Literacy drive in full gear
January 7, 2005
Literacy drive in full gear

Dr. Didacus Jules, the designer of the framework for the National Literacy Crusade, said that he is hoping persons work together as the programme is about imparting knowledge with everybody working and fighting for one cause. {{more}}

The consultant said the literacy drive is an effort that requires every Vincentian to play their part for it to succeed, as literacy is critical to personal emancipation.

Speaking at the introduction of the national literacy crusade last Monday at the Arnos Vale One Playing Field, Dr. Jules said the literacy campaign is made up of three criteria that will determine its success.

The first criterion he says is that there must be a sustained political will; the second one he pointed to, is that it requires the commitment of everyone; and thirdly, the need for fixed-term commitment by volunteers.

Dr. Jules said, in designing the campaign, he looked at the experiences in other countries including Grenada, St. Lucia and Haiti where he has worked.

He hopes the programme can “leapfrog” St. Vincent and the Grenadines out of illiteracy. Reports locally are that about 17 to 20 percent of adults here are illiterate.

Speaking about the design of the programme, Dr. Jules said that there will be literacy groups, assisted by volunteers, who will not only teach reading and writing but will also assist with technological literacy and the introduction of the Internet. He said that one of his wishes is to have the Internet introduced into every home in SVG.

The programme is also designed in a way to help with functional literacy in that it will target primary school dropouts and other people who, although they can read and write, need more schooling.

The drive is designed around six phases: the preparatory phase, the public relations component, the mobilisation phase, the technical aspect, campaign implementation and the post crusade implementation.

The post crusade implementation, it was reveal-ed, is the continuation of the schooling of persons touched by the literacy drive.

Deputy Chief Education Officer Hugh Wyllie said that as part of the crusade, the country would be divided into 10 zones. They are: Zone 1, North Windward; Zone 2, Central Windward; Zone 3 Marriaqua, Lowmans, Lauders and Greggs; Zone 4 South Windward and East St. George; Zone 5, West St. George, East Kingstown and Central Kingstown; Zone 6, West Kingstown, Chauncey and Clare Valley; Zone 7, Rillan Hill to Belle Isle; Zone 8, North Leeward; Zone 9, Northern Grenadines; and Zone 10, Southern Grenadines. Her Majesty’s Prison will also be incorporated into the project as a special zone.

In his address, the Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves outlined measures for the new educational thrust. and confirmed the government’s support. He described the literacy crusade as a critical component of the educational revolution that the government has embarked upon.

The literacy crusade begins in about six weeks and will run for around 12 months.