A policy document on the National Literacy Strategy for All was launched by the Minister of Education, the Hon. Evarist Bartolo, at Agenda Bookshop, Tigne Point on Saturday 14th June 2014.
He told a press conference that the aim was to improve literacy levels across different sectors of society. The strategy promotes bilingualism and calls for more reading time in the daily school timetable. The launch involved a Literacy Celebration through drama by the characters that form part of the Family Literacy Campaign: Nannu Ġużi, Nanna Anna, Parents Roberta and Kevin, Uncle Luke, the children Jan and Alexia and, of course, Ċiko the dog. A number of reading sessions also took place by the Reading Ambassadors.
Local personalities, appointed by the Ministry over the past months to promote a culture of reading in schools and beyond, also held sessions with children and adults alike. Reading books were also distributed to those who participated in the various activities. “It is the intention of the ministry to do its utmost to ensure that society is provided with the best opportunities to acquire the required literacy skills. This goal will be achieved through a National Literacy Strategy for All and a complementary National Literacy Campaign which will target different sectors of society,” Mr Bartolo said.
The strategy will be implemented also in the light of recent results obtained by Malta in international assessments like the Progress in International Reading Literacy Study (PIRLS) and the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) where the percentage of 15 year-olds who were low achievers in reading literacy 36% was significantly higher than the EU average 19%. The consultative process for the drawing up of the National Literacy Strategy has taken one year and has involved numerous educators, eight expert consultative groups and the general public.
The strategy will cover the First Years, the Early Years, the Junior Years, the Secondary Years, Youths, Adults, Children with Learning Difficulties and Disabilities, Third Country Nationals and Digital Literacy. There will be a special focus on the first and early years and the role of parents and caregivers.