The Centre for Sustainable Rural Development (CESRUD), a community-based non-profit organisation based in the Upper East Region, has called on the government to as a matter of urgency; invest in promoting reading culture among school children.
This, the non-profit organisation believed would help improve upon academic performance in school children.
The Executive Director of CESRUD, Mr Rex Asanga, made the call during the inauguration of an added reading hall to the Sumbrungu Community Library in the Bolgatanga Municipality of the Upper East Region.
He explained that this could be achieved through the establishment and equipment of community and school libraries in various communities and schools to make available conducive environment and relevant books for children to read.
According to him, this would help imbibe reading habit among children especially those at the basic levels and contribute to improved performance in school.
The expansion works had financial support from the Amsterdam Bolgatanga Foundation, an NGO based in the Netherlands and the Friends of African Village Libraries (FAVL), an American charity organisation.
The Sumbrungu Community, established in 2003, is part of three community libraries established by CESRUD in collaboration with FAVL.
Mr Asanga asserted that the recent abysmal performance of pupils and students in the country’s educational sector could be attributed to lack of reading habit and the facilities to encourage reading.
“Community and school libraries should be part and parcel of our educational system to enhance reading habit among children,” the Executive Director said, adding “once kids take reading as a habit, most of our problems we face in our educational sector will be solved.”
The Executive Director explained that apart from the three community libraries with the other two at Sherigu in the Bolgatanga Municipality and Gowrie-Kunkua in the Bongo District, CESRUD had partnered with Biblionef Ghana and other organisations to create and stock mini libraries in all the basic schools in the Bolgatanga West ‘B’ and North circuits.
He said each school had about 600 books and the situation had resulted in enhanced reading attitude among the children and improved academic work.
“We have been urging the assemblies to take up the responsibility of paying the librarians so we can expand because in Burkina Faso, that is what is happening and the FAVL have been to establish 34 community libraries in the area,” he added.
The CESRUD Libraries Coordinator, Mr Paul Ayutoliya, said the expansion of the Sumbrungu Community Library was to create more reading space for children to learn comfortably.
He expressed the hope that children would make good use of the facility to enrich their knowledge and improve upon their performance.
The Municipal Coordinator of the Technical Vocational Education and Training, Mr Frederick Ayine Agunga-Dongo, who spoke on behalf of Ms Anne Estella Akyee-ebo, the Municipal Director of Ghana Education Service, commended CESRUD and its partners for the immense contribution to improving quality education in the area.
He underscored the need for collective efforts from all stakeholders to addressing the challenges facing school children including reading habits and urged the children to exhibit good characters and use the facility for the intended purpose to ensure maximum results.
FROM SAMUEL AKAPULE, SUMBRUNGU