In collaboration with the University of York United Kingdom, the University of Nairobi Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Peter M. M. F. Mbithi officially launched a workshop on cross-age peer tutoring in the teaching of reading in Kenya primary schools, at the Kenya Science Campus today, June, 4, 2015.
Speaking during the opening ceremony of the cross-age peer tutoring workshop, Prof. Henry Mutoro, the Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Academic Affairs, who represented the Vice-Chancellor urged the scholars to share the knowledge with others upon completion of the workshop. He expressed satisfaction that the collaboration between the two universities has started bearing fruit. He affirmed the University’s commitment to scientific research and provision of quality education to Kenyans.
The workshop launch that will see older children trained to train younger children is a collaboration effort by the two Universities to help children improve their learning experience especially reading. Cross-age peer tutoring consists of student partnerships in which an upper primary pupil is trained to work with a younger child to conduct reading sessions. The program has been very effective in high income countries and it is now being piloted in Kenya. According to Dr. Pam Hanley, the best way to learn is to teach and this in turn will enable the older children master the art of reading and learning at an early age.
Agha Khan Foundation representative, Ms. Terry Njoroge, highlighted the main areas of collaboration they have had with the University, key among them; Abracadabra. In this module, it was discovered that children learn to read between zero to eight years and from there henceforth, they read to learn. Abracadabra focuses on reading, comprehension and sound recognition among young children. The piloting of this study was done in Westlands and Kilimani primary schools where it was found that it had significant improvement on children’s grades.
Nairobi County Director of Education, Mr. Geofrey Cherogis, urged the Principals and Head teachers from Nairobi to be at the forefront in ensuring that children from Nairobi County benefit fully from the initiative.
Also present during the workshop included: Prof. Isaac Jumba, Principal, College of Education and External Studies, Prof. Horace Ochanda, Deputy Principal, College of Education and External Studies and Dr. Justus Inyiega, the Project Principal Investigator.