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Education ministry celebrates Int’l Literacy Day

Dec 13, 2016, 11:22 AM | Article By: Halimatou Ceesay

Ministry of Basic and Secondary Education’s Adults and Non-Formal Education Unit recently observed International Literacy Day at the Brikama Region 2 Educational Directorate on the theme: “Reading the past and writing the future”.

The celebration was graced by senior officials of the Ministry of Basic and Secondary Education (MoBSE), the CEO of Brikama Area Council, women groups, and school children.

There was also a march-past from Jah Oil petrol station to the venue backed by a scout band.

Speaking at the celebration, Fanta Bojang-Samateh said the event is always celebrated around the globe on 8th September each year after it was adopted in 1956 by the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

She said the day is worth celebrating because the International Community is reminded of the status of literacy and adult learning globally.

“Today, Tuesday 29 November 2016, The Gambia is glad to join UNESCO and other international entities to do the national celebration. The theme for this year’s celebration is: “Reading the past and writing the future”.

Literacy skills help the society to acquire knowledge, attitude and values that are vital for sustainable development.

It has been said that every literate person is a victory over poverty because literacy provides tools for men and women to better understand the word and say it to meet their aspirations,” she said.

She added that according to statistics there is improvement among youth in terms of reading and writing skills and a steady reduction in gender gap.

She said there is huge illiteracy rate across the world and women form the most of it.

She said they therefore believed that renewed efforts are needed to meet the new literacy target of the sustainable development goals by 2030.

She said the world should ensure that all youths and substantial proportion of adults both men and women attain literacy and knowledge of numeracy.

In this regard, she said, all stakeholders should endeavour to implement systems both locally and internationally that are geared towards increasing adult literacy, achieving gender parity and improving the quality of education which could be determined to provide every woman and man requisite skills, capacities and opportunities to become everything they wish in respect and dignity.

Literacy is a foundation to building a more sustainable future for all, she said.

Brikama Area Council CEO Mam Sait Jallow, representing the minister of MoBSE, said the ultimate aim of the celebration is to raise public awareness and interest in literacy for greater participation.

This year’s celebration is unique in the sense that it marked the 50th anniversary of the International Literacy Day.

He said 2016 is the 12th year of implementation of the 2013 agenda for sustainable development, which includes sustainable development goals and that is out to ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and learning opportunities for all.

He added that literacy is fundamental human rights, which entices individuals and adults and ensures sustainable development of society.

He said the celebration is aimed at among other things reflecting on the literacy progress made at global level under the last five decades.