Sun | Aug 20, 2017

Rocky Point adults ready to tackle illiteracy

Published:Wednesday | November 30, 2016 | 11:00 AM

Scores of Rocky Point residents in Clarendon last Tuesday eagerly signed up with the Jamaican Foundation for Lifelong Learning (JFLL).

The occasion - an agency day organised by the Rocky Point Development Council Benevolent Society and the Social Development Comm-ission (SDC) - saw over 13 agencies at the White Sands Seafood Restaurant to interact with the Clarendon residents.

Public relations officer for the society Josephine Coleman told The Gleaner it was a two-fold event.

"We wanted to empower them through the social agencies, but the main reason was to get them signed up for the literacy programme."

She revealed that the majority of the residents are illiterate, and thanks to funding from the society, SDC and the JFLL, the issue will be addressed.

"What we want to do is to empower the people so that they can become literate. We will be embarking on classes in January," she shared.

Already more than 50 have registered for the January classes, for which Coleman said everything is in place.

THE MAIN ISSUE

"So far we have got their (sponsors') commitment; we have the desks, chairs and boards. We have teachers in place, and we are just awaiting January to step in to just launch the programme," she said.

The classes will be held at the Hugh Lawson Shearer Community Centre.

Coleman said the literacy problem was brought on by a combination of financial challenges for some parents, but for her the main issue is the fact that Rocky Point is a fishing village.

"They make their earnings from the sea, and when they reach a certain level in school, they drop out and head to the sea. That is one of the main problems, and when things not happening in the sea, you find that because they have dropped out of high school, it contributes to a lot of gang affairs," she shared.

Admitting that the community has been plagued for a while with violence, she said things are now looking up thanks to the invention of the police and other agencies.