Rocky Point adults ready to tackle il­lit­er­acy

Jamaica Gleaner - - NEWS -

SCORES OF Rocky Point res­i­dents in Claren­don last Tues­day ea­gerly signed up with the Ja­maican Foun­da­tion for Life­long Learn­ing (JFLL).

The oc­ca­sion – an agency day or­gan­ised by the Rocky Point De­vel­op­ment Coun­cil Benev­o­lent So­ci­ety and the So­cial De­vel­op­ment Comm-is­sion (SDC) – saw over 13 agen­cies at the White Sands Seafood Restau­rant to in­ter­act with the Claren­don res­i­dents.

Pub­lic re­la­tions of­fi­cer for the so­ci­ety Josephine Cole­man told The Gleaner it was a two-fold event.

“We wanted to em­power them through the so­cial agen­cies, but the main rea­son was to get them signed up for the lit­er­acy pro­gramme.”

She re­vealed that the ma­jor­ity of the res­i­dents are il­lit­er­ate, and thanks to fund­ing from the so­ci­ety, SDC and the JFLL, the is­sue will be ad­dressed.

“What we want to do is to em­power the peo­ple so that they can be­come lit­er­ate. We will be em­bark­ing on classes in Jan­uary,” she shared.

Al­ready more than 50 have reg­is­tered for the Jan­uary classes, for which Cole­man said ev­ery­thing is in place.

THE MAIN IS­SUE

“So far we have got their (spon­sors’) com­mit­ment; we have the desks, chairs and boards. We have teach­ers in place, and we are just awaiting Jan­uary to step in to just launch the pro­gramme,” she said.

The classes will be held at the Hugh Law­son Shearer Com­mu­nity Cen­tre.

Cole­man said the lit­er­acy prob­lem was brought on by a com­bi­na­tion of fi­nan­cial chal­lenges for some par­ents, but for her the main is­sue is the fact that Rocky Point is a fish­ing vil­lage.

“They make their earn­ings from the sea, and when they reach a cer­tain level in school, they drop out and head to the sea. That is one of the main prob­lems, and when things not hap­pen­ing in the sea, you find that be­cause they have dropped out of high school, it con­trib­utes to a lot of gang af­fairs,” she shared.

Ad­mit­ting that the com­mu­nity has been plagued for a while with vi­o­lence, she said things are now look­ing up thanks to the in­ven­tion of the police and other agen­cies.

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