UNESCO is launching a new Knowledge and Innovations Network for Literacy (KINL) that will enable researchers and practitioners all over the world to link up and share information and best practices. The network’s launch will be a highlight of International Literacy Day celebrations* on 8 September at UNESCO Headquarters in Paris.
In addition, UNESCO’s Director-General Irina Bokova will be in New York to give a keynote address at the international conference “Literacy: an essential foundation for development” at the United Nations. The opening address will be given by former First Lady of the United States Laura Bush, who is Honorary Ambassador for the UN Literacy Decade (UNLD).
Created with support from Verizon Foundation and Microsoft, the Network is a virtual workplace where literacy researchers and practitioners can link up, share knowledge and debate literacy topics on line. The network will generate knowledge and innovation in support of the acquisition and use of literacy, and promote advocacy, policy formulation and programme delivery, as well as cooperation and partnerships. It will be operational beginning 1 November 2010. Participating in the launch will be UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador Cheick Modibo Diarra, who is Microsoft Corporation’s Chairman for Africa and Literacy Champion; and Marc Gosselin, representative of Verizon Foundation.
“Promoting literacy requires action from both the public and private sectors; we are all stakeholders in the fight to eradicate illiteracy,” said Dr. Diarra about KINL. “Microsoft shares UNESCO’s belief that technology can play an important role in doing so by providing access to education solutions and curriculum for both basic and digital literacy and helping more people participate in the global information society.”
Verizon Foundation President Patrick Gaston said, “If we are to create a seismic shift in the literacy landscape, education and literacy leaders from around the world must be able to communicate with one another and collaborate. The Knowledge and Innovations Network for Literacy will provide literacy leaders from every nation with easy access to the resources needed to ensure that every child is literate. The Verizon Foundation is proud to partner with UNESCO on this transformational project.”