This, he said was because reading, among its numerous benefits, also stimulated children’s interest and subsequently enhanced their learning habits for their overall development.
The Minister made the call when he delivered an address at a day’s reading festival organised by the Ministry of Education (MoE) and the Ghana Education Service (GES) in collaboration with “Learning” a USAID Partnership for Education in Cape Coast.
The festival was to ,among others, encourage and stimulate children’s interest in reading at the early grades, to enhance learning, stimulate the interest in teachers, parents and guardian and the community to support early grade reading both in Ghanaian languages and English.
Attended by more than 300 Kindergarten and Lower primary pupils drawn from 11 Basic Schools in the Metropolis, their teachers and other stakeholders the festival was also to showcase the supplementary readers that had been procured by “Learning” on behalf of MoE and GES.
Some of the schools that participated were Philip Quaque Boys and Girls, Jacob Wilson Sey, Wesley Girls , St. Mary’s Catholic , St. Monica’s KG/Primary Girls’, Aboom AME Zion ‘B’, Jubilee Boys School, Cherubim and Seraphim, Aboom School for Special Needs and School for the Deaf.
Mr. Quansah also urged schools in the Region to form reading clubs as well as organise intra-class reading competitions every term to help inculcate the habit of reading among pupils while teachers should cultivate the habit of reading so as to have positive impact on the pupils.
To School Management Committees and Parents Teacher Associations, he said they should develop strategies to promote and improve teaching and learning in the various schools especially in the aspect of reading.
He also appealed to parents to support their children at home by helping them to do their assignment from school, buying books and other learning materials and also ensure that they put them to good use.
He stressed the pivotal role that reading in both English and Ghanaian language played in education and advised the pupils to reciprocate the investment their parents made in their education so as to become productive future leaders
Dr. Kafui Etsey a lecturer at the University of Cape Coast, who read a statement on behalf of the USAID said “Learning” had targeted about 2.8 million children from KG to Lower Primary, including children with special needs.
She said USAID had helped the MoE/GES to procure more than 4.23 million books in local languages such as Twi, Ewe, Dagbani, Fante, and also in English and each kindergarten and primary schools in the country would receive them in 2016.
She indicated that the reading festivals would be held in all 10 regions to support the goal of increasing access to and use of materials in public schools and therefore called on parents, teachers, and other stakeholders to help children cultivate the habit of reading.