Jamaica Celebrates Int’l Literacy Day September 6

Jamaica News: Schools across Jamaica will celebrate International Literacy Day on Friday (September 6), under the theme “Literacy and Multilingualism”.

Speaking with JIS News, National Literacy Coordinator in the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information, Dr. André Hill, said that the day, which is observed annually on September 8 worldwide, is part of UNESCO’s efforts to emphasise the importance of literacy to individual, national, regional and international development.

“The Ministry accepts and values that sort of focus within the context of what we want to achieve as a nation, so every year, we join the rest of the world in celebrating International Literacy Day,” he said.

“There are people in Jamaica who speak Standard English, Spanish, Jamaican Creole, French and several other languages; therefore, Jamaicans need to accept that we are a multilingual society in light of this year’s theme,” he added.

He noted that language facilitates the development of literacy, “so what the Ministry wants to emphasise is the value of language and its relationship to literacy development as we celebrate the day”.

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Dr. Hill, who has responsibility for implementing the Ministry’s National Literacy Programme as well as the Language Arts Curriculum for grades one to 9, said that on Literacy Day, schools will undertake several activities under the guidance of the Ministry’s regional offices.

“They are encouraged to use the theme effectively, so for example, during devotion, greetings may be conveyed in different languages or students could design posters depicting the theme,” he said.

Other actives include having children translate Creole to English or English to Creole; mounting a word wall showing three or more languages; or inviting parents, past students and community members to visit schools to read aloud to students.

UNESCO has been observing International Literacy Day since 1966 with special focus on educational programmes that engage individuals in improving their levels of literacy.

Source: JIS News

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