CEP deserves maximum support

Education systems around the world are deemed to be the means by which the values, accumulated knowledge and skills of societies are transmitted to their members.

The contents or the curricula of the various education systemsacross the globe differ but what remains a common feature is literacy.

Literacy is the ability to read, write, speak and listen in a way that helps people everywhere to communicate effectively and make sense of the world around them.

Therefore, any education system that fails to prioritise literacy is a failed one and needs some overhaul.

This is why we would root for the Minister of Education, Dr Yaw OseiAdutwum, and his team and, for that matter, the government, for trying to reverse the literacy decay in the country’s basic education set-up with interventions like the National Standardised Test (NST) and Community of Excellence Programme (CEP).

The CEP is specifically meant to improve reading proficiency of children in the country, whereas the NST is an intervention introduced by the Ministry of Education to assess the extent to which learners have covered the contents of the curricula approved by the Ghana Education Service.

Was it not a sad commentary that only two per cent of pupils in class two in the country could read as of the end of 2015?

However, the good news is that with the intervention of the NST, 38.7per cent of

them can do so now.

This result leaves us in no doubt that the government’s target of having about 90-percent proficiency rate among Ghanaian children by age 10 is attainable.

Much as we all will celebrate such an achievement as remarkable, we must be honest to say that it could not be hailed as a novelty as in Finland, for example, children are able to read proficiently by age seven, which is the age at which they enter primary one or class one.

We think our target age is too high and must be reduced because at age 10, most children are either in class four or leaving for class five, having entered class one at age six.

Our suggestion is our contribution to improving the CEP because of its indisputable benefits, including the serendipitous offer of literacy to willing parents.

In fact, reading is a very important tool in every education system and every society.

For children, it provides them the opportunity to proceed on the education ladder to any height they wish to reach as they grow as the love for reading at an early age is the key that unlocks the door to lifelong learning.

Reading helps childrento grow their vocabulary, increaseself-confidence and imagination, and acquire a wealth of knowledge from what they read.

In fact, reading is very important to both the youngand the old as people who want to be abreast of the happenings in their environment with regard to opportunities and current events.

We should, therefore, always remember the quote “Reading maketh a full man,” and give all the necessary support to DrAdutwum, his team and the government as a whole to develop Ghanaian children into “full individuals” who can compete with the rest of the world.

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