Collaboration key to increasing foundational literacy for children

Partners marking this years’ International Literacy Day have rooted for more collaboration to deepen learning outcomes for children.

In a forum at the Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development (KICD), the partners affirmed that by working together with organizations that have specific focus areas, schools and former students, literacy among children can greatly improve, especially in marginalized and vulnerable neighbourhoods.

“The future is in partnership and collaboration. I ask we work together to deliver the best for the Kenyan child”, stated Kawira Gikambi, a representative from the Ministry of Education.

This year, the works marks the day under the theme, Transforming Literacy Learning Spaces.

In Kenya, stakeholders created the Accelerated Learning Programme, where children from lower-income households and Arid and Semi-Arid counties are enjoying equal educational opportunities as their counterparts. Partners in the program include Safaricom Foundation, Zizi Afrique, Reli Africa and PAL Network among others.

“A holistic approach is needed to improve foundational learning outcomes. There is need to breach the gap among teachers and to leverage a community of actors for collaborations to reach more children”, said Winny Cherotich, Action Manager at PAL Nework.

September 8 every year is held to highlight the importance of literacy and raise awareness of literacy problems.

According to the UNESCO Institute for Statistics, in 2018 literacy rates for adults stood at 81.5 percent in Kenya.

The five essential skills needed for childhood literacy are phonetic awareness, vocabulary, print awareness, spelling and storytelling.

Joe Ogutu, the Chairman Safaricom Foundation said that they support institutions of learning across the country by partnering with them to put up infrastructure that cater to their academic needs such as classrooms. He added that they also support them in the areas of sanitation and accommodation by constructing facilities like ablution blocks and dormitories.

Safaricom Foundation Trustee Lynda Kasina said they are seeking more partners and conversations are underway to see how to have very intentional collaborations and interventions on teacher trainings.


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