Principal of Erdiston Teachers’ Training College in Barbados, Dr Patricia Saul, is concerned about the slipping literacy rate in the country.

She said according to the most recent statistics published by UNESCO, 773 million adults and young people lacked basic literacy skills, and more than 617 million children and adolescents were not achieving minimum proficiency levels in reading and mathematics.

“No doubt the COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated these problems. In Barbados, there is a growing concern that the proportion of the population lacking functional reading and writing skills is far too high in spite of the fact that we have universal access to education. This is a serious hindrance to the development of our people and our country,” Saul said.

She was speaking during a ceremony yesterday to mark International Literacy Day.

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