Oxford University Press announced on 3rd March that it will sponsor a major African literacy conference in 2015.
The 9th Pan-African Literacy for All and 10th Reading Association of South Africa (RASA) National Literacy Conference will host some of the leading thinkers on literacy in Cape Town from 2-5 September.
The conference theme is Imagination and Literacy: Theory and Practice. It will provide a forum for teachers, teacher educators, writers, librarians, researchers, academics, publishers, parents and children and local and international development workers to showcase research, practice and innovative literacy strategies that imaginatively engage literacy development across Africa.
The event will begin with three days of talks, academic papers, and workshops on classroom practice. The final day will be open to the public and aimed at community involvement through a series of events including stalls, installations and practical sessions around the theme of igniting imagination.
Keynote speakers will include International Literacy Association Director Marcie Craig Post, South African activist and storyteller Gcina Mhlophe, research professors Barbara Comber (Australia), Viv Edwards (UK) and Kieran Egan (Canada), as well as principal of the St Mary’s Junior School in Waverley, Johannesburg, Desiree Hugo.
Oxford University Press is sponsoring the event in line with its commitment to education in Africa. It has been active in the continent for 100 years, and its titles are published or sold in most African countries.
Lieze Kotze, Regional Director, Africa, for Oxford University Press, said: “We believe that reading takes you places. It’s the building block for all other learning, so it is an honour for Oxford to keep the conversation going. This conference will help to unlock the power of imagination through literacy; making a difference to education across the African continent.”
Pan-African Literacy for All conferences, are important literacy events in Africa, providing a platform for literacy professionals and researchers to interface with policy makers in government and the donor community. They have taken place every two years since 1999 in countries including Botswana, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa, Swaziland and Uganda.
This year’s event will be run in association with the International Literacy Association (ILA) and the International Development Committee-Africa (IDC-A). It will be organised by RASA—a leading South African literacy organisation which regularly organises conferences that draw together most of the South African experts on literacy.
Associate Professor Karin Murris, Chair of the RASA/Pan-African 2015 Literacy Conference Committee, said: “To raise standards worldwide it is essential that everyone involved in teaching literacy learns how to engage the imagination systematically and to its full potential. The imagination is tied up with feelings and images, with wonder and excitement. From making learning engaging to making it possible to comprehend and critique a text, the imagination is an educational tool that needs to be nurtured, nourished and invested in. The conference will provide the theoretical and practical ideas to bring more imagination into your teaching, whether in school or at university.”
For further information about the conference go to www.rasa2015.co.za.