Education Minister Adimulapu Suresh launched ‘we love reading’ at Venkateswara Vignana Mandiram in Guntur.
“Chief Minister Y. S. Jagan Mohan Reddy laid a special focus on inculcating the habit of reading among students and thus brought this campaign,” said Suresh.
He said the year-long campaign will be spread over four phases: preparatory, foundation, advanced and valedictory, aimed at improving the reading skills of students from classes III to IX.
Home Minister Mekathoti Sucharita urged students to develop the habit of reading books, newspapers on a daily basis to gain knowledge and thereby build their personality.
“Government prioritised education sector and implemented various welfare schemes like amma vodi, vidhya kanuka, vasati deevena, vidhya deevena and is also bringing a new vibe to the government schools through nadu-nedu,” said Sucharita.
‘We love reading’ wants to transform non-readers into readers, developing foundational literacy skills, both conceptual and skill-based knowledge among the targeted bracket of students.
“Advanced skills include phonemic awareness, alphabetic principle, reading fluency and vocabulary among others. Awareness will be created on using e-books and digital libraries wherever infrastructure is available,” said an official.
Activities as part of the campaign include classroom reading, school book bank, community reading centre and reading fests among others.
Two classes will be dedicated to encourage reading in students, one for Telugu and another for English.
“As part of classroom reading, a reading corner with all the available library books and reading cards will be made available in each classroom. Similarly, under school book banks, books of all kinds will be collected from teachers, students and even donors for reading,” he said.
The reading programme also involves a community reading volunteer, who will be identified with the help of teachers and ward volunteers to further the campaign after school hours and during holidays to run the community reading centre.
In addition to these, monthly reading fests will be conducted at the village or school level to exhibit reading skills by students and to assess their achievement of learning outcomes.
‘We love reading’ will be monitored from the state level to village level, including a state action plan and headmasters preparing school-wise action plans for effective implementation.
“The school education department will be designing various reading activities in the reading programme by providing world class literature and research studies on content and pedagogy, teaching methods and assessment procedures,” said the official.
The campaign is a result of an annual status of education report (ASER) report which highlighted that 78 per cent of third standard and 52 per cent of fifth standard students are unable to read second class books.