Luanshya Acting DC bemoans high illiteracy levels

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THE recent implementation of the revised national education curriculum by Government, which introduced teaching of local language syllabus from Pre-School to Grade four level in Primary Schools, is progressing well in Choma district, Southern Province. Above, Grade One pupils at Kalundu Ka Maria Primary School were found cheerfully learning how to construct sentences in Citonga in their classroom.
Luanshya Acting District Commissioner Kasemuka Mwalo has expressed concern at the high levels of illiteracy among women and girls in the district despite the area having adequate learning facilities.

Mrs. Mwalo observed that women and girls were still neglected regarding access to formal education despite the district‘s rich history of being a torch bearer in enhancing literacy among youths and adults.

She was speaking in Luanshya today during the commemoration of the jubilee international literacy day celebrated under the theme “reading the past, recording the future”.

She urged the education sector in the district to strive to eliminate stereotyping across the board and chart a course of action that would advantage the female gender on the highway to attain literacy skills.

Mrs. Mwalo added that women can contribute significantly to economic development through entrepreneurship only when they attain literacy and learn how to read and write.

She further urged both adults and youths to embrace the culture of reading and writing and record landmark attainments by writing books in order to combat illiteracy.

And Luanshya District Education Board Secretary Peter Kaonga said the introduction of the new curriculum which included two carrier pathways would help in promoting literacy levels in the district.

Mr. Kaonga noted that the dedication of teachers and the implementation of the new curriculum would help in reducing literacy levels in the district.

He observed that literacy can help Zambia become a middle income country.

Mr. Kaonga further said it was sad that illiteracy levels were not only high among adults but that it has also affected young learners in schools.

He disclosed that a survey conducted in 2013 to determine illiteracy levels among grade 12 learners in the district revealed that there was a total of 139 pupils who could not read and write.

He added that in another inquiry conducted among grade one pupils last week, 70 percent of the leaners could read and write.

And a beneficiary of adult literacy Mwewa Simbeye, an entrepreneur who started grade one at the age of 35 through adult literacy, thanked government for introducing the programme which she said was pivotal in promoting development.

Ms. Simbeye said she can now read and right adding that this has helped her in managing her business activities which she could not understand in the past.

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