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St. Lucians urged to celebrate Commonwealth Day today

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Monday, March 14, 2005 - The Chairman of The Council of Commonwealth Societies has written to Prime Minister, Dr. Kenny D. Anthony, urging him to encourage young St. Lucians to celebrate Commonwealth Day today, under the theme ‘Education – creating opportunity, realising potential.

Calling for the Ministry of Education and the media to play their part in the celebrations, The Chairman hoped that the activities related the theme would be maintained and developed throughout the year, pointing out that Education was a major priority for the Commonwealth, in which some 75 million children lacked access to basic schooling.

Attaching a Message from Her Majesty The Queen, Head of the Commonwealth, it was requested that it be given as wide a distribution and as much publicity as possible.

In the message, Her Majesty acknowledged the strong foundation on which the future of the Commonwealth rests, given that more than half its two billion citizens are under the age of twenty-five. Equally however, she acknowledged the challenges arising out of living conditions and natural disasters, citing last September’s hurricanes in the Caribbean and the devastating earthquake and tsunami in the Indian Ocean.

On the Commonwealth Day theme, Her Majesty said that Education was the key to unlocking human potential and creating opportunity. She wrote: “Education is sometimes described as the golden thread that binds the Commonwealth. Our shared use of a common, world language – English – has underpinned a long and rich tradition of educational co-operation. With our shared practices and similar systems, an extensive network of scholarships, and many examples of excellence, much has been achieved”.

As the Commonwealth continues to respond to today’s challenges, Her Majesty said, one clear objective is the UN Millennium Development Goal of achieving universal primary education by 2015. She also cited other objectives, such as mitigating the effects of HIV and AIDS, and expanding distance education.

Commonwealth Day falls on the second Monday in March each year, and the date is chosen to correspond with a school-day in nearly all Commonwealth countries around the world. Each year the theme is chosen to encourage people in the 53 countries of the Commonwealth to concentrate on an aspect of common interest on Commonwealth Day.


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