September 2012: National Literacy Week
By Luyando Mutale Katenda, Unite4Climate Zambia child climate ambassador and youth facilitator
Literacy and me:
Good Morning Madam Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Education, UNICEF Officer- in-Charge, Room-to-Read Country Director, Ladies and Gentlemen:
The ability to read and write or literacy is a very important tool as education is key to the potential realisation of youths and children in Zambia as equal partners of development for a nation.
As a common saying goes that “a pen and a paper are the world greatest weapons.” This clearly indicates how great the importance of literacy is. Ladies and gentlemen, having had an opportunity to attend a literacy class with adults I understand and appreciate literacy as one of the most important forms of communication, which proves to be very efficient.
Happy am I and thankful to various stakeholders like the government through the Ministry of Education, UNICEF, Room-to-Read, among others, which have taken up the challenge of providing and improving literacy skills to children in Zambia. With such skills, I am empowered to participate effectively and competitively in different issues like the current constitution amendment process and many of the future endeavours.
Nevertheless there are also other children who cannot access education to acquire reading and writing skills due to different circumstances. As a concerned citizen it is my wish to say that the efforts of the mentioned stakeholders and partners in ensuring literacy provisions are increased to cater for the vulnerable and orphans who cannot access literacy education to acquire reading and writing skills due to different circumstances.
In conclusion, it is important that we encourage every stake holder to uphold literacy as the rest of the world advances at a fast rate. Failure to do so would be an omen for the nation for the lost nation without values, morals and dignity. Let us not forget that literacy gives an individual the tools to fit in society responsibilities. It also helps in the dissemination of information on sustainable living.
Thank you for your undivided attention and the opportunity, I am greatly honoured.
Luyando Mutale Katenda is a Unite4Climate Zambia child climate ambassador and youth facilitator. He is 17-years-old and a Grade 11 student at Kamulanga High School in Lusaka. He gave these remarks at the National Literacy Week media breakfast, which was held in Lusaka on 4 September 2012.