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50 Pc Of Kenyan Pupils In Class 3 Unable To Read

A global non-profit organisation now claims that 50 percent of Kenyan pupils in class three are unable to read for comprehension.

The organisation known as Worldreader claims that this is due to the poor reading culture in the country.

This is consistent with the World Bank report indicating that 57% of children in low and middle income countries cannot reach a benchmark by the age of 10 years.

Worldreader Regional Director for East Africa Joan Mwachi, says that reading trends in Africa tend to focus on studying for exams with very little room left for building a culture of engaging with books for general knowledge and leisure.

“Unlike other European  countries  reading  culture  in Kenya  is a much lower, with focus always on the exams or other situational  aspects, so we felt  the need to make reading  an new normal  among  the young  children  and young adults so as they can grow holistically,” said Mrs. Mwachi.

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According to Mwachi, in order to solve this, reading resources need to be made available for children and parents/caregivers also need to be involved actively in reading.

“We acknowledge that reading stories with and to children is a fairly new concept in our culture, but the benefits far outweigh the challenges in a few years to come when young ones enrol into institutions for formal learning.  Worldreader is working with partners to build that curiosity and interest so that reading is incorporated as a way of life,”she added.

In fast paced towards 100 percent digital literacy Worldreader’s BookSmart has also come up with an easy-to-use free reading App that provideaccess to a library of culturally relevant digital books in five languages appropriate for both school and home as part of a journey to become lifelong readers and informed decision makers.

 Project has so far reached  40 countries including Kenya with priority  given  to urban  and peri-urban communities

By Rodgers Oduor