The Ministry of Education in collaboration with the United States Agency International Development (USAID) has launched the “Distribution of Supplementary Readers” project which involves the distribution of over four million books to schools across the country.
The project would have schools in all 216 districts of the country receiving English and Ghanaian Language books provided by USAID, with the aim of helping to improve on the reading culture of nearly 2.8 million pupils.
Speaking at the launch in Accra, US Ambassador to Ghana, Robert Jackson said majority of Ghanaian pupils were not able to read fluently, and that the project was to help them to develop interest in reading that would culminate in improved academic performance.
According to him, the books are both in local languages and English which would ensure that pupils become fluent in both English and their local dialects.
“Local languages form the basis of a child’s ability to read and write, and it is vital to teach pupils to appreciate that at an early age,” he stated.
He added that the books would open minds, expand horizons and introduce millions of primary school children across Ghana to new worlds and opportunities.
He also asked teachers to make reading very interesting for children by engaging them in the activity very often as young readers would become great people in society.
Jacob Kor, Director-General of the Ghana Education Service, for his part, said there was a need to constantly promote quality reading among pupils.”
“Government is grateful to the partners for the initiative that would go a long way to help pupils, especially in lower primary and kindergarten.
“Pupils’ inability to read would become a thing of the past as there would be easy access to good books to develop their reading skills,” he said.
Some pupils took the opportunity to read in both English and local languages to the delight of dignitaries at the event.
USAID and the Ministry of Education initiated the Partnership for Education last year, and the learning programme has since encouraged children to develop their skills and stimulate parent interest in early grade reading, both in English and Ghanaian languages.
By Michael D. Abayateye