United States Joins Zambia in Launching “Let’s Read, Zambia” Mobilization Campaign

Lusaka. January 17, 2014.

LUSAKA — The Ministry of Education, Science, Vocational Training, and Early Education (MESVTEE) launched on January 17 the “Let’s Read, Zambia” Mobilization Campaign, a three-year (2014 – 2017) national initiative supporting the roll-out of the Ministry’s new national education curriculum. The early-grade reading component of the new curriculum derives support from a strong team of cooperating partners in the education sector, including the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).

The “Let’s Read, Zambia” mobilization campaign is designed to assist the Ministry as it introduces a new national public school curriculum, at the core of which is the use of familiar-tongue instruction in early learning. The “Let’s Read, Zambia” campaign goal is to help motivate provincial and district education officials, as well as parents, communities, and the private sector to focus attention and resources on literacy instruction, and hold schools accountable for learning.

“Reading and writing are the foundations of all learning. Without these skills, it is impossible to do well in science, physics, mathematics, technology, and all other fields of study,” said United States Embassy Chargé d’Affaires, a.i. David J. Young. “Children who do not possess basic reading skills at the primary level are on a lifetime trajectory of limited educational progress and will have limited access to economic and development opportunities.”

Honorable Minister for Education Dr. John T. Phiri launched the campaign which took place at Kabulonga Basic School in Lusaka. The event was attended by key cooperating partners and stakeholders in the education sector, including USAID, Irish Aid, JICA, UKAID, UNICEF, and the NGO Room to Read. Providing additional support to the mobilization campaign, the oil company TOTAL/Zambia teamed up with USAID/Zambia’s Time to Learn project and donated Mobile School Library boxes to 150 community schools across Zambia. This support contributes to the existing private public partnerships among the MESVTEE, Kansanshi Foundation, ZANACO, and Maiden Publishing House, providing teaching and learning materials to 340 schools. The

MESVTEE has pledged to improve the reading skills of one million children in Zambia’s lower primary (grades 1 to 4) by 2016.