Lack of resources is hampering efforts to improve literacy among lower primary school learners, Minister of Education, Science and Technology Eunice Kazembe said on Wednesaday.
Speaking at Crossroads Hotel in Malawiâ€™s capital, Lilongwe, when she opened a maiden national literacy conference, Kazembe said although government development partners are implementing pilot projects to improve literacy skills among pupils, scaling up to the national level is frustrated by lack of resources.
â€œIt is unfortunate that we do not have enough resources to train [enough] teachers who are able to use locally available materials to teach reading and writing,â€ said Kazembe on the sidelines of the conference which brought together academics, government technocrats and the donor community.
According to Kazembe, basic literacy skills are important in achieving Millennium Development Goals, saying, for instance, children born from literate mothers are more likely to live beyond the age of five.
Currently, Save the Children and World Vision International are running the Literacy Boost Programme, which has seen literacy skills improving among learners in various districts.
Save the Children country director Matthew Pickard said reading improves lives.
â€œInvesting in children is vital. It is sad that some children reach Standard Four without knowing how to read or write,â€ he said.