Primary and secondary schools in Andalucia are to include an extra two and a half hours a week of dedicated reading time in the curriculum each week to boost shockingly poor reading levels.
The new initiative, from the Junta’s Ministry of Education, is in response to a recent report which revealed that the region came second last in reading comprehension across the entirety of Spain.
“Some children start their first year of secondary school and can barely read. They have to follow the words with their finger,” says Toñi Vallejo, a language and literature teacher.
The extra half hour of reading a day will not be during language and literature classes, and each school will have the flexibility to organise their own reading schedule.
The Ministry hopes that students will improve their reading skills and pave the way for a more successful academic future.
“Many academic failures could be prevented if pupils read enough,” says Education Minister Patricia del Pozo.
“Reading is one of the most powerful tools to improve our pupils’ performance,” she continued.
Many times they fail exams because they don’t understand what they are being asked, and that is directly related to reading comprehension.”
Schools will receive resources and advice on how to implement the new reading program for the next academic year in June.