JIS News

Story Highlights

  • Today, 8th September 2015, is observed as International Literacy Day by the United Nations, Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) and each year the international community is reminded of the status of literacy and adult learning globally.
  • Jamaica is pleased to partner this year with UNESCO and other international entities to celebrate under the theme “Literacy and Sustainable Societies”.
  • Literacy skills undeniably facilitate the acumen to acquire knowledge, attitudes and values that are vital for creating sustainable societies.

Message

International Literacy Day

8 September 2015

 

It has been said that “Every literate person is a victory over poverty”, because “Literacy provides tools for men and women to better understand the world and shape it to meet their aspiration”…..(Ban Ki-Moon, UN Secretary General.)

Today, 8th September 2015, is observed as International Literacy Day by the United Nations, Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) and each year the international community is reminded of the status of literacy and adult learning globally.

Jamaica is pleased to partner this year with UNESCO and other international entities to celebrate under the theme “Literacy and Sustainable Societies”. Literacy skills undeniably facilitate the acumen to acquire knowledge, attitudes and values that are vital for creating sustainable societies.

Jamaica is proud of its high literacy rate which is a stark contrast to the global state of play.   The country has exceeded the target of 85 per cent literacy at the primary level for 2015. In fact, the 2015 Grade Four cohort attained 86.5 per cent mastery on the Grade Four Literacy Test.

According to UNESCO’s statistics approximately 774 million adults lack the minimum literacy skills and one in five adults is still not literate, with two-thirds of them being women. There are also 75 million children in the world, who are out of school. These figures are both sobering and alarming and underscore the need to implement systems locally and internationally, geared towards increasing adult literacy, achieving gender parity and improving the quality of education.

The Government of Jamaica  through its National Comprehensive Literacy Programme has realised success in improving literacy rates through  the deployment of 90 reading coaches at grades one to three in 450 primary schools over the last two years. The Government is grateful for the  assistance received from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) in funding this project.

We continue to empower the world through education, reinforcing that literacy for all is still an unaccomplished goal and an ever moving target to which we must continue to aspire.

The Ministry is pleased to host for the second time, literary luminaries who will give us readings through poetry and song. It is our hope that this event may not only entertain, but serve to inspire excellence in our pursuit of higher knowledge through the arts.

I thank you.