After introducing a remarkable program aimed at inculcating a culture of reading among Batswana pupils last year, the British Council on Friday conducted a prize giving ceremony for pupils who had successfully completed its “Team Read” challenge.
The Director of British Council Botswana, Tanya Dunne, said at the ceremony that after initiating the program and spreading it all over the world, the British Council has to date manage to set it up in 42 centers in 23 countries, including Botswana.
Dunne said in the “Team read” challenge, students are made to read six books, and the participants are given a membership card to keep track of the books they read and provide an opinion to their teachers, parents and peers. She said the challenge was set up to address a number of reading challenges that children face today.
The “Team Read” initiative is meant to inform children about the past times, improve their academic performance, their vocabulary and English language and also build their confidence. The program also encourages parents to take part in their children’s academic work and monitor their progress.
Dunne said that reading for pleasure is very important to the child’s educational achievement. At the ceremony children managed to review the books they had read.
The team read program was opened for three Primary Schools, Mophane, Bophirima and Boswa. Dunne said the selection came about as a pilot with the Ministry of Education Skills and Development. It was launched mid last year in Botswana and was well received by the three schools.
Gaborone West South MP, Botsalo Ntuane, officiated at the ceremony, and he applauded the British Council for embarking on the Team Read exercise.
“This is a significant and welcome development, especially that primary school children have a common problem of reading,” he said.
He applauded the schools that participated in the program, saying that it is even better that the teachers were directly involved in administration of the challenge. Ntuane also said that the team read challenge is a milestone achievement in the history of Primary Education in Botswana, as a new culture of reading is being cultivated.
Forty-five pupils were awarded prizes that included gold medals, certificates, watches and mathematical sets to celebrate their achievement.
Edna Mubaraki, Mophane School Headmistress, said that the program has instilled a love for reading for pleasure and creativity in the students.