The Ministry of Education and partners from the Soma Rwanda platform have launched the National Reading Campaign under the theme “Make Time for Reading” at E.P. Sozi in Kagogo Sector, Burera District, on February 5, 2020.
The launch of the campaign demonstrates Rwanda’s commitment to take necessary actions to improve children’s reading outcomes as literacy is foundational to transform the country into a thriving, knowledge-based economy.
The aim of the “Make Time for Reading!” campaign, which will run through December 2020, is to prioritize reading at school, at home and in the community.
Over the last year, USAID Soma Umenye supported the Rwanda Education Board (REB) to distribute over one million Kinyarwanda textbooks in all public and government-aided schools. Currently each P1-P3 student has received a textbook.
REB also was supported to establish classroom libraries in those P1-P3 classrooms where over 900,000 storybooks have already been distributed. Community reading clubs across Rwanda have been supplied with over 400,000 storybooks through USAID Mureke Dusome.
Addressing the participants of the campaign launch, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Education, Samuel Mulindwa urged parents and teachers to make time for children to read.
“Now that the books are in schools and in communities, children need the time and support to use these resources. Teachers and head teachers need to ensure that all teachers make time for children to read at school and encourage children to take books home to practice their reading.” He said.
“We count on you, parents, to find at least 15 minutes every day to sit with your children to listen to them read, and to support them in taking care of these valuable books and return them to school in good condition.” He added.
USAID Rwanda is partnering with the Ministry of Education, the Rwanda Education Board, schools, and communities to ensure that every child can read with confidence by the end of P3, USAID Mission Director, Leslie Marbury, said during her remarks.
“Our collective goal is that all children have plenty of materials to practice reading and to become excellent readers. The evidence from Rwandan schools and from around the world is clear: reading is critical for a student’s academic success, and it’s also critical for a country’s sustained economic growth. Parents, make time for your child to practice reading at home and to attend community reading clubs, because children need that extra practice at home for reading to become quick and easy. Making time for your child to read – even just 15 minutes a day – will really support them to learn to read quickly and easily!”
“I used to provide my child with time to read while at home and it impacted positively to his performance at school. It’s our responsibilities as parents to promote a reading culture among our children at home and help them to keep their textbooks in good condition.” Alex Kagame said.
“Books are the source of knowledge, so providing children with time to read help improving their skills. We’re all committed, as Burera District residents, to providing them with at least 15 minutes to read every day.” Burera District Mayor, Uwanyirigira Marie Chantal says.
According to the Unesco Global Monitoring Report of 2014-2015, at least 250 million children worldwide can’t read, write or do math.130 million of these children are in schools. This impacts negatively on the economy, health, democracy, human rights, among other sectors.
World Bank’s Human Capital Index 2018 ranks Rwanda below most countries in the region.
By Kanamugire Emmanuel347