Current Education Scenario
Pakistan is facing an education emergency where reading is not a priority.
- 3 in 4 Pakistanis (75%) claim not to read any books at all; only 9% are avid readers. Gallup & Gilani Pakistani Poll, 2015
- We have the highest number of illiterate adults in the world – UNESCO
- 40.5% of Class 5 children in Urban Pakistan could not read sentences in English – ASER Pakistan, 2015
- 42.2% of Class 5 children could not read a story in Urdu, Sindhi or Pushto – ASER Pakistan, 2015
- Most children in Pakistan do not have access to developmentally and culturally appropriate stories. If libraries exist, they are often locked up and the books are not available to children.
Pakistan today faces an education crisis of unprecedented proportions. With a public-school system rife with dilapidated facilities, chronic teacher understaffing and absenteeism, the importance of providing children with access to attractive and engaging stories is not a priority nor is it even a consideration.
Children in the majority of classrooms in Pakistan do not have the opportunity to listen to developmentally appropriate stories with strong learning outcomes, read aloud to them by caring adults who are articulate and expressive in the languages the student’s study and speak.
Yet, research proves that reading aloud to children is the single most important activity for enabling eventual success in reading and, therefore, likelihood for success in school and later in life. When children learn to enjoy reading, they develop skills for independent learning that improves their chances of academic success in a currently failing educational environment.
- A national movement of GoReaders (literate and caring adults) directly impacting children by taking joyful story read-aloud experiences to them.
- An in-house publishing house creates stories that are culturally and developmentally appropriate for the children we serve and promote their language development and personal well-being.
Why is it important to read aloud to children?
- Reading aloud to children builds a strong foundation for their literacy development.
- When children are read to, they develop listening comprehension which then leads to success in achieving reading comprehension which is a significant foundational requirement to acquiring a good quality education.
- ‘When stories are read to children they can listen on a higher language level than they can read, so reading aloud makes complex ideas more accessible and exposes children to vocabulary and language patterns that are not part of everyday speech.’ (Fountas & Pinnell, 1996)
- Children need to be exposed to a wide range of stories and books. They need to see themselves as well as other people, cultures, communities, and issues in the books we read to them. Reading a variety of texts and genres allows children to see how characters in books handle the same fears, interests, and concerns that they experience (Barton & Booth, 1990).
- Stories are powerful springboards to lead into valuable discussions with children allowing them the opportunity to listen to many different perspectives, engage with biases and develop tolerance and respect for themselves and others.