Science City organized a webinar to celebrate International Literacy Day 2021. More than 100 students and teachers from different educational institutions of Punjab participated in the event.  

The theme of International  Literacy Day  2021 is “'Literacy for a human-centered recovery, Narrowing the digital divide.”

Giving introductory remarks at the occasion, Dr. Neelima Jerath, Director General, Science City said that International Literacy Day is celebrated on September 8 every year to raise awareness on issues related to  literacy which exist within local communities, as well as, globally. Its aim is to highlight the importance of literacy to individuals, communities and societies. Education and knowledge empowers individuals and improves their lives by expanding their capabilities to choose the kind of life they can value. It is also a driver for sustainable development. 

"The average literacy rate of the country is 74.8% which is lesser than the average global literacy rate. She said that the COVID-19 pandemic and the response of people to overcome it was a reminder of the critical importance of literacy. The crisis has disrupted the learning of children, young people and adults at an unprecedented scale. Hence, enhanced focus on literacy is more important than ever now, when countries need to reinvent a world of hope", she added.

Sh. Arul Jerald Parkesh.G, former Director, Kerala State of Science & Technology Museum & Priyadarshani Planetarium Thiruvananthapuram was the Key speaker at this occasion. He delivered a special talk on “Role of Science Centres in Scientific Literacy”. During his address, he said that, Science Centres can play a crucial role in assessing what information audiences are receptive to, what issues they take action on, and what behaviors they may be willing to change while contributing to development of the Nation. 

Further, he highlighted that visitors to the Science Center have a positive experience, most of them recognize a change in the way they think about science, and this change represents not just learning new knowledge, but a step toward a change in their relationship with science.

Dr. Avtar Singh Dhindsa, Principal (Retd.), Department of School Education Punjab delivered a talk on “Scientific Literacy during the Pandemic”. He emphasized the importance of Science Technology Engineering & Mathematics (STEM) education to develop the knowledge, skills and identities needed in the fight against COVID-19 and other global health challenges, climate change and more. 

He urged the participants to grab this opportunity to enhance STEM education to ensure they were ready to participate in meaningful ways. Further, scientific literacy is must for a person to live a successful life especially during the pandemic period, he added.

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Dr. Rajesh Grover, Director Science City present at the occasion said that the digital divide highlights the factors like lack of financial capabilities, opportunities, and lack of education in the country. India is slowly rising from the major social concern of the digital divide. Each step towards digital equity will ensure a better future and will contribute to building a solid foundation for a human-centered recovery.



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