Improving the use of classroom libraries and book-related activities for the benefit of pupils in rural areas was the aim of a workshop to build the capacity of classroom librarians, held from May 10 to 11, 2022 at Nitoukou in the Mbam Inoubou district.
Organized by SAILD with the support of the Yaoundé Goethe Institute and the Fondation pour le Soutien National à l’Education, la Lecture et la Culture (SNL Foundation), the Nitoukou Functional Literacy Center hosted the workshop, which was attended by some sixty teachers from fifteen elementary school with class libraries. These class libraries had been donated by SAILDd as part of its CDDR (Centre de Documentation pour le Développement Rural) program: one class, one library, which aims to bridge the reading gap in rural areas. Five nursery schools and ten elementary school in the Nitoukou district took part in the two-day training course.
The delegation that left Yaoundé for Nitoukou was made up of Marie-Martine Yobol, Director of the Centre de Documentation pour le Développement Rural, assisted by Apollinaire Tetang, Bessomo Loraine and Manga Laurent, two trainers from the SNL foundation. Through this initiative, the aim was to motivate teachers in the practice of reading, in order to give pupils a taste for and love of reading. A practice that is gradually disappearing from our habits. Three modules written by Fondation SNL experts made up the content of this workshop: Module 1: the importance of training (With a questioning on the theme, why read? Why now more than ever?) Module 2: library activitiesModule 3: drawing up an activities program to be implemented after training. The workshops were divided into two groups according to primary school level. The first day was devoted to kindergarten, Sil and CP teachers; the second day to CE1, CE2, CM1 and CM2 teachers. Each group practiced reading aloud. This practice introduces children to a world of emotions that prepares them for solitary reading. Other activities included: poetic reading, theatrical reading with a character, and theatrical reading games.The workshop gave rise to some lively exchanges, and the teachers became more aware of their responsibility to pass on the love of reading to rural children.