April 19, 2017 By Ibrahim Tarawallie
The standard of oral and written English, especially in primary and secondary schools has dropped considerably over the years in Sierra Leone with the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology doing little or nothing to raise the bar.
In a bid to change this worrying trend, the Bright Light Youth Empowerment has embarked on a campaign to raise the standards of English Language, especially in schools.
The Raise the English Language Standards Campaign for 2017 consists of reading and comprehension competitions, school English language department proposal, as well as a teacher training program.
According to the organization’s General Overseer, Louise Chaytor, the rationale behind the campaign is to empower pupils to be able to achieve better results in their academic work and also improve the level of oral and written English within the schools.
She told this medium that raising the standards of the English Language in schools has been their main focus over the years. They started running a reading and comprehension competition with eight (8) senior secondary schools but had to extend it to fifty (50) because of the interest expressed by pupils and teachers.
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“Our aim is to improve English language through lessons and reading and comprehension competitions annually. We want to see pupils achieve better results in their academic work,” she said.
With regards the organization, Madam Chaytor stated that Bright Light Youth Empowerment was establish because of the need to improve the mindsets of the people when she came to Sierra Leone 12 years ago.
She disclosed that they have succeeded in establishing peer groups in almost fifty schools in Freetown, Makeni, Port Loko and Bo with the aim of making a change to the stereotype of young people in society.
Through their character building program, they usually share, learn and discuss topics on corruption, family problems, civic duty, honesty and dignity and humility, among others.
She commended Airtel Mobile Company for taking the lead in supporting their activities, especially their reading and comprehension, as well as spelling competitions for schools.