ICDP, UKaid, CEA mark International Literacy Day in Otiakrom

The International Child Development Programme (ICDP) in collaboration with UKaid, World Education and Complementary Education Agency (CEA) on Friday celebrated the International Literacy Day (ILD) at Otiakrom in the Eastern Region.

Held on the theme; ‘ Transforming literacy learning space’ ILD is a day set aside by UNESCO to highlight the importance of literacy for all people, communities and societies.

The day which is celebrated globally every September 8, seeks to advance the literacy agenda towards a more literate and sustainable society.

The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of ICDP, Mrs Joyce Larnyoh called on parents to establish and maintain a communication link with their children in the effort to guide them, saying ‘everyone deserves the right to be able to read and write’.

According to her, the ability to read and write was central to the development of the individual and progress of the society.

She reminded the participants who were mostly adults about the negative impact of illiteracy on the individual and the socio-economic development of the country.

Mrs Joyce Larnyoh lamented how teenagers who had mistakenly gotten themselves pregnant were neglected, noting that a lot more needed to be done to ensure the children acquired skills that could transform their lives.

“That is why my outfit is working assiduously to ensure that these teenagers acquire literacy skills in the local dialect and others so they can better their lives”

She commended successive governments for supporting the cause of educating the less privileged and charged parents to support girl child education.

The Complementary Education Agency Director at the Akuapim south district, Samuel Seidu underscored the need to equip the less privileged with technical and vocational skills to enable them to contribute to the development of the society.

He said despite progress made, literacy challenges persisted with 771 million illiterate people around the world, of which most of them were women, who still lacked basic reading and writing skills.

For him, the issue of literacy remained a “red hot bottom switch” that needed special attention, since the development of every nation was hinged on education.

“Development runs on the wheels of literate citizens. The multiplying effects of literacy on the individual, the nation and the world are incalculable and the value-addition that education bears on nation’s development cannot be under-emphasised,” he said.

Apostle Dr Kadmiel Agbalenyo, Head of Theocracy Complex School, Otiakrom, urged school authorities to include the local dialect as a means of instruction, especially at the pre- and basic school levels.

He said using children’s home languages helped in improving their level of assimilation in general academic work.

“The importance of literacy cannot be overemphasised because a person who lacks vital literacy skills is held back at every stage of their life” he stated.

More so, without literacy, children won’t be able to succeed at school, young adults will be locked out of the job market, and parents won’t be able to support their children’s learning.

“Evidently, people with low literacy skills may not be able to read a book, a magazine, or even a newspaper. They may also be unable to understand road signs or price labels, make sense of a bus or train timetable, fill out a form, read instructions on medicines, make notes during church services as well as use the internet among others” he stated

BY BENEDICTA GYIMAAH FOLLEY

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