2,000 c’nities nationwide to benefit from reading proficiency project

About 2,000 communities are to benefit from the Community of Excellence Programme (CEP) being initiated by the government as part of measures to improve reading proficiency for children in the country, the Minister of Education, Dr Yaw OseiAdutwum, has disclosed.

The CEP is an intervention adopted to improve learning outcomes in the country and is a sequel to the National Standardised Test (NST) which provides assessment for pupils in primary two, four and six.

As part of the programme, tailor-measured reading interventions would be provided for children with emphasis on their peculiar environments.

In an exclusive interview with the Ghanaian Times in Accra last Friday, Dr Adutwum said data from the World Bank revealed that nearly 87per cent of pupils aged 10 around the world could not read.

“In Ghana, we want to flip it. We want to ensure that by age 10, 90per cent of our students can read proficiently and the CEP is to help us attain that goal,” he stressed.

The situation in Ghana he said was not different as only twoper cent of pupils in class two could read as of the end of 2015.

Dr Adutwum disclosed that preliminary assessment of the 2022 NST revealed significant progress since 2015.

“The Early Grade Reading Assessment (EGRA) resultsin 2015 show that only twoper cent of pupils in primary 2 could read at grade level, with 50per cent unable to read a single word.

However, he said the preliminary assessment of the 2022 primary 2 NST showed a 38.7per cent success rate.

Dr Adutwum said the overarching goal of government was to attain about 90per cent proficiency rate for all children by the age of ten.

Dr Adutwum explained that under CEP a school in a community, a village or a part of the inner city would be selected and provided with a teacher in every classroom and train the teachers with literacy development skills, meet with parents and provide them with library facilities to help them in teaching the children.

In addition, he said the communities and the schools selected would be made to implement the Drop Everything and Read (DEAR) programme so that time is set aside during the day where teachers and pupils drop everything and read.

In this case reading is made compulsory and is done consistently and on daily basis. As part of this, each classroom would have to create a small library where the pupils can easily have access to books.

He said under the CEP parents who needed the opportunity to be literates would be offered classes through the Complimentary Education Agency to enable them read alongside their children.

“At the end of the day, our goal is that by age 10 which is primary four, 90per cent of the students should read proficiently. When we do that, we’ve turn upside down theWorld Bank statistics that show that 87per cent of students cannot read,” he emphasised.

The Minister said they expected 90per cent transition rate of these children from primary to junior high and from junior high to senior high and to tertiary.

“If we are able to do that and produce this outcome, that community will be just like any community anywhere in the world. Those communities that are able to attain these goals, 10 to 20 years from now, will be transformed communities,” he added.


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