Kukichhara Govt. Primary School is a READ project mediate school. The school is in Bhaibonchhara Uninon under Sadar Upazila of Khagrachhari Hill District. It is about 10 KM distance from Khagrachhari town. READ project is implementing in this school since 2015 funding by USAID and technically supported by Save the Children. Zabarang is the implementing Local NGO of READ in Khagrachhari.
There are 145 students in this school. Among of them 61 are boys and 74 are girls. All the students of the school are came from Chakma and Marma community. Most of the students of this school didn’t have any chance to read any books or other reading materials except text book. The traditional teaching method of the school is also do not inspire them to read. So their reading skill was really poor. Lots of students were irregular to school because of no fascination with classroom.
Most of the students do not have the opportunity to read anything outside of the school. The school’s traditional teaching method also do not encourage them to read other books. So their quality of reading is poor. As a result, many students are irregular in the school due to lack of attraction.
Moreover, traditional teaching in Bangla language is considered as the reason for students’ unwillingness to read. They do feel interest in reading any other books beyond the textbooks. Meanwhile, the quality of the Kukichhara Government Primary School like many other schools of the district is in the lower level of national reading standards.
In view of the above situation, this school was included in the READ project. Teachers are trained by READ to improve student learning skills. Along with this, there are 245 types of interesting leveled books delivered to the school children to improve their reading skills. Students are encouraged to read in many ways. Students started reading colorful books during the leisure time. Gradually they started to have fun of reading. Their ability to read continues to grow. Reading fluency comes, the vocabulary increases. Learns to understand by reading. As a result, their comprehensive skill also improves. Now they take the books to their house. They read the books to their parents and siblings at home.
The interest for reading increased student’s reading habit and reading capability. And this improvement is consistently reflected in the quarterly assessment of the READ project. It is seen in 2015 that in Grade-III, where the reading fluency was 38%, they came in 65% in the year 2017. Teachers are very happy to see improve student’s capability.
Mr. Sumana Chakma, Headmaster of the school is very happy about the activities of the READ project. She herself supervised the reading of the students’ books and encourage the students for reading. She said, I asked the students to read books during the break. In many cases, I used to call backward students to read different books. Help them out. They also encouraged and increase their reading skills. She said, we should pay more attention to improving the efficiency of Bengali reading. Because, the mother tongue of the students is not Bengali. So they need skill development in Bangla language. Besides, in addition to the Bengali language schools, most of the subjects are in Bengali. Thus, I help and encourage students to read leveled supplementary materials to help in ensuring competency-based learning in the class.
Anuching Marma, assistant teacher of the school, said, “If the students read stories, their interest in reading increases. In this, their vocabulary increased in Bengali. They become fluent reader and learn to understand. Their skills are also reflected in the learning process. That’s why I let my students to read READ’s books every Thursday. “
It is seen in the assessment of students’ reading skills that the grade-III student Priyanti Chakma has regularly read books. She is also the book captain of her class. As well as distributing books of classmates as Captain, she herself has taken books. She says, “In school, I regularly distribute the books of my classmates. I myself read books and every Thursday I brought a new book home. By reading books I tell stories to my parents at home. They are very happy. I love reading books with friends at school. Lily Marma, Tathwoi Chakma, Arpita Chakma, Swimraching Marma are my reading partner in school. “
It is to be noted that Zabarang distributed 14000 books at 45 schools in Khagrachari district under the READ project. 5000 students are getting the chance to read these books. According to the teachers of the school under the project, these books of READ are increasing the daily practice of reading and skill to students.