Timely call by Holness
The Editor, Sir:
The recent calls by Education Minister Andrew Holness, to "expand the concept of literacy beyond basic writing, reading, and comprehension skills", could not be more timely and, as a teacher in training, this was one of the very issues that were being discussed in one of our literacy classes.
We must find creative ways to introduce literacy in the schools curriculum and be prepared to go the extra mile to help those who we teach to become literate. Every teacher should be a teacher of literacy, gone are the days when a teacher of mathematics, biology, or technical drawing teacher taught a specific subject in his or her area of specialisation.
The time is ripe for us to ensure that we do the very best to ensure our children are afforded the best education. Is it that we are helping students to learn to read or are we helping them to read to learn?
Components of Literacy
Literacy is not only reading and writing but also includes the ability to reason, comprehend, listen, analyse, list, appreciate, compare and contrast things and ideas etc. The foundation has to be set at the early childhood level and is built on through the primary level.
When we at the secondary level get these students, it would not be such a tedious task to be teaching teenagers early childhood, primary and secondary education simultaneously. If this is the case and should not be so, other students will be cheated and very little attention will be given to them and we will end up with the cycle repeating itself to the point of oblivion.
With an average of 26,000 students leaving the formal education high school system each year, the time has come when the ministry of education, school administrators, teachers, the church, parents and students themselves, must take responsibility for their learning.
With the world fast becoming a globalised village, we run the risk of being run over by developed and developing countries, if we fail to ensure that we produce the best educated men and women, to compete in this world that we must survive in. The pity parties are long over. more over, we are an independent country that has produced some of the best, and can compete with the best.
"The man who wakes up and finds himself famous has not been asleep".
I am, etc.,