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Reading conference in offing

By Vision Reporter

Added 27th July 2003 03:00 AM

THE Third Pan African Reading Conference comes to Uganda next month. It brings together literacy professionals, researchers and academicians across the globe

THE Third Pan African Reading Conference comes to Uganda next month. It brings together literacy professionals, researchers and academicians across the globe

By John Eremu

THE Third Pan African Reading Conference comes to Uganda next month. It brings together literacy professionals, researchers and academicians across the globe.

Prof. Kate Parry, the chairperson of the presentations committee said the key note address on the conference theme: “Literacy Without Borders,” will be delivered by Ms. Bah Diallo, the deputy director general for education at the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO).

The conference to run from August 18 to 22, 2003 is expected to be opened by President Yoweri Museveni.

It will discuss a variety of issues including a special session on Education For All (EFA) by 2015, the co-ordinator, Loyce Tumusiime, told Education Vision.

“This conference is an important opportunity for teachers, writers, librarians, publishers, development workers and other professionals to meet and develop a co-ordinated approach to literacy in Africa so that EFA does not stop at schooling but translates into reading for all,” Tumusiime said.

She said the conference is timed to coincide with the national book week because they share the same objectives and therefore, reinforce each other.

James Tumusiime, the organising committee chairperson, said the first such conference was held in South Africa in 1999 and the second in Nigeria in 2001.

He said the significance of the conference is that it re-focuses public opinion on the importance of reading as a way of strengthening EFA and African Renaissance.

“The African Renaissance like the European Renaissance cannot move ahead without reading to review our strengths and where we went wrong,” Tumusiime noted.

“All the investments in education would also not be appropriate unless people read.

“Why should we invest so much money in education if people do not follow what is taught after school?” he asked.

Eminent scholars to address the conference include Dr. Bonny Norton from the University of British Columbia - Canada, Alis Headlam an educational consultant from Vermont - USA, Dr. Casmir Rubagumya from Dar-Es-Salaam University and Prof. Parry from Hunter College, City University of New York.

The five-day conference is sponsored by a consortium of donors including UNESCO, the President’s Office, the Ministry of Education and Sports, the National Book Trust of Uganda (NABOTU), the Reading Association of Uganda (RAU) and the International Reading Association.

The others are the Rockefeller Foundation, the Canadian International Development Association, the Swedish International Development Agency, Action Aid.

Inter University Council of East Africa, Uganda telecom and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) are also expected.

Reading conference in offing

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