Reading opens doors to learning about everything. “THE NAME OF THE DOG IS PUPPY” this seems like a simple sentence. But did you know that in Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and even Bangladesh three out of four third-grade students do not understand it?
All children should be able to read by age 10. Reading is a gateway for learning as the child progresses through school—and conversely, an inability to read slams that gate shut. Beyond this, when children cannot read, it’s usually a clear indication that school systems aren’t well organized to help children learn in other areas such as math, science, and the humanities. And although it is possible to learn later in life with enough effort, children who don’t read by age 10—or at the latest, by the end of primary school—usually fail to master reading later in their schooling career.
The world is facing a learning crisis. While countries have significantly increased access to education, being in school isn’t the same thing as learning. Worldwide, hundreds of millions of children reach young adulthood without even the most basic skills like calculating the correct change from a transaction, reading a doctor’s instructions, or understanding a bus schedule—let alone building a fulfilling career or educating their children.
Globally, alarming statistics reveal that 70% of 10-year-olds in low- and middle-income economies face “learning poverty,” struggling to read and comprehend simple texts. This issue is particularly concerning as six out of every ten children worldwide suffer from learning poverty, as reported by the UN. The repercussions extend to economic impact, with education being crucial for building human capital. The latest World Bank research indicates that the productivity of 56% of children around the globe would be severely affected without complete education and optimal health.
In Bangladesh, despite a high enrollment rate of around 98%, a study reveals that 79% of children lack essential reading, comprehension, and writing skills in both Bangla and English. This poses a significant threat to future workforce and economic well-being. Immediate attention is required to address this educational crisis before the numbers worsen.
The vision of Grow your Reader is to ensure that every child and youth acquires the necessary reading skills to become productive, fulfilled, and engaged citizens who can take charge of their lives and contribute to their communities. Our primary focus involves assisting teachers at all levels in enhancing their effectiveness, improving learning technology, and strengthening school and system management. We aim to equip learners of all ages, from preschool to adulthood, for success.
According to the teachers this is one of the best resources they have ever come across which is so easy to implement and a creative way to learn how to read unlike the usual conventional method used by the government schools in Bangladesh leading children to follow memorization methods. The teachers appreciate the resource for being an innovative and efficient approach to teaching reading skills. However, they identify potential challenges related to classroom management and suggest improvements such as, providing training in this area and incorporating audio elements to augment the learning experience.
This curriculum has given them the opportunity to witness a heightened enthusiasm for reading English among their children. Evident shifts in behavior, such as- increased school attendance, active engagement with books at home, and taking on the role of reading mentors to their siblings, showcase a notable transformation. Their children now dedicate more time and effort to cultivating their reading skills, redirecting their focus from aimless wandering to purposeful and constructive activities.
Observing the Students:
We effectively observed the cognitive growth and step-by-step improvement in English reading skills among the students. The utilization of reading trackers, specifically crafted to assess their proficiency levels, allows for the quick identification of those advancing more slowly. Consequently, teachers can allocate extra time and assistance to these individuals. The integration of Reading Secrets strategies not only cultivates improved self-competence in students but also empowers them by instilling confidence in their learning approach.
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