14 December 2019
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Wednesday, 02 May 2018 13:05

Ministry dismisses rumour that National Reading Program (NRP) has been phased out

Written by  Esnath Kalawe

Lilongwe, May 2, 2018: Despite allegations that National Reading Program (NRP) has phased out, the Ministry of Education Science and Technology says the program is on and has been very successful.

NRP is an initiative of the Ministry of Education Science and Technology that seeks to promote basic education to ensure that learners from standards one up to four are able to read and write Chichewa and English.

With the school calendar in the third week since schools opened on 16th April, some teachers who opted for anonymity have been skeptical of continuation of the program, saying they were surprised that teachers for standards two to four were not called for trainings which were conducted in phases, as it has been at the beginning of the program.

Usually, the trainings were conducted during holidays in readiness for the term coming ahead.   
In a recent interview with Malawi News Agency (Mana), Ministry of Education Public Relations Officer, Lindiwe Chide said the program is still on.

“The initiative cannot be eliminated since it has been proved to be one of the most effective ways of teaching as proved by the Ministry of Education,” Chide said.

Chide acknowledged that during the just ended holiday, teachers were not called for the training workshops as was the case in December because the system has changed.

“We have changed the system of training teachers because currently, we are emphasizing on school- based trainings where schools are being empowered to be self-propelling,” she elaborated.

She further explained that the establishment of the program has brought significant impact in education. She said through the program, a textbooks-take-home policy was introduced in addition to training all teachers of Chichewa and English in handling the subjects.

 “The teachers have been equipped with skills on effective methodology of teaching literature which has enabled most learners to read English and Chichewa in relation to the level text fluency,” Chide explained.

Despite the successes, the program is going through challenges such as classroom shortage due to high enrolment of learners.

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