[lg policy] Ghana: GES Dir. urges parents to instil reading habit in children

Harold Schiffman hfsclpp at gmail.com
Tue Dec 8 20:10:11 UTC 2015

Greater Accra Regional Education Director urges parents to instil reading
habit in children

Mrs Felicia Boakye Yiadom, the Greater Accra Regional Education Director,
has urged parents to instil the habit of reading in their children.

She said when parents read to their children when they are young, they grow
with the habit of reading; adding that this habit also encourages both
parents and children to read and write more.

Mrs Yiadom made the appeal at the ‘Annual Burt Award for African Literature
Speaking Event’ in Accra.

The Award is an annual library award and readership initiative that
recognises excellence in young adult literature and provides readers with
engaging books that they want to read.

It was sponsored by CODE, a Canadian non-governmental organisation, in
partnership with the Ghana Book Trust (GBT) and made possible by the
generosity of William Burt and the Literary Prizes Foundation.

The Award addresses an ongoing shortage of relevant, quality books for
young people, while at the same time promoting a love for reading and
learning at the Junior and Senior High School levels.

Mrs Yiadom explained that as part of efforts to promote reading among
children, the Education Ministry had proposed that pupils read at least
five books a term, and 15 in every academic year, to enhance their reading
and writing skills.

She said that there were weak literacy skills and low achievement levels
among primary school pupils, which had been demonstrated by the results of
various national curriculum assessment tests including the Basic Education
Certificate Examination and Criterion Reference Tests.

“These low outcomes of pupils have been undermining the quality of our
entire education system and limiting the socio-economic development
prospects of the country,” she said.

In a bid to solve this problem, Mrs Yiadom said the Ministry in conjunction
with the Ghana Education Service, had come up with a programme called the
National Literacy Acceleration Programme (NALAP), which has been
implemented in all primary schools since 2009, to provide teachers and
pupils at the lower primary level with quality literacy materials for
effective instruction in bilingual literacy.

She explained that the aim of the programme is that by primary three,
pupils would be functionally literate in both their local language and the
English language.

This, she said, would empower majority of children leaving basic school to
be fully equipped with literacy skills to improve their learning abilities.

“The NALAP and the learning interventions are to strengthen the language
policy of the Ministry which states that the medium of instruction in
kindergarten and lower primary should be a Ghanaian Language and English
where necessary.

“English which is the official language of the country, is introduced
gradually from kindergarten; and becomes the medium of instruction from
primary four onwards,” she stated.

Mrs Yiadom lauded the GBT for what it stands for and the support it had
been giving out to schools and individuals in their academic work over
several decades.

She observed that the award scheme would support children to improve their
literary skills, and would also encourage them to apply their language and
literacy skills to learn other subjects.

“GBT, thank you for being here today to have this special award for our
young writers, and most importantly, for according them readership
initiative and ushering them into the writing and publishing community,”
she added.

Mrs Genevieve Eba-Polley, the Executive Director, GBT, said that every
child was interested in impressing their parents, and so parents should buy
relevant and interesting books for their children, and if possible read the
stories to them.

She said that the GBT aimed at distributing their literature books to only
disadvantaged public schools, as part of efforts to promote reading and
learning among children.

The GBT donated 30 books each to schools that were present at the function;
such as the Madina Estate School Two, Madina Estate School Three, Madina
Seventh Day Adventists School, and the Saint Andrews Basic School, Madina.

The books included 10 each from the three Ghanaian authors who have
distinguished themselves in their literary writings and were awarded the
William Burt Award for African literature 2014.

Authors include the second prize award winners - Dr Ruby Yayra Gokah with
her book “Plain Yellowing” and Mr David Kwame Kwakye with his book
“Lightning”; and the prize winner Mr Asare Adei with his book “Witches of


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