Basseterre, St. Kitts (SKNIS) — Literacy has been highlighted by the Minister with responsibility for Education Honourable Nigel Carty as significantly important to the sustainable development of any nation.
His comments were made against the backdrop of International Literacy Day, which was celebrated on Monday September 8, 2014, under the theme: “Girls’ and Women’s Literacy and Education: Foundation for Sustainable Development.”
Minister Carty expressed his profound happiness that St. Kitts and Nevis participated in the celebrations of such an event.
“St. Kitts and Nevis has done a lot in the decades past to ensure that we improve our literacy levels,” Minister Carty expressed. “This contributes immensely to the efficiency of the workforce, due to the fact that our (St. Kitts and Nevis) young people can go off to university and be able to find jobs.”
Focusing on the theme, Minister Carty stressed that literacy of women is critically important, as they play a major role in educating the nation’s children, as the majority of local families are headed by women.
He further stated that “emphasis should not only be placed on the girls and women, but also on males.
“When we look around and see what is happening in our schools, I think it is fair to say that women are holding their own very well,’ he stated. “Perhaps it is time for us to pay some attention to some of the males.
“I always believe that as a society with a certain history, we must be extra-ordinarily careful to ensure that no group of persons is excluded from being able to read and participate fully in the developmental and economic activities of our country.”
Minister Carty noted that the Federation faces a different challenge with literacy in comparison to other countries worldwide.
“For us in St. Kitts and Nevis, the challenge is how do we build upon what we have done in the past,” he said. “How do we ensure that the two or one percent of persons who are not able to read, are able to learn to do so. The wider body of persons who are able to read should also be able to benefit by improving their comprehension skills.”
The first International Literacy Day (ILD) was proclaimed by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in 1965 but first celebrated on September 8th, 1966, to highlight the importance of literacy to individuals and communities.