‘Literacy levels in Southern province unimpressive’

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—Government, through the Ministry of Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early Education, says literacy levels in the country particularly Southern province is not very impressive.


Southern Province Principal Education Standards Officer (PESO), Peggy Chilema, said it is for this reason that her ministry, working together with other cooperating partners and the Ministry of Community Development, is doing everything possible to provide literacy education to community members who need the services.


Mrs Chilema said this is in an effort to provide education for all in fulfillment of the millennium development goals.


She was speaking yesterday during the commemoration of World Literacy Day held at Linda community hall in Livingstone.


Mrs Chilema charged that literacy is important to everyone and that is why governments world over are supporting it both inside and outside the classroom environment.


She disclosed that at independence, Zambia inherited a backlog of citizenry that was not able to access formal education easily and that is why the country introduced adult literacy to cater for the adult population as a compliment to the formal education.


Mrs Chilema said through this initiative, the country educated many citizens that are now greatly contributing to its development.


She mentioned that the good health and nutrition as well as informed decisions made where reproduction health is concerned observed in most households are a sign of a literate nation.


The PESO said Southern Province has 603 adult literacy learners in its centres with Livingstone contributing 135 of them, adding that these women and men will not be the same after undergoing their adult literacy courses whose content include entrepreneurship, literacy, numeracy, civic and environmental education among others.


Mrs Chilema said this year’s theme, ‘literacy for sustainable development’ has come at a better time when the country is celebrating the 50 years of independence, adding that government will continue using literacy as a means for sustainable development for now and future generation.


And District Education Boards Secretary, Zeneliah Chola, encouraged men and women who are illiterate to go back to adult learning without fear of being laughed at so that they can develop themselves.


Mrs Chola said difficult situations are always there as one strives to aim higher especially when it comes to acquiring knowledge, adding that one should remain focused in wanting to achieve one’s goal.


Earlier, a motivational speaker, Andrew Mulenga, encouraged people to read and make use of libraries so that they can be knowledgeable in a lot of things.


Dr Mulenga said literacy does not mean being able to speak English only but one can be able to speak and read different languages.