|Reading key to skills development: Dokora|
|Friday, 03 August 2012 00:00|
Increasing instructional time and the ability to read are the keys to achieving the goal of learning for all, Education, Sport, Arts and Culture Deputy Minister Lazarus Dokora has said. He said reading was the cornerstone for subsequent skills development.
“The learning and assessment gaps evidenced by many of our children suggest that there must be a paradigm shift from educational for all (EFA) to learning for all (LFA).
“In this regard, it is my submission that increasing instructional time and ability to read are the keys to achieving the goals of learning for all,” he said.
In his opening remarks at the Zimbabwe International Book Fair, Deputy Minister Dokora said reading was not as natural as talking.
“The short term memory holds only a few items, for a very brief period of time. Hence, to comprehend a sentence, children must be able to decode it in about 12 seconds.
“To understand lengthy text, learners must be able to read fluently at about one word per second (about 45-50 words per minute) and with about 95 percent accuracy. Early reading fluency is critical for later learning,” he said.
Deputy Minister Dokora said it should be appreciated that investing in reading was investing in learning for all.
“Learning for all through quality education will remain a pipe dream unless we, as nationals have acquired technology which keeps us in step with the rest of both the developing and the developed worlds.
“Computerisation is one way to move in tandem with the rest of the world. There is need to expose our learners to the world of computers as these serve as dynamic granaries of information that is retrievable at the touch of a button,” he said.
The communication highway, he said, had been widened with the inevitable results that those who have decided to ignore computers, their contribution and impact to human life, have done so at their own risk.
He said the Government launched the e-Government management system in September 2010, which challenged ministers to come up with e-flagships that led to the introduction and institutionalisation of the e-learning programme in schools.
Deputy Minister Dokora said as part of the pilot project, which involves 50 primary schools and 50 secondary schools from the 10 provinces, the national e-learning programme was launched at Chogugudza Primary School by President Mugabe on March 28 this year and at John Landa Nkomo School in Tsholotsho last month.
“This programme should transform the education sector through internet learning at both primary and secondary school levels.
“It may be appreciated that with the support of education partners, ministry have achieved a book to pupil ratio of 1:1 in the core subjects of English, Mathematics, ChiShona/Isindebele and Environmental Science in all primary schools and the same ratio has been achieved in the core subjects of English, Mathematics, ChiShona/IsiNdebele, Science, Geography and History in all secondary schools,” he said.
The minister said it was important that books should be looked after as replacement budgets were greater than repair budgets and that they should not find their way to street vendors.