CITW Zambezi is happy to announce that we have officially begun the process of setting up our very first Literacy Centres – at Jabulani Primary School and the Jafuta Foundation Centre, both located just a short drive from Victoria Falls.
We believe that aiding a child in learning to read is by far one of the most important investments into their futures that we at CITW Zambezi can make. Over the last 20 years, a combination of poor pay and working conditions has resulted in the majority of qualified teachers leaving their professions in search of other employment and living wages.
Add COVID into the mix and it is not surprising that more than half of the Grade 7 students leaving primary school are unable to read, write or comprehend English. Due to this, we felt intervention was crucial in order for the students within CITW partner schools to have a fair chance in the future. And so the idea of Literacy Centres came to life.
The main focus of these Literacy Centres is to create an informed, capable and highly motivated environment that is available to help students and children in the surrounding areas who have been identified as struggling with basic literacy skills and reading. The centres will be open throughout the day for these students to access, as well as be open on certain evenings for extra lessons for any adults from the community who are wanting to learn to read.
The process of setting up the centres began during the last week of June. Twenty young school-leavers from the surrounding communities volunteered to take part in an intensive week-long literacy training workshop in order to become Literacy Mentors for the centres. The workshop was carried out in collaboration with a trainer from WordWorks, whose main aim is providing early literacy programme training.
From this workshop, these school-leavers are now able to use fun, interactive and carefully thought-out lesson plans to improve and teach crucial literacy skills to anyone needing the extra help. The literacy mentors and centre as a whole will be overseen by the English teacher in charge at the school, and all will receive a stipend for their time and effort.