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    A two-day literacy conference, which is aimed at arming educators and parents with the information and skills to improve reading among children, got underway on April 7 at the Northern Caribbean University (NCU) in Mandeville.
    The conference, which is being held in conjunction with Howard University in the United States of America, targets teachers, parents, administrators and policy makers, providing them with the opportunity to garner information and knowledge on both traditional and emerging methodologies in teaching persons how to read.
    “Educators play a significant role in increasing the percentage of literacy in the classroom and, by extension, the nation. When literacy is improved, national development will be positively impacted,” said Vice President for Academic and Administration at NCU, Dr. Beverly Cameron.
    Governor-General, His Excellency the Most Hon. Dr. Patrick Allen, in a message circulated at the opening of the event, stressed the importance of literacy in addressing many of the challenges confronting the country.
    He said that where low literacy levels exist, the nation’s progress is impeded. “It can contribute to the economic and social development of a country. I believe that Jamaicans can enjoy an improved quality of life by participating in programmes that encourage literacy,” he stated.
    Minister of Education, Andrew Holness, in a statement, which was provided to the media, stated that his Ministry has taken important steps to deliver high literacy levels in the school system.
    “I have made the main plank of my tenure as Minister the removal of illiteracy among students. I want all students above a certain level to be literate, and to ensure this, the Ministry is putting in place measures to ensure that no child leaves the primary school system unable to read,” he stated.

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