Govt launches "Let’s Read Zambia campaign"

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Minister of Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early Education John Phiri today launched the “Lets Read Zambia” national mobilization campaign.

Dr. Phiri has since called on the private sector and the general public to partner with government in supporting the development of a reading culture among Zambians.

He said government should not be left alone to address the poor reading culture in the country hence the need for cooperating partners and parents to join hands in reversing the culture.

He said the “Lets Read Zambia” mobilization campaign aims at encouraging parents to take passionate interest in the education of their children as this will help them (parents) to understand the challenges government schools were faced with in providing quality education.

The minister reiterated that the campaign seeks to encourage local businesses to partner with its schools in stocking libraries with books and other educational materials so as to support the provision of quality education.

Meanwhile, Dr. Phiri has said government was making steady progress towards meeting the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) number two on primary school enrolment and completion.

Dr. Phiri further disclosed that Zambia’s enrollment rate stood 97 percent.

The minister said this was contained in the latest 2013 United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) report.

He expressed happiness and described the 97 percent enrollment level as impressive.

However, Dr. Phiri said serious concerns remain on the quality of education being offered by government schools.

Meanwhile, Education Permanent Secretary Chishimba Nkosha said the poor reading culture in Zambia was alarming.

Mr. Nkosha therefore implored stakeholders to take advantage of the “Let’s Read Zambia” campaign to contribute towards improving the reading culture among learners.

And Total Zambia Managing Director Stephen Lapauw said the energy firm was delighted to partner with government in supporting the development of the reading culture among school going children.

Mr. Lapauw disclosed that Total has so far distributed 150 mobile library boxes to community schools in a bid to enhance the reading culture among learners.

Speaking at the same function, United States Embassy Charge d’ Affaires David Young said concerted efforts were needed to address the alarming 80 percent statistics of children who cannot read in their early grades.

Mr. Young said the United States was ready to work with government in improving the quality of education in Zambia.

He stressed that the United States government will continue to render unwavering support to the Ministry of Education so that every Zambian child can develop the skills of reading and writing.