Happy Readers Literacy Projects engages ZIMTA PDF Print E-mail

Zimbabwe Teachers’ Association (ZIMTA) in conjunction with Happy Readers has held a workshop at Karoi Junior School with the workshop focusing on educating grade one teachers on the teaching of reading skills at early grades.

 

Created   10 - December- 2012

 

 

 

The workshop was held under the theme ‘Teaching of reading’. 50 teachers from 16 schools from Hurungwe District in the Western Circuit attended the workshop and they comprised of ZIMTA members and non members.

 

Happy Readers Director in Zimbabwe, Conor O’Beirne said Happy Reading is a learn to read programme which is specifically developed for the teaching of reading in Africa and it makes use of bright colourful books using African wild animals in an African setup.

 

“We saw the need for good reading books that are high quality and fun for children. The books are embedded with a lot of literacy signs in stories that reflect positive African cultural values.’’ he said.

 

The aim of Happy Books is to address the desperate situation in early childhood literacy in Zimbabwe and surrounding countries where so many schools at grassroots level have limited access to reading books

 Teachers showcase books they recieved from

                       Happy  Readers

“We believe that all children regardless of background and social economic status should be able to benefit from high quality reading materials”, O’Beirne, said.

 

O’Beirne added that Happy Books partnership with ZIMTA was a vital way of connecting with teachers and empowering teachers would help them to teach children to read in early grades effectively.

 

Happy Readers focuses on the teaching of children to read at early grades and the workshop covered the basics of teaching of reading, differences between teaching reading of Shona and English.

 

O’Beirne said Happy Readers was focusing on reading because young children need to get a good start on reading skills so that they do not struggle in the later stages of life. Acquiring good reading skills would automatically improve their pass rate at all levels.

 

Happy Readers programme for grade one comprised of reading books in English and an ABC dictionary in Shona English and Ndebele and a full teacher kit which consists of a handbook which would have a number of activities for teachers to do with the students.

 

Speaking after the workshop, ZIMTA Hurungwe District Chairperson, Mrs Ruzvidzo said the workshop had revived them as teachers.

 

“This workshop empowered us as teachers, we were treating reading as a thing of the past and we are going to employ the various methods of reading we were taught today, that will make us alive.” she said

 

Mr Chawira, a grade one teacher at Dewu Primary School said the workshop was helpful and he was very happy that he was receiving books free of charge citing that most rural school did not have the money to buy books from which children can learn the most basic skills.

 

The ZIMTA Provincial Education Officer for Mashonaland West , Mr Gabriel Manyanda, said the methods of teaching delivered in the workshop were good and they were received by teachers very well.

 

Happy Books donated 2500 books to 16 primary schools and they received an extremely positive reception from teachers and headmasters who were present.

 

Developed in Zimbabwe and approved by the Ministry of Education, Happy Books have been adopted in over 400 schools in Zimbabwe. The programme is administered by United Nations International Children’s Emergency Funds (UNICEF) and it was launched with the initiative of encouraging early childhood literacy.

 

 

 

 

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