Ministry of Education, Guyana

Monday, 09 September 2013 09:55

Literacy – a fundamental right for all

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) defines literacy as a right and a foundation for lifelong learning, better well-being and livelihoods, and a driver for sustainable and inclusive development.

The organisation states that over the years, the notion of literacy has evolved, and that the conventional concept limited to reading, writing and numeracy skills is still in wide use, as well as the notion of functional literacy which links literacy with socio-economic development.
This year’s International Literacy Day is dedicated to “Literacies for the 21st century” to highlight the need to realise “basic literacy skills for all” as well as equip everyone with more advanced literacy skills as part of lifelong learning.
“Literacy is much more than an educational priority – it is the ultimate investment in the future and the first step towards all the new forms of literacy required in the twenty-first century. We wish to see a century where every child is able to read and to use this skill to gain autonomy,” stated Irina Bokova, UNESCO Director General.
On International Literacy Day, Guyana will be joining the rest of the world in observance. Below are messages by some of Guyana’s leaders, education managers, students and sports personalities.

President Donald Ramotar

Life transforming ideas have often come to me through reading. I read to be kept informed of events country-wide, as well as on global issues. On a personal level, I also derive great pleasure from reading. Reading with understanding is the basis of learning effectively in all other areas. On Monday, September 9, 2013 my entire office and I will join with the Ministry of Education at 11:00am in reading for 15 minutes, if you can please join us.

Remember to give a book to someone. For those who for one reason or another cannot read as well as they wish to, resolve to learn. In the next year the Ministry of Education is mandated to offer accessible programmes to help all persons, young and old, who want to learn to read. Together let us build a nation of readers. 


Minister of Education, Priya Manickchand
Reading has always been a huge part of my life. This is Education Month and on September 8 the world observes World Literacy Day and on September 9, Guyana is going to observe it by doing two things; one we are going to ask all of Guyana to give a book to someone and at 11:00hrs, we’re asking you to drop whatever you’re doing and read.
When we say Read we mean read anything. Read a magazine, read a text book, read a novel, read the newspapers, read a memo, read your horoscope, read emails, read from a recipe book – just read. Drop everything and read. 

Opposition Leader, David Granger
The Constitution of the Cooperative Republic of Guyana guarantees all citizens free education from nursery to university, but at the heart of education is literacy, and that is why we emphasise literacy should be available to all.
Literacy is the gateway to a good life, it’s the gateway to self-empowerment, and it’s the gateway to human and national development. So as we observe International Literacy Day, make it meaningful, read something, give a child a book and this is the way we would promote literacy in Guyana.

Leader of the Alliance For Change, Khemraj Ramjattan
International Literacy Day is an ideal occasion to reinforce the importance of literacy in building a competent and productive nation. It also provides a wonderful opportunity to reaffirm our commitment to eliminating illiteracy as far and wide as possible in our society.
I join the Ministry of Education in encouraging everyone on Monday, September 9 to give a book, any book old or new to someone, and at 11:00am to drop everything and read. Let us unite to in the fight to eliminate illiteracy.

Central Islamic Organisation of Guyana, Shaik Moen Ul- Hack
Reading is knowledge and knowledge is power, poverty is when you cannot read for yourself and someone else must read for you. So empower yourself and learn to read for reading is the best weapon against intolerance and illiteracy.
There is no friend as loyal a book so let us join the Ministry of Education on Monday, September 9 at 11:00am and let us all read for 15 minutes. Let us invest in each other by giving a book to someone.


Chief Education Officer, Olato Sam
Many of us have been lucky enough to have had someone – a parent, a teacher, relative or guardian, who passed on to us the value and importance of literacy. The fact that we pause to reflect on it, we quickly realise how much being literate adds to the quality of life we enjoy today and how much harder life would be if we were illiterate.
On Monday, 9th of September we invite the entire nation to join with the Ministry of Education and give a book, any book, to someone and at 11:00am drop everything and read. Together we can eliminate illiteracy and change someone’s life.


CSEC top student, Zimeena Rasheed
I will just like to share one little secret with you which has contributed to my success and that is reading, yes reading. From a tender age my mom has always read to us rhymes and story books and bible stories, and they all came alive.
Today, I have read so many… novels, to magazines and most recently my text books. My favourite however is reading novels which widens my imagination and particularly helped me in English.
I would now like to encourage you all to read books, to read even if it’s the newspaper and when you do, you will see the difference reading makes. 

West Indian/Guyanese Cricketer, Ramnaresh Sarwan
To stay ahead of my game I have to know the rules and always have a game plan, so reading is a must. I’m inviting you to join the Ministry of Education on Monday, September 9th at 11:00am. I will give a book, so you join me and give a book too.


Caribbean Table Tennis Champion, Chelsea Edghill
I love to read as much as I love to play the game that is one of the reasons I’m able to stay ahead of my game. Read with me on Monday, September 9, at 11:00hrs – that’s what all of my friends would be doing –reading. And let’s give books; give a book, any book to anyone. 

Article and image compliments of GINA

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