Reading promotion - a key to learning success
Analphabetism is still widespread in Tanzania. Around 20 % of the adult population cannot read or write. The Uwezo Reports - broad-based, representative education studies in Tanzania, Kenya and Uganda - have shown that many Tanzanian children do not even acquire basic reading and writing skills in elementary school.
What is the reason for this? One reason is the lack of books. There is a lack of textbooks and school libraries with literature for children and young people as well as age-appropriate non-fiction books that open up the access to reading and convey the joy of reading.Read more
The lack of a widespread "reading culture" also plays a role. Tanzania is characterized by oral traditions. Books are seen primarily as vehicles for transmitting knowledge and as learning aids. Thus, teachers often lack awareness of the value of reading promotion. And there is a lack of knowledge about how children and young people can be motivated to read in the long term and how the joy of reading can be awakened. Since there is no widespread reading tradition, the vast majority of children do not come into contact with books in their families either.
Reading skills and a good understanding of reading are the basis for effective learning, for success at school and for overcoming poverty. For this reason, PROBONO has been increasingly involved in reading promotion together with a local partner organization since 2018 - with the construction and installation of school libraries, the purchase of books and with a comprehensive reading promotion program. Reading games, reading competitions and reading campaigns are used to awaken the joy of reading and motivate children and young people to read.
Promoting reading is sustainable
Once reading is no longer difficult and the joy of reading has been awakened, the dam is broken and children often read and "devour" one book after another of their own free will. Promoting reading has a lifelong effect. And the effect is transmitted. Children of reading parents read more themselves. Promoting reading is a key to successful learning.
Many statistics show that children with good reading skills are more likely to achieve a higher level of education and earn a higher income. Girls will marry later, have children later and fewer children, and live healthier lives with their families. Reading opens up access to education and knowledge and thus strengthens independent thinking and the freedom to make one's own decisions.
We are currently building school libraries at two large secondary schools in Tanzania and equipping them with furniture and many books. Reading clubs have also been established here to promote reading in the long term. We still need financial support for more books and the reading promotion measures.
Thank you very much for your help!
Construction, modernization and equipment of school libraries in Tanzania
In cooperation with a local NGO, PROBONO built and equipped a school library at Relijuu Primary School in Mwanga. The beautiful, bright building was inaugurated in September 2020. The state elementary school, which is located in a structurally weak, rural region, did not have a school library until now and also did not have enough space for the school books. Some of these had to be stored in boxes on the floor. Therefore, in addition to the construction of the building, shelves, tables and chairs were produced. PROBONO also purchased many new school books, as well as books for children. At the opening of the new library, the children pounced "hungry as lions", as we were told from Tanzania, on the new books.Read more
At Irkisongo Secondary School, the existing school library has been modernized and better equipped, with additional library furniture and many new books. The students at the girls' school are very pleased and now use the modernized library much more intensively. Almost 100 students participate in the school's reading club, which was founded as part of the PROBONO project. Reading together, retelling stories and playing various reading and quiz games are fun ways to promote reading comprehension.
The project at Relijuu School and Irkisongo School was supported by Engagement Global with funds from the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), the Rivera Foundation, the Erasmus Frankfurt City School and the Schillerschule Frankfurt. We would like to thank you very much!
Books and learning materials
... are the basis of learning. But many African schools lack the most basic necessities. In Tanzania, an average of eight children share one textbook. Sometimes there is only one book for an entire class. And that is often outdated. Without books, children cannot learn independently and read up on what was covered in class. That is why PROBONO regularly supports primary and secondary schools with textbooks and teaching materials, even independently of the construction of school libraries and our reading promotion projects. Help with your donation to equip schools in East Africa with books and teaching materials! A class set of math books costs 250 €. A board of the "Periodensytem" for chemistry lessons costs 35 €. Every amount helps!