The Read Aloud Initiative in Lagos…Promoting Reading Culture among Primary School Pupils

In its bid to improve learning among primary schools, the Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu-led Lagos State Government has designed an initiative tagged “Read-Aloud, Lagos” to create and stimulate the interest of school children in reading books.

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.

“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.

“It is necessary to adopt new strategies of preparing for the new world of learning, since the novel Coronavirus (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,” said the Director-General, Lagos State Office of Education Quality Assurance, Abiola Seriki-Ayeni.

The director-general explained that the programme was initiated to bridge the identified reading gap among school pupils, revealing that the information available to the office showed that the time currently allocated to reading, during and after school hours, was inadequate.

She, 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.”

Seriki-Ayeni said the Read Aloud project would be launched during the celebration of Children’s Day on May 27 with a special edition featuring dignitaries, including Sanwo-Olu and the state Commissioner for Education, 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 after the special edition held on Children’s Day, noting 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.

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