The President of the Barbados Association of Reading (BAR) is not satisfied with the literacy rate in the country.
In fact, Patricia Saul argues that Barbados’ 98 per cent basic literacy rate is not sufficient and there must be a concerted push towards functional literacy.
“[Basic Literacy] is just the ability to read and understand a simple sentence and we all know that in this technological age we have got to be able to do more than that,” Saul told reporters today.
She was speaking at the start of the association’s Literacy Float Parade held ahead of Monday’s observance of International Literacy Day.
“We thought it prudent as an association that promotes literacy in Barbados [to] do an activity that would draw the public’s attention to literacy and its importance to personal and national development. So we came up that idea of having floats which illustrates all storybook characters, and the importance of reading,” she explained.
“We want to sensitize the public to the fact that literacy is still the key and we’ve brought out children and we’ve brought out adults to participate in this activity.”
During the motorcade, which lasted more than two hours, Barbadians were treated to a spoken word performance by Adrian Green as volunteers distributed pamphlets and bookmarks that highlighted the importance of reading.
The group also released balloons to honour the more than 200 girls who were taken from a school in Nigeria several months ago.
Saul noted, “these girls have been robbed of the opportunity to be literate. Even in Barbados as we celebrate out 98 per cent basic literacy we are cognizant that there are people around the world who don’t have that privilege.”
The parade, which left Fontabelle just after 10 am made its way up Cheapside and onto Broad Street with a brief stop in front of Cave Shepherd. It culminated in Queen’s Park shortly after midday.