The National Literacy Agency of the Ministry for Education, with the support of Banif Bank, has launched ‘Rakkonti’, a three-year project aimed at boosting language and literacy skills including reading, listening, speaking, writing, and critical thinking among early years and primary school children.
Rakkonti promotes traditional Maltese tales through digital animations, music and puppet re-enactments. These tales are written and illustrated by Trevor Zahra, and may either be read as a narrative, or dramatised through the use of puppets which will be distributed in all Primary state schools across Malta and Gozo. An original song written by Trevor Zahra and composed by Dominic Galea accompanies each tale.
During the launch activity at Siggiewi Primary School, presided by the Hon. Minister for Education Evarist Bartolo, a brief presentation was given on the project, and the puppets introduced Rakkonti to the guests and pupils present. The tale ‘Il-Ġgant u l-Iskarpan’ was re-enacted by teachers from the Drama Unit, while Trevor Zahra narrated the tale ‘Ix-Xiħ Midfun ġol-Għar’. A choir of Year 5 pupils from Siggiewi Primary School, St Ignatius College animated this activity by singing two songs from Rakkonti.
“With so many distractions and pressures on children nowadays, it is easy to understand why the simple act of sitting down and reading is not as commonplace as it used to be,” said Joaquim F. Silva Pinto, Chief Executive Officer at Banif Bank. “However there is nothing quite like the feeling of losing yourself in a good story, and with the creative talents behind these new fairy tales, we believe that the children are in for a real treat! I cannot help but express my personal happiness that Banif Bank could play such a big part in helping to make the Rakkonti project a reality!”
The Hon. Minister Bartolo made reference to the National Literacy Strategy for All in Malta and Gozo, 2014-2019 that highlights the development of language and literacy abilities through the use of new technologies. Minister Bartolo reiterated that since digital media forms an integral part of everyday literacy practice, it is imperative that teachers are provided with high-quality digital resources in Maltese to inspire learners to develop their language, literacy, and critical thinking skills.
Further information on this project may be accessed on the Rakkonti Facebook page.