The Ministry of Education launched their first-ever Literacy and Empowerment Adult Program (LEAP). The program is open to adults who want to learn to read and write; or who want to improve on their parenting skills. Chief Education Officer, Dr Carol Babb told the media that as much as 60 adults from the Collet Division have already registered for the program.
Dr.Carol Babb, Chief Education Officer, Ministry of Health: “The program will be offered twice per week and on Mondays and Wednesdays here at Unity and Tuesdays and Thursdays at ITVET, so we have two locations that we are piloting only in Belize City at this moment. So far we have received about sixty applicants alone from this Collet Division and so what we are doing we are teaching them it will have to be a different approach, you can’t teach them the same way you would teach a child because you don’t want them to feel embarrassed remember they are adults so we are going to teach them functional literacy. Functional literacy means learning how to fill out forms, how to fill out a passport form, how to read their children’s report card, we are going to determine what their needs are and when we determine those needs we of course will teach phonics and the other concepts of literacy. So the transformation is that these people will feel empowered, their self esteem will rise of course, it will raise because a lot of them are ashamed to even come to school to find out about how their children are doing because they can’t read and write even what the report card is saying, so we are going to build self esteem. The program comprises of literacy reading and writing skills, financial literacy skill, teaching them how to make a budget, teaching them how to save, how to open accounts and to save for the future and of course we live in a digital world so we have to teach them technology as well.”
The Program aims to assist these adults in a holistic manner in order to erase the stigma of ignorance.
Dr.Carol Babb, Chief Education Officer: “Well we have educators right in our ministry who are trained to teach adult learners so we are using our own specialists in the Ministry of Education and we’re also going to use some students from the junior colleges to volunteer to offer one to one assistance. The class size will be one to fifteen, we don’t want the class size to be bigger because we want to ensure that these adults get the support and the attention that they need.”
A registration form can be acquired at the ITVET office, Unity Presbyterian Primary School and the Collet Division Office. The Program will commence on February 17 and is free of cost.