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Kenyans Urged to Embrace Reading Culture

The Directorate of Adult and Continuing Education is putting in place a programme that will see the department collaborate with the Kenya National Library Services to provide a mobile service forum where the public can come together and read books.

Nairobi County Director Adult and Continuing Education Salome Terah, speaking during first day of the 5-day Adult Education Learners’ Literacy week being held at Eastleigh High School grounds. Photos by Kibet Cheptumo

According to the Nairobi County Director Adult and Continuing Education Ms. Salome Terah, the programme is aimed at reviving the reading culture among Kenyans, as well as give an opportunity to members of the public who cannot access libraries a chance to read the books for free.

Speaking during the 5-day advocacy and publicity of Adult and Continuing Education at Eastleigh High School in Kamukunji Sub County, Ms. Terah said it is dangerous that Kenyans are losing the reading culture whereas books have wealth of materials.

“This sensitization campaign’s objective is to register a high number of youths and adults to acquire numeracy, writing and reading skills coupled with functional literacy for skill to apply in their day-to-day life,” she stated.

The County Director singled out basic literacy, post literacy, Adult primary (continuing primary, and Adult Secondary (Continuing secondary) as some of the courses offered by the Directorate of Adult and Continuing Education.

She said currently Nairobi County has 4374 learners undertaking Basic literacy, 2539 post literacy, 1555 continuing primary while 2373 are learning continuing secondary.

Ms. Terah however, noted that the directorate requires support from good will organizations and well-wishers to provide quality and all-inclusive education to the hard to reach, out of school children, youths, adults, immigrants and the physically challenged children who are hidden in homes because of stigmatization.

She singled inadequate instructors, inadequate teaching/learning materials, high distance parity of learning centers, mushrooming of uncoordinated private providers and stigmatization of adult learning as some of the challenges affecting adult learning.

In her address Jemmimah Wangechi, a representative of Kenya National Library Services, said there is need to revive the reading culture as most Kenyans have stopped reading books and resorted to seeking information from their smartphones and soft copies.

“Physical books will not go away and its value will not diminish, the beauty of a physical,” said Ms. Wangechi while encouraging Kenyans to become members of KNLS.

She said besides providing books for reading, KNLS also offers life soft skills programmes which include public speaking, entrepreneurship, curriculum vitae writing, networking, basic computer skills, visual impairment and visual disability courses besides providing free internet.

Wangechi who encouraged Kenyans to fully utilize the facilities announced that KNLS has 64 branches across the country of which members of the public interested in accessing the facilities are only charged a fee of Sh20 a day.

To date, Nairobi County has a total of 10, 841 adult learners comprising of 5, 499 females and 5342 males learning in the 250 centres spread across various sub-counties.

By Bernadette Khaduli

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