On May 24, Bulgaria celebrated, as it does every year on that day, brothers Kiril and Methodiy, the creators of the Cyrillic alphabet. This is also the day of the Bulgarian education, culture, and Slavic Literature. When I was growing up, this was one of the most valued holidays and every school participated in a grand parade in appreciation of the event. After all, it is a special day for students and teachers and highlights the importance of language, education, and literature for the identity of a people.
Personally, I think that each country should celebrate education, literacy, and language, maybe not on one particular day, but every day. Somehow we have reached a period in time when education is devalued, misunderstood, or taken for granted. Having access to an avalanche of information is considered sufficient for the attainment of education. The quality of the sources and the information itself, however, is often a significant blow on anyone’s opportunity to learn something valuable.
Further, according to UNICEF, "Nearly a billion people will enter the 21st century unable to read a book or sign their names and two thirds of them are women." The problem with that number is that these are not always people from underdeveloped nations who have no access to schools or educational materials. In addition, the ability to physically be able to look at a written segment and pronounce the words out loud is not what I consider being able to read. Many people not included in the UNICEF statistic cited above are indeed able to read the words, whether on paper or on a computer screen, but the skill to analyze, interpret, and evaluate is often missing.
Additional sources on the fight against illiteracy and on critical thinking:
And before I sign off, here is the alphabet that is the reason for the May 24 holiday in Bulgaria.