International Literacy Day

As students everywhere, from pre-school to postgraduates gear up for the start of the traditional academic year, UNESCO also celebrates “International Literacy Day” on September 8.  According to UNESCO

International Literacy Day, celebrated annually on 8 September, is an opportunity for Governments, civil society and stakeholders to highlight improvements in world literacy rates, and reflect on the world's remaining literacy challenges. The issue of literacy is a key component of the UN's Sustainable Development Goals and the UN's 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development--https://www.un.org/en/events/literacyday/
Archnet joins UNESCO in highlighting the importance of education for sustainable development with this week’s update focusing on education.  Archnet itself is an open access educational resource, available across the world to everyone with internet access.  Beyond this education is a theme explored in the resources of Archnet.  We have gathered a sampling of some of these resources into a gallery located here.  

Within the gallery you will find is a collection that deals with Literacy and Training Centers.  These facilities address most directly to concerns of literacy and sustainable development.  For example, Deep Shikha Primary School and Vocational Center is a vocational training school and literacy center for low-income women and children that not only directly responds to the issues that the UNESCO Conference plans to consider on September 8, but it is located in the city of Dhaka where the conference will take place.  The Lahuji Salve Health Centre in Aurangabad, India also responds to these issues.  It, however, was not established with an educational mission, but a healthcare center.  It expanded its role because of the unmet need among the women in was serving.   

Scholars point out the tradition of teaching and learning in Islam goes back to the time of the Prophet Muhammad himself, and that he established the first madrasa, or school for teaching Islam.  In the Education Gallery, you will find a gallery devoted to the madrasa as a form.  From the earliest madrasas patterned after the spaces used at the time of the Prophet, these schools have developed to have distinct forms depending on region, ruling dynasty, and what was being taught.  Archnet's collection contains examples from the 8th century onward.  This collection gathers a sampling of these buildings, as well as images, videos and scholarship about madrasas. 

Some of the earliest institutions of higher education were in the Muslim world as well, including al-Qarawiyyin in Fes and al-Azhar in Cairo  existed before their most famous counterparts in Europe such as Oxford or the Sorbonne.  The Higher Education Collection gathers a sampling of media and scholarly resources dealing with higher education from these earliest institutions to the institutions that are seen as design models today.   

The Schools Collection looks at school design especially as it responds to some of the more intransigent issues societies face.  There are examples like the Primary School at Gando in Burkina Faso are built with a concern for sustainability and environmental impact, and the Maria Grazia Cutuli Primary School in Herat, Afganistan an example of school design for war-torn areas.  

The Libraries Collection looks at libraries at all levels of education, as well as community libraries, religious libraries, and more.  As the role of the library continues to change, so the structures need to change, too. 

The gallery also contains a sampling of the video, images and scholarship on education from Archnet.

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