Majority Of Pupils Can’t Read — Report

StephenA new survey on quality education has revealed that, the majority of pupils in public basic schools can neither read nor understand English or any Ghanaian language properly.

This was published in the National Education Assessment (NEA) report. The survey was carried out by the Assessment Services Unit (ASU) of the Ghana Education Service (GES), with support from the Research Triangle International (RTI). The project was funded by the USAID.

The NEA report is a biennial national and regional representative measure of pupils’ competence in Mathematics and English, in primarries three and six.

According to the report, only two per cent of basic school children sampled are able to read fluently with understanding.

The report followed a survey carried out from July 9 to 11, 2013 that sampled a total of 19,458 pupils in primary three and 17,447 pupils in primary six in 550 public and private schools in 170 districts in Ghana.

It aims at measuring pupils’ performance in the two subjects, and intends to give the GES an indicator of the effectiveness of the primary education system.

Commenting on the outcome of the report, the immediate past President of the Ghana Book Publishers Association, Elliot Agyare said, “Reading has not been developed as a habit for majority of our children. Secondly, we also assume that we will become readers without adequate resources. We all complain that the libraries are non-existent in this country and schools have not been resourced with books. As long as schools don’t have books and the children don’t have books that they enjoy reading, you don’t expect them to read.”

He added that “It will be a fallacy to think that all teachers are adequately resourced to teach reading in schools.”

Mr. Agyare suggested that Ghana can adopt United States of America’s “no child left behind” reading programme “which teaches children how to read until they enjoy it and it becomes a habit.”

He urged the educational sector managers to start a campaign that emphasises the importance of reading, and teachers need to be trained on how to teach reading in the classes.

Meanwhile, Stephen Adu, Deputy Director General of the Ghana Education Service (GES), in charge of basic education, says Ghana’s educational sector is challenged but not failing.

He explained that the challenges have existed for a while, but heightened public awareness, commentary and interest in Ghana’s educational system, has created such a negative impression in the minds of people.

This, he said, has given in to the seeming assertion that the system is failing.

“People are becoming more and more interested in education, and that is why it seems like we are failing,” he claimed.

According to him, one of the major challenges has to do with the “learning component.”

He said a lot of concentration was given to access to education in the past, but currently the government together with the GES is now focused on improving the quality of teaching and learning.

“We have identified quality as an issue, and this is where we want to tackle and spend most of our time on,” he said.


Print Friendly

Leave a Comment