Friday, 6 March 2015

Reclaim Jamaica One Book At A Time

Every year on the first Wednesday of March, the global community pauses to celebrate World Read Aloud Day. It was extremely disappointing that March 4, 2015 passed without any mentioning of the significance of the day in the local media or by the Ministry of Education. As a result our schools were not involved in this global effort which aims at improving literacy skills.
World Read Aloud Day aims to motivate children and adults to celebrate the power of words. The day is observed and celebrated by more than eighty countries worldwide. It is very important that as a society we try to as much as possible to cultivate and do all within our powers and resources to bring awareness to the importance of words. If we are truly concerned about the flight of our children we must show this in practical ways by empowering and securing their future. We must especially engage our boys and young men in reading. A significant number of boys and men viewed reading with suspicion.  Disturbingly, boys who display school smarts are often ridiculed as effeminate by peers and even adults in areas where academic excellence by males is typically devalued. Our boys are already struggling with a toxic notion regarding their masculinity which permeates entire communities which is reinforced by a popular music culture that often celebrates law-breaking.  It is almost as if manhood and masculinity have been hijacked by a thug culture far removed from education.
Let us change and reclaim the Jamaica society one book at a time.
Literacy is a human right that belongs to all people.

Wayne Campbell
waykam@yahoo.com