About 7 percent of Ghanaian children in primary three have reading challenges, a study has revealed.
The study conducted by the Worldreader, a global non-profit organization, that supports free mobile reading services, also revealed that only 7 percent of Ghanaian homes had children’s books.
At a workshop for media practitioners yesterday in Accra, to help create reading awareness, Regional Director of Worldreader for West Africa, Mr Leslie Tettey, said the study was conducted between 2020 and 2021.
He said the study was centred on children between the ages of three and 12 years, stressing that only 4 per cent of Ghana’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) was spent on education.
Mr Tettey added that although there was high mobile penetration, only 8 per cent of schools had access to internet connectivity, noting since 2010 Worldreader had spearheaded digital reading in West Africa.
He said over the next three years, the organisation would focus on increasing reading impact among children between three and 12 years, explaining the focus was aligned with the government’s education priority.
The Content Acquisition and Programmes Manager of Worldreader, Mrs Kezia Agbenyega said it was essential for stakeholders to invest from early childhood and at home, and create a family reading habit.
She called for education reform to improve learning outcomes, reduce inequalities and expand teacher capacity development.
Mrs Agbenyega appealed to government to increase the education budget to 23 per cent.
A Senior Director in-charge of Africa for Worldreader, Mr Kwame Essah said the organisation had offered about 3,000 books in five major Ghanaian languages which include Ewe, Asante, Twi, Akuapem Twi, and Fanti.
He said the organisation was piloting a project to integrate digital reading in pre-service and in-service for kindergarten teacher trainings.
BY BERNARD BENGHAN