Children of the Albouystown and Charlestown communities in Georgetown today benefited from an outreach programme that observed International Literacy Day at the Carmel Secondary School.
The Ministry of Education and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) National Commission collaborated to make the event a possibility.
Regional Literacy Coordinator, Collete Horatio congratulated the parents and students that attended the event.
She informed them that International Literacy Day is commemorated on September 8 each year and focuses on developing listening, speaking and reading skills.
The theme for International Literacy Day 2018 is “Literacy and Skills Development”.
Speaking to the children today also was 14-year-old Youth Ambassador, Kezia Phillips, who encouraged other youths like herself to avoid peer pressure. Phillips also advised the youths that they should take embrace education so that it can have a positive impact on their lives.
Delivering the feature address was Secretary-General of the National Commission for UNESCO in Guyana, Patrice LaFleur. She said that International Literacy Day is held to ensure that we remember the importance of reading.
According to LaFleur, the theme focuses on youths and adults within the framework of lifelong learning.
She said, “the theme speaks to all of us, it speaks to children and adults. Both male and female. When we speak about skills the focus is on knowledge and the competencies for career choices. In Guyana, we want to ensure that every boy and every girl has access to education and can move from one level to the next. We have to ensure that we keep our children in school.”
Further, LaFleur said that as we acknowledge that today there are many challenges to be addressed. She advised the children that the nature of jobs is changing because of globalisation. Her message to the parents in attendance was that they ensure their children learn new skills that are aligned to Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM).
Ensuring that the children are meaningfully engaged today were officers from the National Centre for Education Resource Development (NCERD), UNESCO, Coordinator of the Book Distribution Unit (BDU) of the Ministry of Education, Fazal Ali, Assistant Chief Education Officer (Nursery), Samantha Williams, Councillor of Constituency 10 Albouystown/Charlestown, Malcolm Ferreira among other volunteers, parents and teachers.