From illiteracy to university
September 22, 2006

From illiteracy to university

Persons taking advantage of the Adult Literacy Crusade have an extra incentive. The first one who passes enough subjects at the Caribbean Examination Council Level, and qualifies for further studies, can go the University of the West Indies.{{more}}

Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves made the offer last Friday. He was addressing a rally staged at Heritage Square in Kingstown. The occasion was of historical significance, in that it was the first time that World Literacy Day, commemorated September 8 was observed in that way.

The National Literacy Crusade used the opportunity for a day of celebration of their activities.

Members from most of the ten Zones assembled at Heritage Square for a rally.

The exercise saw exhibits, and other creative work made by learners from the zones.

In addition to crochet, food and beverages, other institutions staged aspects of their operation.

The event assumed a festive atmosphere with music by the band Rage, as well as from a Disc Jockey.

A segment of culture added to the exercise.

The presentation was mixed however, with seriousness. Prime Minister Dr. Gonsalves drove home his government’s commitment to the cause.

For him, the “whole country is an institution of learning.” He commended the nation’s teachers for assisting with the Literacy programme, after having completed work in the schools. He is looking forward to the next stage of the Adult Literacy Crusade continuing into an “Adult Education Crusade.”

Dr. Gonsalves praised the National Literacy Committee, coordinated by Hugh Wyllie.

According to the Prime Minister, the body has “done quite well so far,” but he outlined that the government was aiming to teach 10,000 learners. Wyllie disclosed that 3,000 learners have benefited from the adult education drive.

Dr. Gonsalves chided males for having a false sense of pride and of being ashamed of going to Adult Education classes. Permanent Secretary Laura Browne wants volunteers to go on teaching even when the “formal aspect is over.”

She urged the teachers not to give up and pledged the Ministry of Education’s support.

Messages of solidarity were read from Head of the United Nations Kofi Annan, and also from UNESCO.

Some learners showed the benefits from the programme and sang, dramatised, or displayed oral skills.

The rally was staged under the theme: ‘Literacy sustains development.”