time is a celebration of our commitment to nurturing minds, fostering growth and drive change through education.

At the core of our mission is the drive to strengthen the community’s capacity to support literacy. I firmly believe that education is not just a privilege, but a fundamental right that empowers individuals to shape their destinies. Through collaborative efforts, let us aim to break down barriers, open doors and create a world where every person has access to quality education.

One of the key aspirations during this month is to address and reduce gender disparity in education. Every child deserves an equal chance to learn and flourish, regardless of the gender. By focusing on eliminating gender-based barriers, let us lay the foundation for a more equitable and inclusive society.

But friends, our commitment should not end with children. Do you know? Across the world, more than 775 million people over the age of 15 are illiterate. That is 17 per cent of the world’s total population. This data forces us to also shift our focus to recognise the importance of lifelong learning and thus champion adult literacy as well. Empowering adults with the ability to read and write not only enhances their personal growth but also strengthens the fabric of our communities. A literate society is a society poised for progress.

“Our progress as a nation can be no swifter than our progress in education.” These words from John F Kennedy underscore the pivotal role of education in shaping the destiny of nations. Rotary’s dedication towards literacy for both children and adults resonates deeply with this sentiment. By investing in education, we invest in the future of our societies and the world at large.

This September, let us stand united in our pursuit of a world where every child has the opportunity to learn, every adult has the chance to grow, and every community thrives. Let’s turn the page towards a brighter, more literate tomorrow. Together, we can reshape destinies, uplift lives and create lasting impact.

So friends, celebrate the Basic Education and Literacy Month and let our action reflect our commitment to building a better world through education.

Anirudha Roychowdhury
RI Director, 2023–25

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