Inspired by reading…

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Pamela Bhanji and Albert Katagira at the Pan-African Reading for All Conference 2015Two Tanzanian teachers attending the Pan-African Literacy for All conference have been so inspired by the event that they have ambitions to form a reading association in the country.

Pamela Bhanji of the Foundation International School and Albert Katagira of Usiime School, both in Dar es Salaam, are attending the conference thanks to a competition managed by Oxford University Press Tanzania and and the Tanzania Association of Managers and Owners of Non-Government Schools and Colleges (TAMONGSCO).

The pair have attended numerous talks and seminars at the event, and have been impressed with the content. Bhanji said: “There’s no end to learning. I’m still learning at my age – this is why I am here today. I have been lucky enough to attend a lot of workshops and will take home what I have learned and share with other teachers.”

Both commented on the creativity displayed during the sessions, and the focus on reading for pleasure.

“Since I have been here, it’s been reading, reading, reading,” Katagira explained: “The more you read the more you love it. We don’t have a reading culture in Tanzania, but I’m really inspired.”

Bhanji added:  “We don’t often give space for learners to be creative. Most of the workshops I have attended they are encouraging learners to be creative and work independently. We must shift to this approach.

Both educators are keen to make use of their learning after the conference, and have plans to work with other teachers to encourage the development of a reading culture.

Katagira explained: “We’d love to start a reading association in Tanzania. Many other countries have reading associations and it would be a great thing to start.  We miss these kinds of workshop and we don’t have formal channels of communication – an association would help us link together.”

“I want to make it fun for a child to read. There’s not formula to it – it’s something that’s really inspired me about the conference,” added Bhanji.

In line with its commitment to education across Africa, in September 2015 Oxford University Press proudly sponsored the Pan African Reading for All and Reading Association of South Africa Literacy Conference. This article is part of a collection of insights from conference and reflections from delegates. To find out more about the event, go to www.rasa2015.co.za 

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