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Adult Education: Lifelong Learning

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Fri, Sept 17, 2010

The first ever Adult and Continuing Education Week was held in St. Vincent and the Grenadines from September 4 to 9. The activities were set to coincide with International Literacy Day, on Wednesday, September 8.{{more}}

The officials at the Division of Adult and Continuing Education stressed during their activities that they are trying to change the concept of Adult Education from an “illiteracy programme” to a process of “life long learning”; a continuum on which learners can join at any point and get off at any point.

This is important, because literacy is so much more than being able to recognise and call words. It is essential for the enrichment of individual lives and for the development of our nation. Being able to understand the written word and make decisions based on information presented, not only places power in the hands of the individual, but as a nation, makes us more productive and efficient.

Research has also shown that there is a strong co-relation between illiteracy and crime, violence and incarceration. It is therefore no surprise that Her Majesty’s Prisons was declared a Zone on its own during the early stages of the national Adult and Continuing Education programme. Interestingly, that programme was run entirely using human resources from within the prison system. Unfortunately, the programme in the prisons has slipped into a period of dormancy. We are not sure what the reasons are, but encourage the soldiers not to be battle weary, but to continue the fight.

Our prison population is largely male, and we should not miss out on this golden opportunity to equip these men with the productivity, numeracy and literacy skills they need to lessen their chances of falling back into a life of crime. The entire nation stands to benefit.

We wish the Division of Adult and Continuing Education continued success and all the adult learners, an enjoyable ride towards enlightenment.