Promoting Literacy in School Libraries in Sierra Leone
INTRODUCTION The core of information literacy is in the definitions that describe it. In the past, librarians have provided "library induction" or "library skills training' with only a small capacity. Users of libraries need to know where the catalog is located and what services are available in the catalogue, and where the inquiry desk is. This isn't meant to diminish the importance of the traditional library induction however, libraries and information are also evolving. Information provided by libraries in their traditional format has undergone radical changes. In many libraries and information organizations, staff are adapting their services to the introduction of new media and the accessibility to information within these organizations. So librarians are discussing opportunities, social inclusion and lifelong education, the information age, and self-development. Visit:- The many definitions of information literacy are found in journals, books and on the internet. A few of these definitions focus on the activities associated with the process of information literacy i.e. understanding the necessary skills to be able to function effectively as a literate. The other definitions are based on the viewpoint of an information-literate individual i.e. trying to define the idea of literacy in information. Finding a definition is a complicated process of putting together a collection of concepts about what could, ought to be, or could be considered to be a component of information literacy. For instance, Weber as well as Johnson (2002) identified information literacy as practice of appropriate behavior in information to acquire, via any media or channel, information that is appropriate to the information requirements, and a an awareness of the significance of a responsible and ethical use of information in the society. According to the American Library Association (2003) defined information literacy as the set of abilities required to locate and retrieve, analyse, and utilize information. In contrast, CLIP (2004) described information literacy as the ability to know the reasons for needing information, how to locate it and how to assess the information, utilize it and share information in a responsible manner. These definitions clearly indicate that information literacy is not just knowledge, but also abilities in: Recognizing the need for information; * resources available * Locating information; * evaluating information; * Using information; * ethical and responsible the use of information * How to communicate or share information; How to handle information With this in mind, the wide range of definitions and implicit explanations, information literacy is a set of skills that a person can use to deal with and make the most of the awe-inspiring quantity of information that surrounds us every day in our lives and at work. STRUCTURE OF THE EDUCATION SYSTEM The current system of education in Sierra Leone comprises six years in formal elementary education and 3 years at Junior Secondary School (JSS) and three years of senior Secondary School (SSS) and four years of tertiary school-6-3-3-4. (The Commissioner Gbamanja's Report of 2010 recommended an additional year to allow SSS to be changed to 6-3-4-4). The age of primary school pupils ranges between six and 11 years old. Every pupil at the end of the sixth grade are required to pass exams. National Primary School Examinations designed by the West African Examinations Council (WAEC) to allow them to go to secondary school, which is divided in Senior Secondary School(JSS) as well as Senior Secondary School (SSS). Each section has a final exam: The Basic Education Certificate Examinations (BECE) for the JSS and the West African Senior Secondary School Certificate Examinations (WASSCE) for SSS and SSS, both administered by WAEC. Candidates who pass the WASSCE can be admitted into universities by virtue of the number of subjects they have passed (GoSL,1995) The primary school curriculum is focused on communication skills and the ability to comprehend the significance of numbers and how they can be used. On the JSS level the curriculum is general and broad, covering all abilities, knowledge, and attitudes in the cognitive, affective as well as psychomotor areas. The fundamental subjects of English Math, Science, and Social Studies are required for all students. On the SSS level the curriculum is determined by the nature of the subject (general or specialist) or by its specific goals. Students are provided with a selection of essential (compulsory) subjects , along with optional subjects that are based on their area of specialization. The teaching is guided by curriculum for teachers and is influenced by the exams that students must pass during the end of the 3-4 year course. English is the primary language used in teaching (GoSL,1995). Two universities in the country as well as three polytechnics and two colleges for teacher education are accountable for training teachers within Sierra Leone. In 2004, the Universities Act of 2004 provides private universities, so that they can aid in the education of teachers. The programs range between the Teacher Certificate offered by the colleges for teacher training up to Masters in Education offered by universities. Teachers' pre-service certification is the task for the National Council for Technical, Vocational and Other Academic Awards (NCTVA). Additionally, there is an in-service teacher Training Program (Distance Education Program) conducted for teachers to decrease the number of teachers who are untrained and not qualified, particularly in rural areas. LITERACY IN SIERRA LEONE The case of Sierra Leone as it is across the developing world, literacy is the ability to write, read and numeracy. It's the ability to perform effectively in a variety of situations. Literacy is connected with having abilities and knowledge, and the way they can be utilized in his community. For example, a person who is literate is thought to be capable of applying chemical fertilizers to their crop, fill out the form for loans, figure out the appropriate dosage of medicine, determine the cost of cash cropping and profits, gather information from newspapers and fill out a bank deposit slip, and understand the basic human rights. Literacy is at the core of the nation's development objectives as well as the human rights of all people (World Bank, 2007). Literacy activities in all areas are an integral part of international and national strategies to improve education as well as human development and wellbeing. Based on the United Nations Human Development Index Sierra Leone has a literacy rate of 34 %.Implicitly Sierra Leone is an oral society. Oral societies heavily rely on memory to communicate their beliefs, laws, music, history and other cultural elements, whereas the written word offers endless possibilities of transmission, and consequently for active involvement in the process of communication. These possibilities make the importance of literacy for the modern society.

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