The Bayelsa State Government has charged youths in the state to pursue knowledge and enlightenment as the world marks International Literacy Day.
The Commissioner for Education, Hon. Gentle Emelah in a statement to mark the day on Wednesday, September 8, said the government is working hard to revamp the state library which will promote a reading culture and self development.
He said, “The International Literacy Day as declared by UNESCO since 1966 to be marked on September 8th every year, is aimed at highlighting the importance of literacy to individuals, communities and the larger society.
“Today, as a state, Bayelsa State, joins the rest of the world to mark International Literacy Day. Permit me to use this medium to remind our young ones and charge our youths on the benefits of literacy.
“Reading is undoubtedly one exercise that brings about enlightenment of one’s mind, an enlightened mind will not be a tool for destruction of society but rather a tool for creativity and development of his or her society.
“As a government, we are working hard to revamp the abandoned state library within the shortest space of time. We are bringing in investors to give it a face lift and provide community service in line with contemporary library services to give our citizens and other residents of the state capital Yenagoa, a befitting place for reading and study.
“Basic reading and writing skills are key to personal development without which no collective development is in view for a people”.
The Education Commissioner also noted that digitalization of learning processes is a key agenda for the government in order to keep teachers up to date with the current trends in the world.
“Also, the place of digitalization cannot be over emphasized. In a digital age as ours, where information can be sourced and given within minutes, using the internet and ICT, in a bid to keep our teachers updated with educational possibilities in the digital age, looking at how Covid-19 pandemic disrupted learning, we partnered with Microsoft to train our teachers on digital technology and we are committed to do even more in the days ahead.
“Even in the times of global crisis, efforts have been made to find alternative ways to ensure the continuity of learning, including distance learning, often in combination with in-person learning.
“As Africans, even as we continue to strive to meet up with our counterparts on the global scale technologically, let us continue to take advantage of the possibilities in the digital world to enhance and develop our immediate society.
“Again, as we mark International Literacy Day, do ensure you continue on the path of literacy and encourage the same around your environment”, he said.
The theme for this year is “Literacy for a Human-centered Recovery: Narrowing the Digital Divide”.