UK Charity Number: 1155829 Zambian NGO Registration: RINGO 101/0153/14
According to UNICEF in 2013, only 61.4% of Zambia's population is literate. The long term effects of illiteracy stretch way beyond that of simply not being able to read and write. Without the ability to write down ideas, connect with the world on the internet or learn about new technologies, the possibility for innovation and entreprenurship amongst Zambia's youth is that bit harder.
The SCZ Literacy Development programme, piloted in 2015, is designed specifically to tackle two significant root causes of low literacy levels amongst Zambia’s youth: lack of learning resources and of in-depth training and support for teachers. Through this programme we aim to drastically increase the literacy levels of the children, as well as the teaching capacity of teachers, at our partner schools.
Happy Readers is a literacy scheme started in Zimbabwe to effectively teach school children English as a foreign language. Both the Zimbabwean and Zambian Ministries of Education have approved the scheme for implementation across schools in both nations. Happy Readers have created a set of books, flash cards, posters, and teaching materials, which are tailored to children living in sub-Saharan Africa. The books are fantastic - and the children love them!
In order to make the most of the Happy Readers resources, we hold intensive teacher training workshops, including discussions and activities covering topics such as: practical techniques for teaching literacy, teaching English as a foreign language, difficulties faced in the classroom, specific Happy Readers methods and use of resources and the wider implications of improved literacy amongst Zambia’s youth.
In 2015, over 600 pupils and 10 teachers from 3 schools participated in our pilot literacy project. After just 12 months of the programme at Kariba South Primary School, Chisyabulungu Community School and Kampasa School for OVCs, we have already seen:
• 62% of children improved their literacy levels
• 25% increase in pupils scoring the expected level (or above) for their Grade
• 38% decrease in pupils scoring 2 or more years below the expected level for their Grade
• Children improved their reading age by an average of 1.3 years
• 100% of teachers reported an improvement in their teaching skills since the training workshop
• 100% of teachers reported an improvement in their confidence in teaching since the training workshop
For a more detailed report on the 2015 pilot, please see the report here.
In 2016 we expanded our Literacy Development work to our 2 new partner schools increasing our reach to a total of over 2,200 pupils and 43 teachers at 5 schools!
Children at Kampasa School for OCVs in Lusaka with their Happy Readers books