International Literacy Day – Skill Development in the Classroom

UNESCO’s International Literacy Day that falls annually on September 8 celebrates the improvement of global literacy rates. This year’s theme of ‘Literacy and Skills Development’ emphasizes how the knowledge and competencies of technical, vocational, transferable, and digital skills are essential for livelihoods and economic opportunities. These values gets reflected in our Accelerated Learning in the Classroom Program, which provides intensive teacher training so that teachers get equipped with the skills needed to educate youth in East Africa. The program also provides digital resources to students to allow them to further develop their skills.

Faith Sintamei Tome is a teacher at the Oloornganayio Primary School in Narok, Kenya, where she and her fellow teachers completed our Accelerated Learning in the Classroom Program. Through the training, Faith learned new skills and best practices that improved her role as a teacher. A key focus of the program is digital literacy where teachers learned how to use digital tools to support their needs.

“My biggest learning after joining the Asante Africa community is that I have improved methods of leadership and teaching standards. Digital tools have helped me become a better teacher because I have an easy reference in a single tablet. It’s easily portable hence making lesson preparations easier, writing on the chalkboard is minimal therefore no time wasting, and it’s easy to read and it’s self explanatory. I have also learned critical thinking skills by playing crosswords and educational games from the tablets.”

Teachers are able to better impact their students with their newly acquired skills. Through the use of digital tools, students learn better with the added visuals and become more engaged in the classroom. Furthermore, students are learning valuable soft skills that are transferable to other areas of their life. The opportunity to expand their skill-sets gives them an advantage in our ever-increasing competitive economy.

“The most important lessons I impact on my students is that, by use of the tablets students are more interested in learning. There are also pictures and maps which help learners to understand better. Students like and enjoy class the most when I give them assignments and leave them to research on their own from the tablets.”

While International Literacy Day acknowledges the success stories and improvements, it also calls attention to the efforts that still need to be done to achieve world wide literacy.

“Some of the reasons why students cannot receive an education may be because of their families’ status and being in poverty, being an orphan and not having anyone care for them, early marriage for girls and the traditional beliefs that there is no need to educate girls, the distance to where schools are located, and a lack of role models in their homes.”

As we move forward, Asante Africa Foundation continues to support the progression of literacy and skill development through our programs. Our other efforts include scholarship opportunities at the primary, secondary, and university levels and we work towards eliminating the gender barriers girls face.

“The importance of Asante Africa is that they help to overcome some of the challenges the students and teachers go through.”

Being a part of our community means that everyone gets equal opportunities to achieve sustainable and meaningful livelihoods, join us!

~ Genevieve Chan