16TH APRIL, 2021
African Library and Information Associations and Institutions (AfLIA) has signed an agreement with Neil Butcher and Associates (NBA) to develop a course on early literacy development. The course will train public and community librarians in eighteen (18) African countries to understand and practice techniques for teaching children vocabulary development, print and phonemic awareness in mother tongue and English. The course is also expected to lead the participants to a deeper understanding of how to prompt the creativity of children as well as how to use open licensing to increase appropriate reading resources for the target age group through the translation of existing stories into mother-tongue languages.
Early literacy development is a foundational building block for academic achievement, lifelong learning and sustainable development. More so, when children are exposed to literacy-rich environments with age appropriate resources in their mother tongue, they internalize learning as part of their everyday lives.
NBA currently has a grant from the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation to explore both the potential for open licensing to enhance the availability of mother‐tongue early literacy reading resources in Africa and the attendant challenges. This work is based on the belief that it is essential to ensure that the voices of the global South are integral to the discourse, planning, and funding of early literacy initiatives. More information about this work can be found at http://www.earlyliteracynetwork.org/.
Equipping African librarians with requisite skills that will drive development is a core mandate of AfLIA. The project, which took off from the beginning of April, is expected to train librarians and library staff working in public and community libraries in Botswana, Egypt, Eswatini, Gambia, Ghana, Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Namibia, Nigeria, Rwanda, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.
Join AfLIA and NBA for a Tweet chat on Tuesday, 20th April, 2021 at 16.00 (GMT) to learn more about the project.