Parent-teacher empowerment and early years quality literacy development for lifelong learning

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Ngwaru, Jacob Marriote
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University of Namibia
Children’s’ literacy development starts very early in life through participation and experience in the home well before school. It grows more consistently during pre-school and school years as children explore their socio-cultural world more and more. Early years represent children’s important formative stages of growth when they learn the language and the world that they will grow to establish a life-long relationship with. When children learn and develop their Mother tongue or primary language therefore, they are learning the foundation of learning itself, a process of language and meaning making that is a continuous process from birth, through infancy and childhood to adolescence an d adult life. The majority of young children in Sub-Saharan Africa are unable to readily access sustainable early literacy development and childhood care and education and their educational achievement trajectories are hugely compromised. Lack of viable parental participation in their literacy development, encouragement and support from teachers and availability of learning materials at school are some of environmental factors that make up their early social world. Meanwhile, rural homes and communities are well endowed with cultural resources and a stock of practices, knowledge, and skills relevant to the promotion of literacy development waiting to be tapped into. This paper uses analysis of data from two qualitative and one mixed methods studies in three different countries to discuss the factors that influence literacy development based on the interplay of language (learning), literacy (development) and school education out comes in low resource communities and how best they could be overcome. The paper concludes that low performance in general is a result of a combination factors that require concerted efforts at all levels if the situation can be reversed.
Language, Literacy
Ngwaru, J.M. (2015). Parent-teacher empowerment and early years quality literacy development for lifelong learning. Namibia CPD Journal for Educators, 2(1), 119-134.