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With 15 minutes of reading yesterday, the Ministry of Education spearheaded the local observance of International Literacy Day, which is celebrated annually on September 8. While 11:00 hours was the designated time to ‘drop everything and read’, the gathering under strategically set up tents along Main Street avenue, between Church and Quamina Streets, Georgetown,Marc-Andre Ter Stegen Barcelona Jersey, started a few minutes early.Scores of education-affiliated and school children alike took time out to read. The reading activity marked the end of the ceremonial start to an Education Ministry’s Book Fair, which was in fact the main attraction of yesterday’s observance.The opening ceremony saw presentations from Chief Education Officer, Olato Sam and Technical Adviser to the Minister of Education, Mr Vincent Alexander. Both Sam and Alexander who spoke on behalf of Education Minister, Dr Rupert Roopnaraine, sought to zero in on the importance of reading.A scene from the observance of International Literacy Day yesterdayIn its fervent quest to tackle the challenge of illiteracy,Philip Rivers Chargers Jersey, the Ministry of Education had long embarked on training initiatives, particularly targeting reading and methods to motivate children to read. Tactics in this regard, have been usednot only for teachers but also for parents said Ms Doodmattie Singh, Deputy Chief Education Officer (Development), during an interview with this publication yesterday.Singh was tasked with coordinating the Ministry International Literacy Day observance.According to her, “we have seen improvements in our results both at the National Grade Six Assessment and at the Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate Examination level and we are thinking that our drive in literacy would have caused that.”She intimated too that while the Ministry of Education has been observing International literacy day for many years, it was only last year that the Book Fair aspect was introduced. The fair, she explained, is meant to showcase various aspects and ways in which parents and teachers can help to motivate their children to learn.She continued by asserting that children can learn through song, poetry, storytelling and even mime. “All these are ways in which teachers and parents can teach children or can motivate them to learn to read,Derek Stepan Rangers Jersey,” said Singh as she disclosed that it was for this reason that the programme yesterday incorporated all of these features.The day-long fair was strategically designed to attract a wide cross section of stakeholders including: pupils, students, teachers, education officers, members of the public, among others,Beau Bennett Penguins Jersey, with a view of encouraging a culture of reading. Those at the fair were eligible to take away at least one book for their own reading purposes.The Ministry of Education-spearheaded activity was realized through the support of some individuals and organizations. And according to Singh, “many persons donated books,Franco Harris Steelers Jersey, so we at the Ministry didn’t have to purchase any of these books. Once we announced that we were doing this (the fair) people started calling in to donate books…”Repsol was among the entities that donated to the fair yesterday.According to the company’s representative, Indira Chandarpal, Repsol has in place a global corporate responsibility programme, which includes supporting environment, education, health-related programmes in the countries in which it operates.Moreover, Repsol yesterday donated over 200 copies of the Guyana Annual magazine for distribution at the fair.“We thought it was a good opportunity to support this event because literacy is an important element of our programme as well as towards the development of Guyana,” added Chandarpal.The staging of a book fair to commemorate International Literacy Day was first held last year.While Singh is convinced that the fair of last year yielded some successes,Cheap Jerseys From China, she was however not in a position yesterday to ascertain to what extent. “It is difficult for us to say that improved performance was as a result of the Fair but I can talk about the responses that we have had,” said Singh as she disclosed that a number of persons, because of the fair, have since offered their support towards the improvement of literacy.Literary improvement has also been fostered over the past few years with the introduction of the ‘Give a Book Tent’.  The initiative commenced in 2013 with the Ministry of Education encouraging people to give books. According to Singh, the hosting of this initiative last year saw 24 persons outside of the Ministry seeking permission to establish their own ‘Give a book’ tent in their respective communities, in observance of International Literacy Day.Although last year a number of persons informed the Ministry of their willingness to independently set up tents, this year the Ministry was only aware of eight ‘Give a book tents’ in Region Six alone. Last year there were reading tents in Regions One, Three, Five, Six and several in Georgetown. However, Singh did not rule this as “reduced support” for the initiative but rather “people may have just decided to do their book giving activities without informing us.”Singh shared her optimism that the reading tent initiative has been causing persons to become conscious about reading. “Whether there have been improvements as a result of it, we will have to wait to see that…I think it takes time,” asserted the Deputy Chief Education Officer.International Literacy Day was held under the theme ‘Literacy and Sustainable Societies’.
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