Soma Nami (“Read With Me”) Helps Parents Support Reading at Home

Speeches Shim

Wednesday, January 13, 2021
USAID Tusome Pamoja aims to improve the quality of early grade basic skills instruction, strengthen skills delivery systems, and increase engagement of parents and communities in education.

Christa Mrope is a Community Education Mobilizer at Kising'a Isimani Primary School in Iringa region. She regularly listens to the Soma Nami (“Read With Me”) radio program, a radio show organized by the USAID Tusome Pamoja  (“Let's Read Together”) activity.

Through Soma Nami, Christa and other parents in Kising’a village have learned techniques to improve reading and home learning support, promoting reading and literacy skills of their children and protecting children at home and in school. The Soma Nami radio program airs twice a week through two community radio stations in Tanzania’s Iringa region: Radio Furaha and Nuru FM.

According to Christa, before the Soma Nami radio program, children in her community were studying only at school; it was strange to see children studying at home. Even if children were gathered in the evening, it was for playing games, not studying. But the situation has now changed. Parents understand the importance of home reading and help their children learn at home. Soma Nami has helped Christa gain knowledge on supervising and supporting her two children to learn at home. Before tuning in to the program, she did not know how to support them in their studies.

“The Soma Nami radio program has really helped me support my two children in their studies. It is now easier for me to make sure the children study at home, and I also set aside time in the evening for their self-study,” ~Christa Mrope~

Christa is also a Community Education Mobilizer for Kising’a Isimani School. One of her responsibilities is to mobilize parents to support learning at school and at home. According to Ms. Mrope, the Soma Nami radio program has helped not only to improve her skills in mobilizing parents to support home reading, but also in supervising learning groups that exist in her village.

“I am a Community Education Mobilizer in my village. This radio program has helped me gain skills to supervise seven study groups in our village. There are lessons on how to manage reading groups, and they have helped me a lot.”

As a result of USAID Tusome Pamoja, Christa strongly believes that home learning initiatives have helped to improve the overall academic performance of Kising’a Isimani Primary School.