This week we celebrated International Literacy Day around the world to raise awareness and recognise the importance of literacy. Our world has made positive strides in providing access to education, however, quality learning and literacy challenges continue to persist for many people in under-resourced areas. According to UNESCO, 773 million young people and adults still lack basic literacy skills today.
Education is a central focus of the Bulungula Incubator. In fact, the rehabilitation of No-Ofisi Primary School was the project that prompted the formal incorporation of the BI in 2007. At that time the only educational facility available was a collapsed wattle and daub structure, where little teaching of any kind took place.
We now have governmental schools in our area, and subsequently, access to schooling has increased dramatically. However, high enrolment rates in school often do not translate to improved learning for all students.
Even though children are attending school, many learners in our area still struggle with basic Maths and English literacy. In order to best support our learners, we developed our iiTablet Tshomiz Programme (iiTT). Using the approach Teaching at the Right Level (TaRL), developed by the Indian NGO Pratham, our learners are assessed and grouped together based on their understanding level. Then, using engaging and fun e-learning activities (Maths Buddy and Reading Eggs), and assisted by our vibrant youth iiTT Facilitators, learners develop their foundational reading and mathematics skills. Across four schools, grades one thru nine, our iiTT programme provides two hours of extra learning per child, per week, to over 1,100 learners.
We have seen great progress and success in our iiTT programme since its inception. This International Literacy Day, we reflect on and celebrate the efforts we have made to increase foundational learning in our community.