World Vision Ghana in collaboration with Open Learning Exchange (OLE) Ghana has implemented Ghana Reads programme with the aim of salvaging the low literacy levels among basic school pupils in the country.
According to Mr Kofi Essien, Director of OLE Ghana, more than 40 per cent of pupils in primary three and 31 per cent in primary six perform below minimum competency.
Citing the 2013 Early Grade Reading Assessment (EGRA) and National Education Assessment (NEA) report , Mr. Essien in an interview with journalists observed that many pupils in primary six also struggle to read and write even after five years of education.
This, he said, was an indication that getting pupils in the classroom alone was not enough to improve basic education in the country, but also adopting new teaching methods that make learning pleasurable to children.
“Children like to play games and do more of activities they find fun and interesting. Doing more and more of these activities turn them into habits. Why don’t we then make learning fun for them so that they would want to learn more and, in the process, make learning a habit?,” he questioned.
He said there was enough evidence to also show that children were not the problem but the educational system “that needs to ask itself certain hard questions.”
One such question, he indicated, centered on what the system needed to do differently to make learning an enjoyable experience for the learner — to get him or her to want to learn and to learn more and to learn always, voluntarily!”
He noted that in finding answers to challenges plaguing the system, there was the need to concentrate attention on teachers and the support provided them within the social milieu that learning takes place, “which has a bearing on the how and the what of the learning.”
Mr. Essien suggested the adoption of such models as Open Learning Exchange (OLE) Ghana’s Ghana Reads programme to make learning easier and pleasurable for children and improve basic education in the country.
The Ghana Reads programme is currently being piloted in 28 schools Currently in four World Vision Area Development Programmes (ADPs) namely Afram Plains, Kintampo South, Anyima Amansi and Sekyere East districts.
He explained that the Ghana Reads programme sought to develop a learning model for universal literacy for all Ghanaian children through the introduction of new ways of learning “that involve the use of affordable technology tools that support small learning teams with pupils interacting with quality resources found on a Raspberry Pi server which houses the OLE Basic eLearning Library (BeLL).”
He added that the Ghana Reads project aims to provide low-cost, hand-held technologies to school children backed by effective pedagogy and teacher support strategies in order to increase access to high quality, interactive learning resources in the classroom.
With this, he assured, “pupils climb their own personal learning ladders with help from fellow team members and teachers who are being coached and themselves learning how to coach.”
He said OLE Ghana aims to ‘bait’ the children to stay in school and to learn, as well as provide continuous support for the teachers to enable them develop love for profession, love for the children they teach and the requisite skills to deliver.
Mr Essien said the desire to ensure these that OLE Ghana was currently being supported by World Vision Ghana to try OLE Ghana’s new ways and do things differently towards addressing challenges facing educational delivery.
The partnership he said has since 2013 yielded positive results.
World Vision works towards ensuring every child experiences life in all its fullness.
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