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Lagos govt launches initiative to boost reading culture

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By Olasunkanmi Akoni

The Lagos State Government through the Office of Education Quality Assurance has designed an initiative, tagged “Read-Aloud, Lagos”, to create and stimulate the interest of school children in reading books.

The Director-General, Office of Education Quality Assurance, Mrs Abiola Seriki-Ayeni, who disclosed this at a media briefing at the weekend in Alausa, Ikeja, explained that the initiative was introduced to encourage all children, within the primary school age bracket in the state to imbibe the culture of reading as well as increase their knowledge and improve their comprehension.

Seriki-Ayeni said, “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”.

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She further 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.

The Director-General, however, maintained that the reading ability of Children would greatly improve if they have role models to look up to, saying “Children should have role models that will guide them on how to pronounce words, read books and think critically”.

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Seriki-Ayeni stated 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 Honourable Commissioner for Education, Mrs Folashade Adefisayo, reading virtually to children through online platforms and electronic media.

She averred 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,” Seriki-Ayeni said.


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