Barbadians have been reminded that education and literacy are essential for achieving sustainability.

This reminder has come from the Ministry of Education, Science, Technology and Innovation in a message to mark International Literacy Day which will be observed on Monday, September 8, under the theme: Literacy & Sustainable Development.

Acknowledging that the theme focuses on the pivotal role literacy plays in achieving sustainable development in Small Island Developing States like Barbados, Chief Education Officer Laurie King said: ???Access to education promotes and supports the development of literacy and creates citizens who are equipped to act responsibly and decisively to ensure that their behaviours impact positively on the society and environment in which they live.

???Literate persons are better equipped for problem solving, escaping the clutches of poverty, developing self-reliance and comprehending the complexities of the large issues of life: the need for a country to be competitive; the threat of climate change.???

He added that education for sustainable development must focus on creating awareness, but more importantly, there must be a concerted effort to engage citizens, young and old, in discussions about practical solutions to the social, economic and environmental problems which the country faces.

???This can be attained by not only identifying practices which are unsustainable but by also creatively finding solutions to these practices which, if left unchecked, have the potential to do irreparable damage and create disequilibrium in the society,??? said Mr. King.

The Chief Education Officer noted that increased access to quality education and literacy could be used to change the habits of citizens who have developed lifestyles which threaten the well-being of the individual and negatively impact the physical and the economic environment of the country.

Literacy, he points out, can result in decisions which lead to improvement in the productive sectors through the adoption of scientific and technological innovations that lead to energy savings and increased productivity.

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