THE Ministry of General Education says only 43 per cent of the grade one to four pupils know how to read and write.
The PF government made changes to the education curriculum to teach grades one to four in local languages.
Speaking during a stakeholders meeting held at the Copperbelt University, Copperbelt Province education officer Felix Nkoma said more than half of the pupils in grades one to four do not know how to read and write, therefore increasing the illiteracy number.
“We also want our pupils to perform at four levels; the first level which is grade one to four should know how to read and write and our current performance level as a province in terms of reading and writing, we are at 43 per cent. This means that more than half of the children in the province who are in [grades] one to four do not know how to read and write,” Nkoma said.
He said the current performance was unacceptable and the board was putting in place measures to help improve the situation.
Nkoma said the ministry had this year set 70 per cent performance for grades ones to fours and warned all schools not to teach below the required standards.
He said the board had also set performance at 80 per cent for grade sevens, 70 per cent for grade nines, and grade twelves to help improve the education standard of schools on the Copperbelt.
Nkoma said all teachers and stakeholders must work together for the betterment of the education sector in the country.
He said teachers should ensure that they are clean at all times and that all head teachers and their deputies must have a class to teach in their respective schools.
“We as teachers need to be clean, so is the environment within the school premises. At grade seven, no school should perform below the 80 per cent required and grade nine has been set at 70 per cent and at grade 12 at 70 per cent. We have also put in measures that will help us improve our performance in 2018. And all senior teachers, head teachers and deputy teachers should have a class to teach so that they lead by example,” said Nkoma who added that the province was working on a strategic plan that would help teachers remain focused and directional when teaching.