Temwa, a non-governmental organisation (NGO), has introduced reading camps to support children from 10 primary schools in Chikwina and Usisya in Nkhata Bay District.
Under the initiative, the organisation is also supporting school libraries and encouraging parents to take part in helping their children to read.
Speaking on Wednesday when the organisation hosted a cluster literacy fair to assess the progress of learners who go to reading camps after classes, Temwa programmes manager Kondwani Botha said they want to improve literacy among children.
He said: “In Nkhata Bay North, there is poor retention rate of primary school learners from Standard Four.
“While enrolment in lower classes is high, the figures drop in senior classes. As an organisation, we decided to take part in improving retention rate in lower classes.”
Botha said the initiative has generated interest among many learners.
“Schools we are working with are also participating in national reading programmes where they perform better,” he said.
However, Botha decried lack of parents’ interest in their children’s education.
“Most homes are child-headed because their parents travelled either to Tanzania or South Africa,” he said.
Chikwina Primary School head teacher Wilfred Ngwira said there is an improvement in his learners’ literary level.
He said: “Before the initiative, only 40 percent of learners in lower classes were able to read fluently, but now the figures have gone up to 60 percent for learners in Standard One and Standard Two and 74 percent for learners in Standard Three and Standard Four.”
Ngwira further said the initiative has reduced dropout for learners in lower classes.