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Apr 25, 2003

P.M. pledges to fight illiteracy

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It has been a persistent theme for Said Musa, dating back to long before he took over the leadership of the People’s United Party. It’s the issue of literacy, and today in an interview courtesy of the Government Press Office, the Prime Minister once again committed himself to helping more Belizeans learn to read and write.

Prime Minister Said Musa

“We need to get back to basics, and one of the things I am emphasizing as the new Minister of Education, not just as Prime Minister, is basic reading skills. There is a direct correlation between illiteracy and unemployment and poverty. And if we are going to fight poverty, which is a main plank of our manifesto, if we are going to eradicate poverty, we have to deal with illiteracy, and we have to take it on board and not be ashamed to say, well it’s too low, whether it’s seventy-five percent or whatever the percentage is, we need to get to the nineties percent once again. Belize was there before, but of course you realise what has happened to us. There are two major things to have happened in our society, one was the massive the influx of poor, peasant people from Central America, the other was the outward migration of many Belizean mothers and fathers; the grannies had to take care of the kids, and this created in itself a major dysfunction in Belize and we have to address that.”

The interview was conducted in conjunction with the first anniversary of the Youth for the Future Initiative.

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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