Improving literacy levels in rural areas
June 4 2014

The official language of Zambia is English.  Being fluent in English is an important requirement for employment, education and commercial purposes.  However, despite the best efforts of government and schools, obtaining access to material and assessment to improve literacy levels in children can be difficult.  Illiteracy seems to be more prevalent in girls and those children living in rural areas, where access to education and resources can be especially constrained.  ALERT and Lion Encounter’s Reading Club based at Twabuka School seeks to help children, based in a rural location, improve their English literacy skills.  With help from Coventry University, the children of Twabuka School have recently been assessed to ascertain their reading age, and have access to appropriate material to improve their reading and comprehension skills.   The results of the literacy tests show a wide-range of ability amongst children aged 10 to 15 years old.  Knowing each child’s reading age helps us to devise a programme of learning that is appropriate for each individual, and to assess improvement over time.  Assistance from Coventry University, Axis Education Limited, Lion Encounter and ALERT volunteers and interns, is enabling us to create a tailored programme to help raise literacy levels in these children, which will in turn improve their engagement with education, obtain employment, and participate in the day to day infrastructure of Zambian life.

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