By Vera Anyagafu
In a bid to improve learning outcomes and reading culture among Primary School pupils, the Lagos State Government has, through the State Office of Education Quality Assurance, designed an initiative, tagged: “Read-Aloud Lagos”.
The initiative is intended to create and stimulate the interest of school children in reading books.
The Director-General, Office of Education Quality Assurance, Abiola Seriki-Ayeni, disclosed this at a media briefing in Alausa, Ikeja at the weekend.
According to her, the initiative was introduced to encourage all children, within the primary school age bracket in the state, to imbibe the culture of reading in order to increase their knowledge and improve their comprehension.
She stated that, “As an education quality assurance person, I was moved by the conviction that children perform better when they are led in the act of reading by someone else. Therefore, Reading-Aloud is expected to be the most important activity for building the knowledge required for eventual success”.
Seriki-Ayeni explained that the programme was initiated to bridge the identified reading gap among school pupils, revealing that the information available to the Office shows that the time currently allocated to reading, during and after school hours, is inadequate.
She however maintained that, the reading ability of children would greatly improve if they have role models to look up to, stressing that, “Children should have role models that will guide them on how to pronounce words, read books and think critically”.
In addition, Seriki-Ayeni said that the Read-Aloud project would be launched during the celebration of Children’s Day on May 27, 2020, with a special edition featuring dignitaries, including Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, and the Commissioner for Education, Folashade Adefisayo, reading virtually to children through online platforms and electronic media.
Also, she hinted that plans have also been concluded to begin the programme officially on June 1, 2020, after the special edition held on Children’s Day, stressing that the initiative would be a continuous virtual engagement for children and it would be made accessible in different languages, as well as through various channels of communication.
“It is necessary to adopt new strategies of preparing for the new world of learning, since the COVID-19 pandemic has presently put a stop to classroom teaching. The implication of this new development is that learning in schools will never be the same again”, she maintained.