I noticed in the Belfast Telegraph's Business supplement (December 18) an article about firms providing volunteers to assist primary school children with reading, counting and computer skills.
While these initiatives are to be commended, I cannot understand why both parents and grandparents of existing or former pupils of local primary schools have not been asked to volunteer to listen to children reading and help with basic number work.
There must, surely, be a wealth of knowledge and life experience to tap into, with parents and grandparents. Likewise, this group would be only too willing to help their local primary schools.
Why does the education sector always think in terms of 'more money needed', as the recent articles on the Reading Recovery Scheme concluded, rather than looking further afield and making use of alternative free resources.
It is imperative that better use is made of current education funding levels, rather than constantly demanding more money.
The Public Accounts Committee report of December 8 on Improving literacy and numeracy in schools in NI has recognised the worth of parents. Point 10 in the Conclusions and Recommendations section states: "Parental involvement can have an important impact on the educational attainment of children. Huge gains can be made in literacy and numeracy attainment levels if parents received more encouragement to work with schools in support of their children's education and opportunities were taken to engage parents to provide educational development in the home".
Let us start 2007 with a positive attitude to parents and encourage primary schools to ask for volunteers to assist with reading and number activities rather than just throwing more money into the pot.
Let's Be Innovative Dromore