𝐏𝐫𝐨𝐯𝐢𝐧𝐜𝐢𝐚𝐥 𝐋𝐢𝐭𝐞𝐫𝐚𝐜𝐲 𝐓𝐫𝐚𝐢𝐧𝐞𝐫 𝐢𝐦𝐩𝐫𝐨𝐯𝐞𝐬 𝐥𝐢𝐭𝐞𝐫𝐚𝐜𝐲 𝐚𝐭 𝐩𝐫𝐨𝐯𝐢𝐧𝐜𝐢𝐚𝐥 𝐥𝐞𝐯𝐞𝐥: 𝐖𝐏 𝐄𝐝𝐮𝐜𝐚𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧 𝐌𝐢𝐧𝐢𝐬𝐭𝐞𝐫
Western Provincial Minister for Education Nixon Buka has commended the Provincial Literacy Trainer (PLT) program supported by the Ministry of Education and Human Resources Development (MEHRD).
The minister said although challenges remain, one of its successes is it improves literacy at provincial level and assists children to be able to read fluently at an early age.
Delivering his keynote address in yesterday’s World Literacy Day celebrations in the Western Provincial capital of Gizo, Mr Buka said the program prepares children for self-reliance, inclusivity and development holistically.
“The PLT program has covered 106 primary schools from Marovo to Shortland Islands. It aims to improve teachers’ strategy of teaching, reading, writing, speaking and listening.
“This program aims to improve teachers’ competency to teach literacy at school level for primary so that our children can be able to read fluently and write at the fullest level of competency,” Mr Buka says.
He adds, the program also assesses children’s level of competency and ability. Minister Buka said Noro and Gizo Primary schools have performed exceptionally well from the program.
“Despite the successes, there are still challenges faced in this program. Lack of early childhood foundation, therefore children are finding it difficult to learn quickly and skip classes.
“Lack of community support towards ECE due to financial issues and lack of parental support to students learning due to financial difficulties,” he says.
The Minister also commended the use of existing digital technology to enhance literacy at all levels at home and in school.
“I would like to acknowledge the use of technology to help address the issue of learning continuity during the COVID-19 pandemic since 2020.
“MEHRD introduces the use of technology and digital platforms to ensure learning continues at home, aired through SIBC, TV and other digital platforms,” he says.
Buka states this recognizes the use of existing digital technology to enhance literacy at all levels at home and in school.
World Literacy Day is celebrated annually on September 8, to raise awareness and concern for literacy problems that exist within local communities, as well as globally.
The theme for this year is, “Literacy for a Human-Centered Recovery: Narrowing the Digital Divide.”
The Local theme that was celebrated at Gizo yesterday was, “Literacy for Life at Home and in School.”
The minister highlighted that although much progress has been made to improve literacy rate in more than 50 years since the first literacy day, illiteracy is still a big problem.
“More than 750 million people around the world are still illiterate.”
However, he said literacy is a life-long learning.
The minister called on communities to support Early Childhood Education (ECE) Centers. He adds, parents must enroll their children in ECE centers at the right age.
He furthers, Teachers in Training (TIT) needs to be trained and qualified. “I Call on all stakeholders to work together and to maintain and improve literacy level at the community and provincial level.
“It is envisioned that all children must become good readers, critical thinkers and good decision makers in their communities,” he says.
SIBC understands that the program was piloted in 2015. Support and activity was designed and implemented by the local Education Authority (provincial, church and independent), with the support (expertise, finding, strategy) from the central MEHRD office through the new Literacy Programme Management Unit (LPMU)
by Jared Koli