I have read interesting reactions including insults to a post I made about our learner’s inability to read before getting to primary six.
Let me again state that, The major reasons why our children cannot read before reaching class six is that:
1. The needed attention is not being given to reading by teachers due to various reasons. Most of us don’t really care how many learners can read before leaving our class. A child who can only identity letters of the alphabet before coming to our class can remain like that for the whole academic year and move to the next class. We are not accountable to anyone about this. In fact, we don’t even track it.
a. We feel the subjects are too many to give too much attention to just one aspect forgetting that this is a basic skill the child needs to be motivated and to succeed in other subjects.
b. Supervisors don’t care whether your children can read or not. They only care about output of work. To them, output of work means a lot of written exercises, lesson notes and other irrelevances- there’s no focus on what learners know or can do at a certain level.
c. The next teacher to receive learners feels, oh the child was supposed to learn this particular skill before coming to his class for example, knowing the letters of the alphabet. If the child is not able too, we leave that child behind because, spending extra time on him would delay the others or we even think the child is block headed and cannot learn how to read if at that level, he can’t demonstrate that skill.
2. We are using a teaching method that is only favoring a few and leaving the rest behind.
a. The USAID learning program recently piloted in some districts across the country has proven that, we need to teach the 21st century child with a 21st century methodology. Majority of the learners who experienced this program can read before reaching class four. Those who cannot read have at least gotten the basic concepts of reading and there are higher hopes of them even picking up and overtaking the others. The same children we claim are not learning at home or their parents are not teaching them oo.
b. We teach with the mindset that the child has to go and learn himself or be taught by their parents at home before they can be able to read.
I agree with the fact that, personal practice and parental guidance at home counts in equipping the child with reading skills quickly but, let’s consider the following: A child who has no parents, a child who’s parents are the busy type-they know they can’t teach the child so they brought him to you, a child who’s parents are illiterates and don’t even know the relevance of education, a child who has to work after school.
Don’t they also deserve the chance to learn how to read? As professional teachers, are we not supposed to tailor our teaching methods to meet the needs of all these students in our class?
The children spend more than half of the active day with us in the schools. So I ask again, is this period not enough for teachers to teach a child to read successfully before reaching basic six without parents having to help them at home?
Our children cannot read, it must be a worry to us all.
Source : Hon Jerry Akporhor