ISLAMABAD, Pakistan: A USAID-funded pilot project on Thursday was formally launched to improve English reading skills of primary students in undeveloped parts of three districts of the Punjab, Sindh and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
Under the project, 310 tablets equipped with a digital library of 300 story books would be provided in 16 schools of districts Rawalpindi, Khairpur and Dir to improve English reading skills of the students from grades three to five.
The 20-month project, titled “Read to Grow – Read to Know: E-Libraries for Rural Schools,” was launched by DIL – a non-governmental organization (NGO) in collaboration with US Agency for International Development (USAID) Small Grants Ambassador Fund Programme.
DIL is an Islamabad-based organization working since 1997 to educate and empower underprivileged students especially girls in far-flung areas. Besides, it imparts high-quality professional training to teachers and principals across the country.
Under the project, 32 teachers would be trained on the effective utilization of the tablets and to involve children in various reading activities.
Another important feature of this project would be the assessment of children’s progress in reading comprehension.
It would be a regular feature for which a baseline, mid-line and end-line assessment would be carried out, using Tangerine application on tablets.
Addressing the launching ceremony, Executive Director DIL Saira Tirmizi said the organization was operating 124 schools across the country. Some of them were directly under its control and some being run in collaboration with other partners, she added.
Recently, she said, DIL had adopted 30 government schools in Gujjar Khan area of Rawalpindi district where classes would start in April this year.
Besides, at present the organization was operating 50 conventional libraries and 50 computer labs to facilitate students in getting modern education.
Farhat Nadeem, Training Director shared salient features of the project to improve English reading skills of students so that they could be fluent with strong vocabulary and comprehension.
She said currently the organization was imparting education to 24,000 students with 1,200 teachers in different parts of the country.
Project Manager Sameer Khan said DIL wanted that students should have comprehension of what they were reading in text books and stories and it would help them in higher level studies.
“Having better understanding with English language will enable students to excel in their choice field in future without any difficulty,” he noted.