Today’s Editorial October 30: Literacy help is at hand

There is absolutely no excuse for illiteracy in the Cayman Islands, but it does exist.

All children should have some knowledge of reading before they enter the school system.

For various reasons, many don’t and that puts them at an immediate disadvantage to being properly educated.

Fortunately it is a problem Government has identified and now parents and teachers in a quandary about getting youngsters to read can turn to the Early Childhood Services.

Government schools have already seen the inclusion of more psychologists and reading specialists to help stop the illiteracy problem.

It is vital that every child in the Cayman Islands is literate.

We have seen too many people allowed to leave school without literacy skills.

When children who aren’t literate grow up to become illiterate adults they have problems landing good paying jobs and becoming self sufficient.

Government schools are also doing a better job now of identifying earlier children who having literacy issues.

That’s being done within the classroom when the child needs the attention immediately.

In the past, children were allowed all the way to Year 4 before their literacy skills were measured.

We applaud Government’s proactive approach to fixing the literacy problem in the Cayman Islands.

It is unfortunate that we have in our midst people who were allowed to get through the educational system with a low level of literacy, but they too have an option.

We encourage anyone who made it through the Cayman Islands school system who can’t read or write well to contact the University College of the Cayman Islands and sign up for classes to improve their reading and writing skills.

We anxiously await the passage of time to see if the new governance of education model being used in the Education Department is making a difference in literacy in our public schools.

We think it will.