Literacy is the capability to read and write without any difficulties. Literacy is essential in personal empowerment. Social and human developments critically depend on the literacy level of a populace. Literacy is the tool used to achieve education for all. Therefore, it is used in fighting poverty, rapid population growth, and high child mortality rate. It also assists in achieving democracy, equality in terms of gender and triggers rapid development and high social and economical growth.
Rural, on the other hand, refer to an area that is sparsely populated that is outside the bounds of an urban centre for instance cities, commercial areas or even towns. Rural areas are distinct from urban areas as they have open spaces and full of farm lands and vegetation areas. Rural literacy, therefore, refers to the ease in accessibility of education services in the rural parts of a certain region. This ease contributes largely to the society’s ability to read and write with simplicity because of ease in accessibility of education.
Literacy in rural settings
Berrill (2011) asserts that; increasingly every year, first grade children and the ones joining kindergarten schools face difficulties in reading and writing. These are issues brought forth by the transition periods involved. More so, children residing in the rural areas face even stiffer and difficult situations in the transition processes. This is because of poverty, environmental isolation and narrow professional tutor growth and development essential for providing effective services. This derails the performance abilities of the children; hence, achievements in future education opportunities are negatively affected. The derailment in education progression is due to the literacy gap that keeps widening; leading access to basic education becoming limited.
Solution seeking interventions
According to Olson and Torrance (2009), this has compelled scholars to conduct detailed researches in order to control the ever growing problem. In the researches findings and recommendations, early involvement in the process of growing academically has been recommended by most researchers. They recommend struggling readers should be accorded special attention. This can be done remedially; that is after other class works. They see an ever increasing connection of teachers with the learners with difficulties in learning. This they say will help a great deal in establishing teacher-pupil friendship relationship which has always contributed to fierce less conduct in classes between the teachers and their students.
Ziegler and Davis (2008) views that; another solution seeking action is the development of Targeted Reading Intervention (TRI). T.R.I is an intervention body that deals with professional growth. This growth is intended to there after impact positively on tutors and the struggling learners. The TRI in its services assist teachers to obtain knowledge touching on reading development and how to deal with special case learners. It also deals with helping the teachers apply the knowledge they have acquired to better the situation of their struggling learners.
Results Acquired from TRIs intervention
After their training programs, the newly graduated TRI teachers have been seen to closely work with their students in ensuring enormous improvements. The strategies employed have initially been individual students being attended by a teacher. However due to an increasing level of growth in learning difficulties, the body has recommended that a single teacher should attend to a small group of learners. This they say will not loose on quality of services delivery. Matter of factuality, the new method has been assessed and seen to have a positive impact on quality and quantity. Ziegler and Davis (2008) affirm that, the more the struggling students are attended, the more they develop academically. This advantage has been seen to impact positively on the project as learners can now assist each other in growing together academically. The delivery of services by TRI has been said and even proven to be essential and effective in growth and academic performance. This is as a result of employing diverse reading strategies that relate to an individual or a group of problems and the analytic teaching strategy that TRI teachers have been trained to practice.
Analysis on the significance of TRIs intervention
Eckert, Kutek, Dunn, Air, and Goldney (2010) state that in putting into cognizance the importance and impact of the initial school life to a learner, all stake holders in education have appreciated the TRIs essential intervention. The initial learning years are very important to a learner as it shapes the destiny of the learner’s future as far as formal education is concerned. It should be noted that the ability to read is the backbone of formal education hence TRIs intervention was key as it heavily concentrated on assisting learners to be able to read. The development of TRI was to make faster the increase of reading ability in struggling learners. This body was principally developed to deal with the problem in the rural areas and ensure success in the field of education for the struggling learners. The background of access to formal education is literacy, hence, the continued attention to it.
Factors determining success in TRIs evaluation
In allusion to the reason behind TRIs design, learners starting schools were to be closely assisted in ensuring a smooth transition through out their academic lives. As it is the case, learners must know how to read and understand words. The essential possession of this knowledge dictates the future life of the individual’s education. The rate for recognizing words is also essential in education hence the faster the learners learn how to read, the quicker they adapt with the essentials of fast reading and understanding abilities. Berrill (2011) views that the assured incorporation of ability and understanding to reading enables learners to grasp the information being relayed with ease. This in turn contributes to success in terms of education. In addition, teachers need to give excellent reading directions to their students especially the struggling learners. The knowledge of critical elements in reading acquired during the TRI training should assist teachers in connecting directions with evaluations and provision of directions in regards to a learner’s problem.
TRIs growth in professionalism
Olson and Torrance (2009) affirms that TRI has devised ways that will see it grow and develop in professionalism. The three core ways to ensure that this happens are: monthly sessions on professional development, consultant visits held weekly or in fortnights and the summer professionals meeting popularly referred to as the summer institute. The TRI hopes to completely eradicate the practice of issuing teachers with supplies of training information without ensuring a successful follow up in the application process. To completely avoid this norm, the TRI has constantly ensured that they organize sessions that bring teachers together for consultations and help.
The diversity in rural literacy with correct measures can be controlled. The level in which reading and writing abilities are achieved predominantly depend on methods used to achieve them. With correct training and skills on how to manage the situation, positive results can be achieved; an example is the design of TRI to assist in ensuring that the problem is efficiently tackled and can be seen as a brilliant move. This is because as of the findings made so far; illiteracy levels in the rural areas have considerably decreased.
Berrill, D. (2011). Handbook of research on literacy and diversity. Educational Review.
Eckert, K. A., Kutek, S. M., Dunn, K. I., Air, T. M., & Goldney, R. D. (2010). Changes in depression-related mental health literacy in young men from rural and urban South Australia. The Australian journal of rural health, 18(4), 153-158.
Olson, D. R., & Torrance, N. (2009). The Cambridge Handbook of Literacy. (D. R. Olson & N. Torrance, Eds.)Alberta Journal of Educational Research (Vol. 55, pp. 559-563). Cambridge University Press.
Ziegler, M. F., & Davis, D. C. (2008). Rural adult literacy in a community context: From the margin to the mainstream. New Directions for Adult and Continuing Education, (117), 25-36.