Ghana’s First Lady Mrs. Rebecca Akufo-Addo on Wednesday launched the ‘Learning to Read, Reading to Learn’ initiative aimed at encouraging the habit of reading and learning among Ghanaian children.
The initiative is also aimed at exposing children to Ghanaian writers and to give the hardworking writers, the exposure they deserved.
The Initiative is a weekly engaging, interactive reading television programme, with school children and adult readers.
Each week, children would learn words and lessons from the stories read.
At the launching ceremony attended by many pupils from both the public and private basic schools in the country, teachers and other educators in Accra, Mrs. Akufo-Addo expressed her regret that many of “our children cannot read well despite the incredible benefits from reading”.
She said research had shown that many primary school children across sub-Saharan Africa were unable to read well.
“In Ghana, many of our primary school children are unable to read English or any Ghanaian language. This is simply unacceptable. its consequences for our development is simply unimaginable”.
Mrs. Akufo-Addo, therefore, encouraged parents, educators, government, Non-Governmental Organisations, school administrators and owners to support the agenda to improve literacy in Ghanaian children.
She also challenged the children to make reading, a habit, to help them develop their reading skills.
“This is for you children; read a book each day. Learn new words, learn new things. Start writing your own little stories. It can be about everyday life, an adventure or some issue that you feel passionate about. One thing I know is that we are all in this world to learn”, the First Lady told the school children.
“As they learn to read, they are effectively setting themselves up for the learning process, because reading is key to learning”.
“As a people we need to encourage the culture of reading. And we need to model this for our children” We need to encourage literacy. We need to start with our children and we need to start now.
“I encourage all of us, parents, and guardians to establish a routine of reading with our children at home. This habit will carry them through life. If you cannot read with your child, get a trusted person-sibling, other relation or friend to read with your child.
The First Lady commended all partners including GTV, Ghana Library Authority, Royal Commonwealth Society, Ministry of Education, Ghana Education Service, Ghana Association of Publishers, and the Ghanaian writers who donated their books as well as the Ghana Book Development Corporation.
The initiative is being promoted through the Rebecca Foundation’s literacy initiative, which is aimed at fostering inclusiveness.
To further support literacy, The Rebecca Foundation has started building libraries in school clusters across the country.
“We have already started the first one at Bia West District in the Western Region. We will start a second one soon”, Mrs Akufo-Addo said.
The Director of Pre-Tertiary, Ministry of Education, Mrs. Catherine Appiah-Pinkrah, who represented the Sector Minister expressed the Ministry’s gratitude to the Rebecca Foundation for its work in promoting a reading culture among young children.