Accelerating literacy in children

A regard to the conditions of school infrastructure and furniture, teachers, deputy directors and parents and guardians affirm that schools do not yet have the ideal conditions for the course of the teaching and learning process. 

In general, all schools have problems of lack of teaching material, i.e, the books received by the ministry of education do not reach all students, which creates enormous embarrassments to the teaching and learning process of children and visual materials to support the teaching such as posters, squares and maps are insufficient and in some cases almost non-existent.

The interviewed teachers mention that one of their first activities is the socialization of children in the school environment, taking into account that they come from home without knowing how to speak Portuguese. Then, the vowels, the alphabet, the syllables begin to be taught and the activities foreseen in the teaching program for the initial classes begin to be carried out.

To overcome the barrier of lack of books, teachers write the lessons on the board and students copy it to exercise books and try to guide students to follow the lessons through their notebooks. Other teachers create specific activities for students who don't have books and for students who have books. 

Considering that students come from different realities and have different abilities and characteristics, teachers say they can notice the students that are at different stages of learning. As a matter of fact, one of the difficulties pointed out is the fact that most students express themselves exclusively in the Makhuwa language, so teachers must use both languages ​​to communicate with different children.  

Students consider reading important because it allows them to learn new things. They say that those who can read have little chance of getting lost because they can read the signposts of the locations, as well as, how, can help to read letters, hospital prescriptions and other advantages. Students say that a child who can read is highly trusted by the parents to read and interpret certain documents or other things the parents want to know. Students associate reading with success in their future professional life.

Children report that they have been taught to recognize vowels, consonants, then to recognize words and sounds. They explained that teachers write on the board and invite students to read to their classmates.

Students said that increasing their learning time would be good for them, as it would give them more opportunity to have more contact with books. They also advocate the need to increase the length of stay at school and the amount of teaching activities per child.

Students understand that teachers must give students many exercises and practical activities for them to learn. Among the practical activities, they highlighted the “TPC’s” (home work) and the participation of students in the class that must be done by taking all students to the board. Students also mentioned that having complete textbooks is an important catalyst for learning to read.

Students said that lack of family support creates barriers on their learning. They say that is important once they are taught at school, they continue with activities at home, but this happens very rarely. In fact, children from the districts of Muecate and Nacaroa participated in the reading camps, while those from Murrupula did not. This may, on the one hand, justify the delay in which Murrupula's schools are compared to others. But the hunger factor is also pointed out as an obstacle to learning in Murrupula and not in Nacaroa and Muecate where World Vision is proving school meal. 

Students also criticized the way they are taught. On the one hand, they say that the way they are taught does not make them learn. When we asked for more details, they mentioned that the teacher writes on the blackboard, reads it aloud and tells them to repeat what is written, as well as they mentioned that not everyone is called to the blackboard to read aloud, just as homework is few. Another aspect that they presented was the fact that their work is not corrected by the teachers. Students also added that there is a lack of books and this demoralizes them to learn more.

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