The government has been urged to throw their weight behind Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) that make efforts to instil reading culture in Ghanaian kids.
Speaking to Peace News, the President of the Ghana Publishers Association, Mr Asare Konadu Yamoah said just like the government spends money to build hospitals and other infrastructures, they must also consciously invest in building a reading culture amongst the citizenry, particularly, children who are the future leaders.
Mr Yamoah believes reading and literacy is something you deliberately learn and although corporate organizations and CSOs like World Vision and World Reader may be doing their best, it may not be enough without the government’s support.
Mr Yamoah made this known following a breakfast conversation on International Literacy Day under the theme ‘Promoting Literacy for A World In Transition; Building the Foundation for Sustainable and Peaceful Societies’. ‘Making More Books Available to the Ghanaian Child’.
At a speech read at the event, National Director, of World Vision Ghana, Laura Cristina Delvalle said 98% of grade 2 children in Ghana cannot read while half of this number cannot identify a single letter sound.
According to her a baseline survey by World Vision Ghana in 2021 found out that only 3% of children in grade 2 can read with comprehension.
She said it is for this reason that World Vision Ghana is partnering with World Reader, Pencils of Promise, the Complementary Education Agency, UNESCO, the government through the Ministry of Education and other stakeholders to improve child literacy and educational outcomes.
Regional Director for West Africa for World Reader, Lesley Tettey intimated that more has to be done to create a reading culture amongst children. He believes the school system should have Reading as a core of their period.
Mr Tettey said Reading and Learning and Literacy are the window to the World and it must even start in the home where parents can create that culture for their kids.
He noted that World Reader is trying to make books readily available on their digital platforms for children to read.
He said they’re trying to work with the Telcos to as part of their Social Corporate Responsibility, provide zero rated downloading for some of these books.