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Sep 11, 2019

The importance of Literacy

Literacy is important to life skills and while there are improvements since the Literacy programme was launched, students are still challenged with understanding what they read. This morning, the Ministry of Education brought together teachers from throughout the country at the Marion Jones Sporting Complex to assess the areas the students are lagging behind. The teachers will also be learning how life experiences can translate to comprehension. News Five’s Hipolito Novelo reports.


Hipolito Novelo

Educators from across the country today gathered in Belize City for a literacy seminar. The seminar is part of the Ministry’s goal to prioritize literacy at a level of national importance. MOE’s literacy strategy was launched two years ago in three districts and thirty schools. Chief Education Officer, Dr. Carol Babb says that while there has been a marked improvement in literacy, students’ comprehensive skills continue to be a challenge.


Dr. Carol Babb, Chief Education Officer

Dr. Carol Babb

“We find that children may be able to call the words but they are not understanding what they are reading. That is one of the areas that we are going to address today at this meeting: how to help students to comprehend, to understand that they read on a daily basis.”


Author of “Samuel T. Moore of Corte Magore”, a children’s book, Tonia Allen Gould spoke to the educators about the concept of ‘hope”. The book encompasses the themes of hard work, determination and perseverance.  Through her book, Gould has successfully managed to relate fictional stories with children’s daily life experience, allowing them to be fully engaged in the publication.


Tonia Allen Gould

Tonia Allen Gould, Author

“I think that a lot of times kids are going through something, especially at risk kids like I was in my early youth. I think that a lot of times you have to learn how to stand on your own two feet. I think you have to learn how to pull yourself up by your preverbal boots straps and do the work in a certain amount of time. So the first book is about hard work and independence and trial and error and not succeeding at first. I was inspired by the educators in the room today that Dr. Babb had brought be to talk and speak to. I was very glad to donate books to all of these educators. I’ll ship them as soon as I get back to California to make sure that they get the book. I’ll sign each one of them, and just very excited that the children of Belize can connect with this book and pretty much in discovery. I am excited to learn more.”


The Ministry hopes that the book will assist teachers in reaching out to the students and increase the students’ literacy and comprehensive skills.


Dr. Carol Babb

“We are stating off with assessment. We need to find out where the children are. Some of them have problems with phonics, reading comprehension, we are also giving them clues. We are demonstrating how students can learn to understand how they are reading.”


Reporting for News Five, I am Hipolito Novelo

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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