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Sparking the conversation on literacy: Q&A with Lieze Kotze

by | Sep 2, 2015 | Uncategorized

Lieze Kotze3Lieze Kotze is Regional Director for Africa at Oxford University Press with responsibility for its publishing across the continent. We asked her to give her thoughts on the RASA / Pan-African Literacy Conference 2015 and the role it can play in improving literacy.

Why is OUP involved in the Pan-African Literacy Conference 2015?

Oxford is the leading literacy publisher in the world and therefore it is natural that we would be involved in the discussion around literacy and the challenges that people face – especially on the African continent.

Are there any specific parts of the conference that you are excited about?

I’m excited about the variety of contributions that have come to the conference, and about the initiatives that individuals and organizations are offering to instil a love of reading. I’m also looking forward to hearing about the new and innovative tools that teachers are developing for themselves to tackle literacy issues. Finally, I’m looking forward to the sessions by OUP staff which range from dictionaries to multilingual literacy teaching as well as the launch of Oxford Global Languages, which is an honour to host in Africa.

The theme of this year’s conference is ‘imagination’. Why is this topic so important in literacy?

I think that in the knowledge-focused world that we live in, innovation is very important – and without imagination there is no innovation. Literacy is absolutely key to helping children to realise the future by thinking imaginatively about what they can achieve.

What impact do events like this conference have on literacy?

It brings people together who have the same vision, the same intent, on specific aspects of life that they want to change – helping them to compare approaches to addressing particular issues. It also helps us to build more comprehensive solutions, and builds our collective knowledge around education and literacy.

What role can publishers play in helping to improve literacy?

Publishers have a key role to pay – particularly through developing teaching programmes that help teach children different strategies for acquiring both home languages and additional languages. It is vital that we publish accessible content that makes education more accessible in multicultural and multilingual societies.

In line with its commitment to education across Africa, in September 2015 Oxford University Press proudly sponsored the Pan African Reading for All and Reading Association of South Africa Literacy Conference. This article is part of a collection of insights from conference and reflections from delegates. To find out more about the event, go to www.rasa2015.co.za 

Conference logo PNG on white

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