Amid great fanfare, EDC and local officials launched the “Time to Learn” initiative in Zambia together with four other USAID-funded education projects, part of the “All Children Reading” campaign. The projects were launched during ceremonies June 28, attended by the Zambia Minister of Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early Education, Dr. John Phiri, at the National In-Service Teachers College in Chongwe district.
In his remarks, Dr. Phiri said that the projects, which aim to improve the reading skills of over one million Zambian primary school children in both government and community schools, will also serve to raise local living standards. He urged that the projects focus on assisting orphans and vulnerable children in rural areas, the majority of whom lag behind in terms of acquiring reading skills. He also commended the U.S. government for its commitment to the effort, and praised the strong relationship that exists between Zambia and the United States.
Also speaking at the launch was Dr. Susan Brems, USAID/Zambia Mission director, who said that these new education projects will enable the Ministry to strengthen education management and information systems, support community schools, train teachers, and improve school water and sanitation facilities.
The launch was a very colorful and entertaining event featuring children from the Chalimbana Basic School who performed poems and songs about reading and the goals of the five projects.
For more on EDC’s Time to Learn initiative, go to http://idd.edc.org/projects/zambia-time-learn.