A project to ensure high literacy among kindergarten and primary pupils in the Kwahu Afram Plains South of the Eastern Region has commenced following findings that only two per cent of kindergarten pupils in the area can identify alphabets and read with comprehension.
An annual monitoring in 2018 revealed that 98 per cent of pupils in the area do not have any reading material at home while 68 per cent did not have any kind of learning support at home.
The situation, which has been persisting, is said to be affecting academic performance of pupils in the Afram Plains.
It is against this backdrop that non-governmental organisation, World Vision, with support from the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) has embarked on the project to get higher percentage of pupils in kindergarten and primary schools to read.
The unlock literacy thrives on use of local language.
The project has three components; enabling teacher performance and instructional coaching, energizing community support and participation and measuring for results and continuous improvement.
Funded by KOICA, the project will in the next three years improve pupils’ reading rate at a cost of 1.3 million dollars.
At the launch of the project, the Education Technical Programme Manager for World Vision, Andrew Ofosu-Dankyi, said there is evidence to show that children read faster and better when they start learning to read in their mother language.
He indicated that reading rates of pupils at Fanteakwa District improved from 0.9 to 58 per cent when the unlock literacy project was implemented in that area some years ago.
Country Director of KOICA Ghana, Yukyum Kim, quoting UNESCO, said educational opportunities depend on literacy, noting that literacy is a human right, a tool for personal empowerment and a means for social and human development.
He said country’s economies are enhanced when they have higher literacy levels.
“Literacy unlocks human potential and it is the footing for every country’s development. In our ever increasing complex and rapidly changing technology world, it is essential for our children to be equipped right at the primary level with literacy so that they can keep us with the pace of change,” he said.
“I believe we all do not want to be putting our children and for that matter, our future leaders and decision makers on a lifetime trajectory of limited educational advancement and economic prospects due to lack of basic reading and writing acquisition,” he added.
The Kwahu Afram Plains South Education Director, Edwin Ofosu Kwakye, was hopeful the project will improve reading abilities of the pupils.
He urged heads of basic schools, teachers and parents to embrace the project and play their roles efficiently.
“As a directorate, we are much grateful to KOICA and World Vision for the collaboration to improve on learning skills of our pupils .I urge the teachers to learn the new skills and impact the pupils, while the parents also allow the children to stay on classroom,” he stated.
By Yvonne Neequaye|3news.com|Ghana