(CMR) The Minister of Education has issued the following statement in celebration of International Literacy Day 2018:
International Literacy Day 2018
On the 8 September 2018, countries all over the world will gather to mark the celebration of the 51st Annual International Literacy Day (ILD) organised by UNESCO.
I would like to take this opportunity as Minister for Education and Youth to applaud all the men and women who through the years have helped children and adults acquire the basic elements of knowledge – the ability to read. Particularly worthy of recognition are the educators who are devoted to training students with the skills needed to persevere and succeed.
The theme for this year is “Literacy and skills development”. Despite the progress that has been made, there are still significant literacy challenges which persist, and at the same time the demands for skills required for work is evolving. This year’s theme focuses on integrated approaches that can simultaneously support the development of literacy and skills. The goal is to ultimately improve peoples’ lives and work and contribute to equitable and sustainable societies.
In order to develop a strong economy, it is vital that all children have access to an education that provides a strong foundation of core skills, such as literacy. Every child in the Cayman Islands has access to an education, which offers all students the possibility of leading a dignified life, of taking charge of their own future, and of assuming their share of responsibility in society. We must continue work to elevate the literacy rate and to ensure all students are reading at a functional level for employment.
I implore all individuals, whether parents or not, to take an active role in the development of our youth and their skills, especially the love of reading. Read to your children, read to other children at schools, or become a reading mentor through the LIFE (Literacy Is For Everyone) programme. Children do what they see, and if more adults around them are enjoying reading and learning, then those are values that will be passed on.
Through the continued enhancement of our education system, I pray schools will continue to evolve into learning hubs for students and their families. We must all collaborate to ensure our youth are being provided with the best opportunities and develop all the skills they need to thrive in the Cayman Islands and the world.
On International Literacy Day, I pray to the Lord to provide us with the strength and tools we need to ensure every citizen is literate and is being supported to live their optimal life.
Honourable Juliana O’Connor-Connolly, JP
Minister for Education, Youth, Sports, Agriculture, and Lands