Mzimba South district education manager (DEM) Fanwel Chiwowa has hit out at duty-bearers in the education sector for abrogating their rightful role in supporting pupils.
He said this on Tuesday when he opened a three-day training of community development assistants, child protection workers, social welfare assistants, inspectors of schools, primary education advisors and assistant centre coordinators at Jenda in the district.
The meeting was part of the National Reading Programme, (NRP).
According to Chiwowa, the deteriorating education standards in the country start from lower classes where many pupils either fail or struggle to read fluently.
He urged against the widespread perception that responsibility to educate children rests in the hands of teachers alone.
“Education of learners in lower classes should be a collective responsibility of teachers, parents and all community members who will benefits from a literate generation,” he said.
Chiwowa was optimistic that the four-year reading programme will entrench a culture of reading in pupils, which promotes comprehension.
Under the programme, every learner carries home Chichewa and English textbooks while teachers are drilled on how to teach learners to read.
According to Northern Division community mobilisation and safe spaces officer for education Joel Nkhonya, the trainers of trainers have been trained in social behavioural change communication to transform the attitude of parents and members of their communities towards education.