More than 1,020 children at Ekon, a suburb of Cape Coast Metropolis, are benefitting from the Ekon Literacy Project being embarked on by the Ghana Library Authority (GLA) in the Central Region.
The project with sponsorship from Book Aid International, sought to mitigate the learning loss caused by school closures due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Also, it would provide about 2,800 books both foreign and locally published titles from United Kingdom (UK) and Ghana to 1,000 children and other readers from over 100 households.
Nana Kwame Appiah Kubi, Central Regional Director of GLA, in an interview with the Ghana News Agency (GNA), said the Authority was poised to make books accessible to children in remote areas to enhance their reading and learning skills.
He said the children would be guided by volunteers from the community basically teachers, named ‘Home and Community Facilitators,’ to train to help them read and understand.
They would also assist the children to develop their literary skills.
Nana Appiah-Kubi said there would be a demarcated area in the community centre where the books would be made available for borrowing, reading, and returning.
He said on every last Saturday of the month, the whole community would gather at the community centre under a shed, with chairs and tables made available for reading.
Films based on popular foreign or local books would be shown on monthly basis after the children had read the books for clear understanding.
Drama would be performed on the books by some selected children at the end of every month.
Nana Appiah-Kubi explained that the availability of the books in the predominantly fishing community, was to ensure easy access to reading materials at no cost since books were expensive for many parents in the community.
He stated that studies conducted revealed that about 20 per cent of school going age children at Ekon were not schooling, hence, the selection of that community.
Many of the beneficiary children, spent most of their days along the coast deterring them from schooling.
Also, lack of training of the kindergarten teachers and government community’s poor involvement in preschool education among others are contributing factors.
Additionally, 80 per cent of the children were unable to read and understand simple text by age 10 although there were several community schools from preschool to Junior High School in the area.
The Director encouraged the parents and children to take advantage of the ongoing project to improve their skills to enable them attain greater heights and contribute to national development.