Report on International Literacy Day Celebration-2014
Prepared by: Shantosh Thapa

Former UN Secretary-General, Kofi Annan once said “Literacy is a key lever of change and a practical tool of empowerment on each of the three main pillars of sustainable development: economic development, social development and environmental protection.” Literacy empowers people so that they can make their own decisions in the areas of economic growth, social development and environmental integration. The Rukmini Foundation considers literacy to be the foundation for building broader competencies, especially among girls. These broader competencies and skills include: critical thinking, a sense of social responsibility, participatory behavior in community development, and sustainable consumption.

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Rukmini Scholars observing homemade crafts by various organizations and local community learning centers around Nepal

Because of the critical importance of literacy, International Literacy Day, which occurs on September 8 annually is a big day of celebration for all of us. This year, we took part in a national event organized by Nepal’s Ministry of Education in Nepal Praygya Pratisthan, Kathmandu,. The main aim of our team for this year’s celebration was to provide exposure to our scholars so that they could experience and learn more about the impact of literacy at the national level.

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Didis and Scholars took part in the event

Each year, there is a different theme for this day, and the theme for this International Literacy Day was “Literacy and Sustainable Development”.  The Ministry of Education organized a workshop where various stalls of different Community Learning Centres (including our partner school’s, Shikharapur Community Learning Centre) were exhibited. The stalls demonstrated educational materials and also displayed sustainable home based products and various traditional home appliances.

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Rukmini Scholars observe the various stalls with homemade crafts and products

The participants of the different Community centers were dressed in various cultural outfits which made the stalls more attractive. A total of nearly 3,000 students and visitors participated in the program.

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The event was colorful and educational

The Rukmini Scholars were guided by the Didis and other foundation staff as well as teachers from their respective schools. The scholars participated enthusiastically in the program and showed a keen interest to learn new things. They also enjoyed listening to different distinguished guests. Most of the guests were focusing on Education for All and especially relating to girl empowerment through literacy, and the girls related very well to these topics.

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The scholars enjoyed watching a documentary during the event

The closing ceremony of that program was held inside the auditorium of Nepal Pragya Pratisthan, where different distinguished guest speakers spoke about the importance of literacy within the human development sector. Chief Guest of the program, Honorable Education Minister Chitra Lekha Yadav observed the stall of Shikharapur Community learning centre along with other stalls. She gave an inspirational speech during the closing ceremony and our scholars were very happy to see a woman in such an important position.

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Scholars meeting actress Garima Panta

The program was a success in being able to show the scholars about the needs, importance and condition of literacy throughout Nepal. Along with this exposure, the scholars were able to communicate with people from various community centres and also meet famous personalities in the area of education, development and entertainment. This program has opened their eyes to not only the importance of literacy, but also to new possibilities.

Program Description:

Date:8th Sept. 2014, Monday
Time:11am onwards
Place:Kamal Pokhari, Kathmandu
Venue:Nepal Praygya Pratisthan
No. of Participants:14 RF Scholars

 

RF Scholars participating in International Literacy Day-2014 Program:

Shikharapur Community School

Seti Devi School, Talku

Seti Devi School, Sokhel

Arunodaya Higher Secondary School

SLC Graduate Student

Note: The RF Scholars were accompanied by students of Shikharapur Community Learning Centre, Teaching Staffs of Partner Schools along with Mr. Binod Mahat, Principal of Shikharapur Community School, and Mr. Ram Kumar Basnet, Principal of Seti Devi School-Sokhel; Mr. Kedar Nath Acharya, Vice-Chairperson of ASC; Ms. Pramila Gajmer and Ms. Rasmita K. C. RF Staff; Mr. Niroj Shrestha, Program Officer RF; Mr. Shantosh Thapa, Assistant Program Officer RF; and Mr. Shashi Sharma Aryal, Regional Director RF.

 

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