The former Minister of Education, Dr Rupert Roopnarine, has said literacy is on the decline and has called for greater efforts to reverse this trend.
Dr Roopnarine spoke at an event held by the Rights of the Child Commission annual workshop to observe World Literacy Day.
“Evidence of decline in literacy over some decades…suggests that the causing factors and or the programme for its prevention and eradication are still to be determined,” Dr Roopnarine said.
On September 8, 1966 World Literacy day was declared by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and has since been celebrated annually to raise more awareness and remind people of the importance of literacy.
The theme for Literacy Day this year is “Literacy and Multilingualism.”
Rights of the Child Commissioner Nicole Cole encouraged persons to learn another language.
“I want to encourage everyone here to learn another language.
“Guyana is seated in South America…it is important for us not only to be boxed in by one language, especially with a high influx of migration into our country,” the Commissioner said.
Meanwhile, President of the Guyana Hindu Dharmic Sabha, Dr Vindhya Persaud, in her remarks noted that to promote literacy is to promote self-confidence.
“Literacy is something that has occupied the world’s attention from the moment there was the opportunity to read and write.
“There came a definition however with the march of time that definition has expanded and evolved to mean so much more than just the mere ability to read and write.
“It allows to us to imagine competence in various skills, it allows us to imagine owning our abilities to be able to function, to be able to grasp, to be able to assimilate and to be able to one day lead lives where we are confident in ourselves,” Dr Persaud said.
The Rights of the Child Commission Youth Ambassador Programme participants were presented with awards from the annual camp.
Awards were presented to the Best Camper and the Youth Ambassador of the Year.