Government is disappointed with the extreme low reading levels in early learners with under 50 percent of children between grades 1 and 4 in public schools not being able to read.
Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early Childhood Education Minister John Phiri disclosed that the read to succeed baseline study revealed that 89 percent of grade 2 learners and 80 percent of grade 3 learners cannot read.
Dr. Phiri said despite the disheartening statistics, government remains committed to improving the education system in the country through its comprehensive strategies and policies.
Speaking when he launched the “reading tools in a box initiative” in Lusaka today, Dr. Phiri appealed to the cooperate world to come on board in supporting the education sector adding that government alone cannot implement all the strategies.
He said the country risks failing to attain the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) number two of achieving universal primary education before 2015 if certain sectors of society such as children with special educational needs were not catered for.
And United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Zambia Acting Mission Director Mikaela Meredith commended government for the strides made in improving learning abilities in primary schools.
The reading tool in the box initiative is supported by the USAID, Zambia National Commercial Bank (ZANACO), First Quantum Minerals (FQM) Investrust bank PLC and Maiden publishing House.
The initiative is aimed at improving the reading standards for early education learners for improved education.