JIS News

Minister of State for Local Government, Robert Montague, has said that there is a need to eliminate illiteracy from the parish, if it is to realise its potential for economic and social development.
Giving the main address at the Annual General Meeting of the St. Mary Parish Development Committee (PDC), at the Port Maria Civic Centre, Thursday (February 12), Mr. Montague challenged the organisation to join other stakeholders to remove the scourge of illiteracy from the parish.
He said that as Member of Parliament (MP) for Western St. Mary, he had dedicated himself to working to reduce the level of illiteracy in the parish.
He added that he is currently collaborating with the Government of Cuba in pursuit of that objective, resulting in a Cuban expert being stationed there to assist in reducing illiteracy.
St. Mary has made significant improvements in the provision of educational opportunities, despite the rate of illiteracy in the parish, Mr. Montague said. The introduction of educational centres by institutions such as the Northern Caribbean University (NCU), the University of Technology (UTech) and Excelsior Education Centre (EXED), in different communities, were examples of the progress made in educational opportunities in the parish in recent years.
He said that the PDC was ideally suited to partner in the struggle to eliminate illiteracy from the parish, because it is an action oriented organisation. He also called on the members to work closely with the Parish Council to promote Local Government Reform in the parish.
He noted that the entrenchment of Local Government in the Constitution, and allocating a portion of the national budget to the Local Authorities, were actions being considered as part of the reform process.
He urged residents of the parish to support the PDC, as under the reform process, each PDC will be allowed to nominate members to sit on the committees of their Parish Councils.

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