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Reading Into The Future

Reading is as fundamental as eating and sleeping, but so many countries do not have the capability to provide education, let alone books to children who want to read.

In Benin, girls are finally getting the chance to become part of the literate world. Other than having books at their disposal, their families will be able to keep track of what their child is learning. Through UNICEF, a system has been implemented using color coded visual cards to indicate how well each student is doing. The color red indicates that the child is doing below average, yellow means average, and green means the child is doing well. Along with this, a chart has been created to show how well teachers are being effective, as well as keeping the parents aware of how their child or children are doing in school.

For twelve year-old Bana Lafia, this system is changing her life. Besides being able to read, her parents are able to understand what she is learning and be more supportive. “We now understand what’s happening with Bana at school because the form helps us to understand whether she’s done well or not,” said Bio Gounou Lafia, Bana’s father. “This helps us to follow up with her progress.”

The monitoring sheets also indicate if teachers are effective in their teaching. It provides data they can use to shape what works and what doesn’t. Through this UNICEF program, the gender gap between boys and girls is slowly but surely becoming narrow when it comes to education.

As someone who was born in the Philippines, reading was a huge part of my upbringing. I had the great fortune of having two aunts who we were teachers living with us, so reading became a part of my daily routine. I loved reading any type book and to this day, I am an avid reader of books and news publications. While I was fortunate to have access to educational resources, there were areas in the Philippines where reading materials or learning in general was minimal. That has changed over the years, but there’s always more that can be done.

Lafia’s dream to succeed in life shows by her determination to keep up with her education. Her love of reading and the ability to have her parents updated with her continued progress due to UNICEF’s program, is a great way to ensure a bright future for Lafia and the children of Benin. That’s my take on this, what yours?

To read the article regarding this post, visit:

http://www.unicef.org/benin_58301.html

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