SDG Book Club International Literacy Day - Chrisland Schools
17 January 2022
In commemoration of International Literacy Day, the SDG Book Club African Chapter asked its Ambassador Schools to reflect on the importance of literacy, the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and how children are adapting to the 'new normal'. In addition to this video, you can also read the following blog entries submitted by the Chrisland Schools.
INTERNATIONAL LITERACY DAY
Literacy is a bridge from misery to hope. It is a tool for daily life in modern society. Literacy is a platform for democratization, and a vehicle for the promotion of cultural and national identity.
Prior to the outbreak of the monstrous COVID-19 in Nigeria, a struggle was already ongoing in Nigeria’s educational sector to ensure that both young and old Nigerians acquire literacy. Most governments around the world closed down educational institutions in an attempt to contain the spread of the virus. The school closures impacted not only students, teacher and families, but also had far-reaching economic and societal consequences. Yes the pandemic has illuminated the dark side of social and economic issues; including, but not limited to inequities around the internet and digital learning, food insecurity, student debt, healthcare, disability, childcare and so on. Indeed, the impact was devastating to all, causing interrupted learning. The use of distance learning programmes took of alongside open educational applications as well as platforms that school and teachers can use to reach learners remotely in order to limit the disruption to education.
To make literacy accessible to all, mass acquisition of modern learning gadgets order than textbooks should be used. Everyone, both children and adults, should have some form of learning gadgets. As the trend is, online tools would be helpful complements to in-person instruction; however it cannot be a replacement.
Suffice to state that there is no comparison between in-person, teacher. Led instructions and virtual or online learning. Yes, according to studies and by my own experience, the former is simply far better.
There is need to design courses and develop teaching strategies to meet the needs of people from a variety of backgrounds, abilities and learning styles.
Donor funding for adult literacy should play a role in the same way child literacy in African communities is often supported by donor funding. It is also imperative to emphasize here that teaching in local languages helps a great deal to assist effective literacy. In addition, fostering a love of reading is another good way to improve literacy.
Several instructional approaches to word identification and reading comprehension employ scaffolding, a term coined by Wood Bruner and Ross (1976). Scaffolding means that necessary support needs to be given to a learner and gradually faded once the learner approximates independent functioning while completing tasks. Examples of scaffolding include teacher facilitation and feedback as well as appropriate instructional material that serve as supportive structures to make tasks solvable. Instructors who embrace scaffolding procedures are often those who view themselves and the materials they design or select as mediators of learner’s, development.
In conclusion, acquiring literacy is an empowering process, enabling millions to enjoy access to knowledge and information which broadens horizons, increases opportunities and creates alternatives for building and alternatives for building a better life.
- Ethel D Owasanoye from Chrisland High School, Ikeja, Lagos State, Nigeria
INTERNATIONAL LITERACY DAY
A number of pupils gave their views concerning literacy, in commemoration International Literacy Day. The following is a summary of their views given by the children:
Literacy is a combination of subjects that have to do with letters; being able to read and go on journeys from place to place while still at a place. Literacy is a subject that combines creative writing, handwriting grammar and spelling and the ability to, write and speak in any language very well, bearing in mind correctness in grammar, punctuation and spelling.All the respondents went for the online option of education during the COVID-19 lockdown though there was a preference for physical schooling which needs no internet connection (with its attendant bottlenecks). They preferred interaction with teachers and classmates and taking lesson notes in person at school. Physical schooling leaves no room for distractions or for pretending to be present or attentive when actually not being so. One respondent reasoned that online schooling would eliminate unfinished or abandoned work. This was a good point.
Zoom and Google Classroom are examples of platforms used in the course of learning during the lockdown. The interaction with educators and fellow learners and to bridge distances.
It was suggested that practical learning, excursions and more teachers could help in the drive for widespread literacy. Also, classroom games, school club meetings, events and outdoor activities could make learning more interesting and more fun. Reduction of school fees and the opening of low-cost schools, establishing and opening more public libraries all around the world (as people have a right to read, one of the respondents stated), will all help to drive widespread literacy giving more books to charity, broadcasting of free lessons on television and radio would make literacy more accessible to all. It was also suggested that less privileged people be considered for benefits in schools.As a means of encouraging the drive for literacy, it was suggested that birthday parties be taken more seriously so that no one would feel left out!
These recommendations, if worked on, could indeed go a long way to ensure that literacy gets the reach and attention that it deserves. One right that any child has is the right to education.
- Chrisland School, Victoria Garden City, Lagos, Nigeria
INTERNATIONAL LITERACY DAY
I can read and write because of you;
You make my world easier and enjoyable.
How would I have been able to express my feelings without you?
How would I have been able to communicate with people?
How would I have explained my thoughts to all around me?
On your wings have I soared so high beyond imagination.
Your contribution to my world will I never forget.
Literacy! Oh how I love you and hold you dear to my heart.
The right to literacy in these times of challenges cannot be over emphasized. This is because communication is vital and plays an important role in the 21st century.
The Covid-19 pandemic came as a shock to the children and it affected their learning. It also made them rise to a challenge they had never encountered before. They were able to cope with the help of parents and guardians who sometimes also struggled to rise up to the challenges the pandemic brought.
Most children attested to the fact that the pandemic affected their learning. The poor internet connectivity in the country and the unavailability of electrical power obstacles as they took steps to sharpen their ICT skills and endured being pushed into learning much faster than they would normally learn.
It was fun to some and tasking to some others. It took a toll on everyone. The internet (Zoom, Google classroom) became their unseen teacher. The children still preferred the physical schooling because of interaction with classmates and with their teacher which they missed. Some of the children believe that learning online creates room for children to do whatever they like and it was an avenue for them to surf content they should not search for. They mentioned that learning online creates a gap between them and the school in general.
They explained what literacy is to them and defined literacy as the ability to read, write, speak and listen while accessible learning, they said, is a type of learning that is reachable by all. The children recommend the internet under guidance as it will help many children create connection with literacy. They also mentioned that the use of educational videos and educational games during learning would make learning easier and more enjoyable. Free education was also an aspect that should not be downplayed and it should be given to everyone. It was mentioned that practical examples and demonstrations should be given, local TV stations should be created with good educational content and more schools should be built.
In conclusion, the world of literacy must continue to expand day by day and its expected outcomes must not be jeopardized.
Chrisland School Opebi learners who contributed to this blog entry are Olamide, Isimi, Ayoife, Adebusola, Daniella and Ehiereme.