Poor reading culture continues worrying govt

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——Government has noted that Zambia is one of the countries in the region with a number of school going children who are not able to read competently in commensurate
with their age and grade levels.

Central Province Minister, Obvious Mwaliteta, noted during the launch of READ ZAMBIA Campaign yesterday that reading in any society is  akey to academic, social and economic progression of children, adding Central province cannot afford to lag behind in this era of cutting edge technology.

In a speech read on his behalf by Kabwe District Commissioner (DC) Patrick Chishala at Kasanda Malombe Primary School, Mr Mwaliteta said it was paramount to involve all stakeholders at all levels to improve reading levels in the province.

He further noted that the occasion can immensely impact on the lives of learners in terms of positive attainments at school and in the wide society if they attained desirable reading competences.

“This launch, therefore, is to ensure that we promote reading and the involvement of all sectors of society in issues of early grade reading,’ said Mr Mwaliteta.

He pointed out that government, through relevant ministries, seeks to increase knowledge among the key stakeholders on the need to increase literacy levels because in turn they are the drivers of economic

Mr Mwaliteta said the use of familiar language for instruction for at least four (4) years, is meant for the child’s cognitive development as well as consolidation of literacy skills which will have enhanced
the country’s increased achievement levels in higher institutions of learning as learners will possess a solid foundation.

Speaking earlier, Central Province Education Officer, Jenipher Banda, also noted that the poor reading culture in schools in the province has been a problem for many decades hence the Read Zambia Campaign aimed at sensitising all stakeholders to seriously take an interest in promoting the reading culture.

Mrs Banda assured government that her department embraces the initiative for improved learner performance through inculcation of reading culture in not only school going learners, but also in the
adult population as well.

She noted, however, that reading has been impeded by many factors that include lack of parental or community participation and support for literacy instruction and the use of English in early stages of
education which hindered the development of fluency in reading and other competences.

The PEO said these and other factors prompted the ministry to put in place National Literacy Framework to create an environment necessary to increase learner achievement in literacy, adding that schools in the province are already implementing the revised curriculum, which requires learners to use familiar language from grade one to grade four.

Meanwhile, Kasanda Malombe School Manager, Caiphas Miyutu, urged all heads of learning institutions in the province to ensure they implement the revised curriculum and work hard so that they improve literacy levels.