April 1, 2005
Adult Literacy rally reaches Richland Park

Persons involved in the quest to improve the functional literacy of Vincentians journeyed to the Richland Park Junction on Sunday, March 20, for a motorcade and rally held under the theme: “Come Let Us Learn Together”.

The rally, for persons of the Interior Zone (zone 3), which includes Marriaqua, Lowmans, Lauders and Grieggs was a combination of addresses, cultural presentations and testimonies from persons who were once unable to read and write. {{more}}

The National Literacy Crusade was launched on January 3 of this year. It is geared towards improving the functional literacy level among the adult population throughout St. Vincent and the Grenadines. The crusade is for persons over the age of fifteen and will run for eighteen months.

Co-ordinator of Zone three Nigel Morgan at Sunday’s rally spoke about some of the things that are being done in his zone to sensitize the public about literacy and the literacy campaign. He said that they have been going to all the Parent Teachers Associations to update the parents about the process. They have visited the churches, community groups and have also taken the campaign to the streets. He also said that they have assigned mobilisers for different areas of the zones.

Morgan said that they have held rallies and have so far seen over 200 persons signing up for the classes between Grieggs and Richland Park.

Pattie Pierre of the Grieggs literacy group spoke at Sunday’s Literacy Rally at Richland Park and encouraged the residents to become a part of the literacy enlightening era. She said that their productivity will determine the growth and development of St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

She added that education was their machinery for getting better jobs, finding their way out of poverty, and of having a better life. Pierre thinks that some of the crimes committed in St. Vincent and the Grenadines are because of illiteracy and urged the residents to educate themselves.

Minister of State in the Ministry of Education Youth and Sports the Hon. Clayton Burgin in his address at the rally said that the Adult Literacy Crusade is Government’s way in ensuring that the people of St. Vincent and the Grenadines become productive, independent and self sufficient citizens. He said that it caters not only for persons who cannot read and write but also for school dropouts and persons who want to improve on their knowledge.

Minister Burgin outlined some of the plans to ensure that all persons have access to adult education programmes. He said that the Ministry of Education will be getting technical assistance from specialists from Cuba and other countries. The specialists will provide special transistor radios for use to farmers. These radios will operate on a special frequency, which will provide adult education programmes so that farmers can listen while they are out at work.

He emphasised the need for persons to volunteer their services to the communities and reinforced the campaign motto “each one teach one”.

Speaking at Sunday’s rally, area Representative and past Coordinator of the Richland Park Adult Learners Association the Hon. Girlyn Miguel encouraged all adults to take full advantage of the opportunity presented to them.

Minister Miguel stressed that education is like light in darkness, and a powerful tool, which can only benefit the people. She said that there are various reasons persons are not functionally literate, and that these persons should not be ashamed of going back to the classrooms, since it is a great opportunity to learn.

The officials involved in the National Literacy Crusade are encouraging skilled members of the public to become volunteer facilitators. They also ask persons to contribute of their time and or equipment, supplies or cash to the crusade.