Tuesday, 04 September 2018 06:23

Great Plains College and Southwest Literacy Committee celebrate “Literacy for Skills Development”

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International Literacy Day will be celebrated across the world on Sept. 8, and Great Plains College, in partnership with the Southwest Literacy Committee, will recognize and celebrate this important day on Tuesday, Sept. 11. 

UNESCO has set the 2018 theme for the day as “Literacy for Skills Development,” which is a fitting representation to the work being done both at Great Plains College and by the Southwest Literacy Committee to enhance literacy, and therefore employment opportunities, in the southwest. UNESCO has been in the forefront of global literacy efforts since 1946, advancing the vision of a literate world for all. Opportunities to acquire and improve literacy skills throughout life is an integral part of the right to education.  
Although some improvement have been made in creating opportunities to enhance literacy skills, there is more to be done. A significant number of people in Canada and around the world are struggling due tolack of literacy and workplace skills. The Conference Board of Canada has brought forward the nine essential skills to be effective and productive at the workplace and embracing those nine essential skills create a better life and livelihood. To address these skills, special programs are often available through the regional colleges’ Basic Education programs to enhance essential skills and improving employment  opportunities and quality of life. The manifold effect of literacy on the lives of the people, community and workplace is indisputable and the necessary investment of resources will help in moving our country forward.  
“Great Plains College works year-round to promote literacy and lifelong learning through the Adult Basic Education and Essential Skills programs and English Language Training programs in particular,” said Bula Ghosh, Southwest Literacy Committee member and literacy coordinator at Great Plains College, “We are excited to be working with our partners to raise awareness for the  importance of literacy for everyone in our community.” 
The Swift Current Branch Library also plays a significant role in literacy and skills development through their programs which include computer skills training, building robots, book clubs and more.
“The ‘multiplier effect’ of literacy empowers people, enables them to participate fully in society and leads to improved livelihoods,” added Ghosh. “Literacy is an intrinsic part of sustainable development and has a significant effect in labour market participation, family health and nutrition, poverty reduction and in increasing life’s opportunities. 
Globally, 758 million youth and adults do not read and write. Approximately 250 million children do not have basic literacy skills. In Canada, four out of ten adults do not have functional literacy skills. International Literacy Day helps bring attention to these alarming statistics while also highlighting resources and opportunities available for those struggling. 
“We are excited the City of Swift Current has agreed to proclaim September 9 to 15 as International Literacy Week, and we want to encourage other individuals and community agencies to participate in their own special way to promote literacy and lifelong learning,” said Ghosh. “Literacy impacts our lives in many ways. Let us participate in lifelong learning and skills development to create a better tomorrow for all.”
Great Plains College will celebrate International Literacy Day on Tuesday, September 11 with a literacy display at the college to  increase awareness. Coffee and refreshments will be served from 10:00-11:00 a.m., and those in attendance will have the chance to participate in a literacy quiz for prizes. The Swift Current Branch Library and Newcomer Welcome Centre will also be hosting events during the week of the City of Swift Current’s proclamation.


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