By CLEVER ZULU -
THE Ministry of Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early Education has launched the Let’s Read Zambia campaign with a goal to create one million new readers by 2016.
Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early Education minister John Phiri disclosed that all 10 Provincial Education Offices in Zambia had developed strategic plans to guide the education managers and teachers to achieve the goal.
“The Let’s Read Zambia mobilisation campaign calls on all of us to play our roles in supporting the development of a reading culture
among Zambians,” he said.
Dr Phiri said the campaign would encourage parents to take interest in their children’s education.
“We will encourage parents to understand the challenges at their children’s schools so that they get into a position to provide the needed support and hold schools accountable for the work they do,” he said.
The minister was speaking at Kabulonga Primary school in Lusaka where the launch was taking place with several stakeholders in attendance.
“Through this campaign we ask – the parent, business owners, journalists, and concerned citizens – to stand with the Ministry to
ensure that all Zambian children and adults are equipped with reading and writing skills that will prepare them for success in life,” he said.
Dr Phiri thanked various stakeholders that have supported the cause including USAID Zambia through STEP-UP, UNICEF, Read to Succeed
Zambia, Time to Learn Zambia, Room to Read Zambia and Splash Zambia.
And speaking at the same function, United States Embassy Charge d’Affaires David Young lauded the ministry, the teachers and students for taking action to reduce the 80 per cent statics of children who are unable to read in the early grades.
“This commitment, I believe, means that all children that enter the school system will first learn to read and then read to learn by the time they are in grade four,” he said.
Mr Young said poor reading skills were as a result of a series of broad- ased issues including the language of instruction, time on task, curriculum effectiveness, teacher preparedness, and weak oversight and accountability.
“USAID and cooperating partners are also partnering with the ministry in the development and acquisition of learning materials, while strengthening oversight and management systems to improve all aspects of teaching and learning,” he said.