The Impact of Reading Rooms on Literacy Development: A Case of Selected Basic Schools in Chongwe District

Chisenga, Caroline (2012) The Impact of Reading Rooms on Literacy Development: A Case of Selected Basic Schools in Chongwe District. Masters thesis, University of Zambia.

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The study sought to evaluate the impact of the Reading Rooms on literacy development among basic school pupils. It targeted pupils from rural schools of Chongwe District, Lusaka Province. A sample of 210 respondents comprising of 4 Ministry of Education officials, 12 Head teachers, 4 librarians, 40 teachers and 150 pupils were purposively and randomly selected from the research site. In order to provide accurate results, the researcher adopted a mixed (triangulation) approach and employed both quantitative and qualitative research designs. Data were collected using open-ended questionnaires and interview guides. The data collection exercise was undertaken over a period of six weeks. The actual procedure began by seeking authority from the District Education Board Secretary (DEBs) to conduct interviews with some officials at his office and carry out research in selected basic schools in the District. In order to achieve the study objectives, interviews with District Education Board Officials and trained school librarians were conducted to solicit information on the Reading Rooms. During interviews, the responses to the questions were written down by the researcher as the interviewees gave their views. Tests (literacy skills) were also administered to one set of pupils in schools with Reading Rooms and another set of pupils in a school that was similar in all respects apart from a Reading Room; i.e. the control group. The difference in scores was taken to mean the impact of the Reading Rooms. Both qualitative and quantitative data analyses were employed. Descriptive data were analysed through thematic approach where it was categorized, tabulated and arranged under themes and sub-themes. Quantitative data were analysed using the Social Package for the Social Sciences Software (SPSS) and interpreted as percentages and graphs.The findings unveiled the fact that school Reading Rooms had a positive impact on literacy. The findings showed that the school Reading Rooms provided a literate environment for the pupils. The study also revealed that the pupils had developed a positive attitude towards reading. Regarding performance of the pupils, it was adduced that from the inception of the Reading Rooms in 2008, pupil’s performance in the schools with Reading Rooms had improved tremendously compared to those in schools without. The difference between the two groups was statistically significant. According to the study findings, pupils on the Reading Room literacy program outperformed the control group that had no Reading Room in the tests administered. The study also revealed that school librarians collaborated with teachers in helping pupils improve their reading, writing, listening and speaking skills. Majority respondents said the Reading Rooms supported classroom activity and provided supplementary reading materials. Furthermore, the study revealed that the school Reading Room literacy events/ activities were meaningful, relevant and purposeful because they enabled pupils discover the joy of reading and writing. The following recommendations were made basing on the findings: Firstly, the government through the Ministry of Education should construct more school libraries in already existing structures especially in the rural parts of the country. Secondly, the Zambian situation calls for more funding of school libraries by the Government. Lastly, more librarians must be trained by the Zambia Library Service in collaboration with the Ministry of Education.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Subjects: L Education > L Education (General)
Divisions: Africana
Depositing User: Geoffrey Obatsa
Date Deposited: 27 Aug 2018 12:51
Last Modified: 27 Aug 2018 12:51

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