Raise a Smile is working with the Ministry of Education to host a series of literacy training days for teachers in Mambwe District. Literacy is the foundation of education, yet in the rural areas of Zambia one in four men and half of all women are illiterate¹. Rural schools face many challenges such as large class sizes and a lack of teaching materials, which is why we are working with the Ministry of Education to help tackle some of these challenges and improve literacy teaching.
As well as distributing our STAARS: Resource Manual for Chinyanja Early Literacy, we are inviting primary school teachers from across the district to attend 2 days of training to improve their literacy teaching in the local language of Chinyanja. By the end of 2016 every grade one and two teacher in Mambwe District will have received a copy of the resource manual and attended our teacher training sessions.
During the two days, teachers are given valuable information and tips for teaching literacy with a focus on addressing the challenges of teaching in a rural setting. We demonstrate how the STAARS resource manual can make teaching easier, and then oversee the teachers making their own teaching aids which they can take back to their schools to use in the classroom. All of the teaching aids are simple to make and only require basic materials such as paper and marker pens, which enables teachers to continue to teach effectively without the need for expensive or unavailable materials. After making teaching aids we demonstrate a range of fun and exciting educational games and activities that teachers can use to make their lessons more interesting for their students.
In addition to the knowledge gained, every teacher leaves with a pack of materials that they can use to make more teaching and learning aids and of course a copy of our manual.
¹ Zambia demographic and health survey 2007