In the Kajiado region of Kenya, literacy is an important issue. Research indicates that just 30 percent of parents are able to read and write, and there low levels of literacy among teachers. A project designed to address these problems was highlighted at the 2015 Pan-African Literacy for All Conference.
The Kenya Reading project is a collaboration between a Canadian NGO and Kenyan education experts that has helped to improve the education of 40,000 students.
George Andima of Kisii University and Adelheid Bwire of Kenyatta University were among the team presenting the project to the Oxford University Press-sponsored Pan African Literacy For All Conference in Cape Town, South Africa.
The team presented about teachers’ reading clubs that have been formed as part of the project. The clubs give teachers of young children the opportunity to improve their own literacy skills through reading professional materials – enabling them to better support their students.
Adelheid Bwire said: “Educators must be able to read. We need them to teach comprehension and if they don’t have the comprehension themselves that is not possible. At first, teachers were poorly prepared and there was a big gap in abilities, but we saw great improvements during the project.”
Mr Andima added: “These professional reading clubs show teachers that it is possible for teachers to read well. The participants got excited about their own literacy because they were engaged and excited about what they were reading.”
The Kenya Reading Project is a collaboration between Canadian NGO CODE and the National books Development Council of Kenya. For more information go to www.codecan.org/kenya
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