Rakkonti project aims to boost chil­dren’s lit­er­acy skills

Malta Independent - - LIFESTYLE & CULTURE -

The Na­tional Lit­er­acy Agency of the Min­istry for Ed­u­ca­tion, with the sup­port of Banif Bank, has launched ‘Rakkonti’, a three-year project aimed at boost­ing lan­guage and lit­er­acy skills in­clud­ing read­ing, lis­ten­ing, speaking, writ­ing, and crit­i­cal think­ing among early years and pri­mary school chil­dren.

Rakkonti pro­motes tra­di­tional Mal­tese tales through dig­i­tal an­i­ma­tions, mu­sic and pup­pet re-en­act­ments. Th­ese tales are writ­ten and il­lus­trated by Trevor Zahra, and may ei­ther be read as a nar­ra­tive, or drama­tised through the use of pup­pets which will be dis­trib­uted in all Pri­mary state schools across Malta and Gozo. An original song writ­ten by Trevor Zahra and com­posed by Do­minic Galea ac­com­pa­nies each tale.

Dur­ing the launch ac­tiv­ity at Sig­giewi Pri­mary School, presided by the Hon. Min­is­ter for Ed­u­ca­tion Evarist Bar­tolo, a brief pre­sen­ta­tion was given on the project, and the pup­pets in­tro­duced Rakkonti to the guests and pupils present. The tale ‘Il-Ġgant u l-Iskarpan’ was re-en­acted by teach­ers from the Drama Unit, while Trevor Zahra nar­rated the tale ‘Ix-Xiħ Mid­fun ġol-Għar’. A choir of Year 5 pupils from Sig­giewi Pri­mary School, St Ig­natius Col­lege animated this ac­tiv­ity by singing two songs from Rakkonti.

“With so many dis­trac­tions and pres­sures on chil­dren nowa­days, it is easy to un­der­stand why the sim­ple act of sit­ting down and read­ing is not as com­mon­place as it used to be,” said Joaquim F. Silva Pinto, Chief Ex­ec­u­tive Of­fi­cer at Banif Bank. “How­ever there is noth­ing quite like the feel­ing of los­ing your­self in a good story, and with the cre­ative tal­ents be­hind th­ese new fairy tales, we be­lieve that the chil­dren are in for a real treat! I can­not help but ex­press my per­sonal hap­pi­ness that Banif Bank could play such a big part in help­ing to make the Rakkonti project a re­al­ity!”

The Hon. Min­is­ter Bar­tolo made ref­er­ence to the Na­tional Lit­er­acy Strat­egy for All in Malta and Gozo, 2014-2019 that high­lights the de­vel­op­ment of lan­guage and lit­er­acy abil­i­ties through the use of new tech­nolo­gies. Min­is­ter Bar­tolo re­it­er­ated that since dig­i­tal me­dia forms an in­te­gral part of every­day lit­er­acy prac­tice, it is im­per­a­tive that teach­ers are pro­vided with high­qual­ity dig­i­tal re­sources in Mal­tese to in­spire learn­ers to de­velop their lan­guage, lit­er­acy, and crit­i­cal think­ing skills.

Fur­ther in­for­ma­tion on this project may be ac­cessed on the Rakkonti Face­book page.

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