Teachers have been called upon to ???solidify the foundation??? for literacy and get students more involved in reading.

This came recently as Minister of Education, Science, Technology and Innovation, Ronald Jones, addressed the Eighth Annual Conference of the Barbados Association of Reading (BAR) at Accra Beach Resort.

Acknowledging that teachers were central to students??? lives, Minister Jones said through an outpouring of love, care and regard by educators, students are encouraged to learn.

However, he added, without such, even organisations like BAR and the International Reading Association would cease to exist.

Recounting his early introduction to reading, which came by way of seeing his own parents immersed in literature, Mr. Jones stressed: ???We have a responsibility not to allow our young people to rob themselves or to be robbed of journeys that make them stronger, of journeys that enhance who and what they are.

“We have to guide them through journeys that they can capture the essence of life; to be literate is to have life! It gives us the ability to participate in all of the dynamics of human existence on this earth???

???I would like our young people to read. There is so much we are missing out on if we do not continue to be engaged in reading, in understanding and capturing the diversity of our existence as human beings.???

While commending BAR for work done over the years, Mr. Jones said he wanted to see more teachers benefiting from joining important professional bodies.

???Whatever other attributes you bring, you must bring all of those notions of being a professional to the centre of your work. You must bring care and regard for your subjects ??? and I don???t mean subjects in terms of the particular disciplines that you teach, but the children, the people that you work with,??? declared the former teacher.

???I look forward to the 3,000 plus teachers of Barbados rising to the occasion to reach the silent boy in the back of the class; to reach the girl who comes through the door with her head down.

“That???s what I want; I want you to continue to do your best to change their lives, make them truly persons who would love life, who would live life and who would have been provided with those tools to make even a better life,??? the Education Minister concluded.???


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