Students celebrate International Literacy Day

The Cayman Islands joins UNESCO efforts to promote literacy

Students around Grand Cayman took part in worldwide celebrations on Monday as part of International Literacy Day. 

This year’s theme, “Literacy and Sustainable Development,” was celebrated in local schools and schools around the globe, as part of a United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) initiative.  

Education Minister Tara Rivers said the day was also used to examine the importance of girls’ and women’s literacy as a vehicle for sustainable development. 

“Within the Cayman Islands, we have been blessed. We do not face many of the developmental challenges that UNESCO works hard to lessen through improved literacy rates,” Ms. Rivers said in a press statement. 

“Government schools continue to show improvement in our reading rates in both primary and secondary schools,” she added. 

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Increased performance 

The statement included information collected by the Department of Education Services, which reported an increase in student performance, with 44 percent of students in 2011 graduating year six reading at the expected grade level. This figure has now jumped to 76 percent, Ms. Rivers said.  

In secondary schools, figures also rose from 59 percent of year 11 students receiving a Level 2 pass in English in 2011, to 70 percent this year, she said. 

“Literacy enables all of us to be lifelong learners, and to make choices that promote gender equality, economic growth through employment, and social development,” she added. 

UNESCO Director General Irina Bokova, in a press release, appealed to every state member and related partners to double literacy efforts, both political and financial to ensure that literacy is “fully recognized as one of the most powerful accelerators of sustainable development.”  

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