Kofi Essien, the Director of OLE Ghana
More than 40 per cent of pupils in Primary Three and 31 percent in Primary Six perform below minimum competency, Kofi Essien, Director of OLE Ghana, has revealed.
Citing the 2013 Early Grade Reading Assessment and National Education Assessment (EGRANEA) report on literacy, Mr. Essien added that many pupils in primary six also struggle to read and write even after five years of education.
Getting pupils in the classroom alone was not enough to improve basic education in the country, but adopting new teaching methods that make learning pleasurable to children, he said.
‘Children like to play games and do activities they find fun and interesting. In doing these activities, they turn them into habits. Why don’t we make learning fun for them so that they would want to learn more and in the process, make learning a habit?’ he quizzed.
‘One such question is centered on what the system needs 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 focus on teachers and the support provided them within the social milieu that learning takes place, adding that ‘it has a bearing on the how and the what of the learning.’
Mr. Essien called for the adoption of models such as Open Learning Exchange’s (OLE) Ghana Reads programme to make learning easy and pleasurable for children to improve basic education in the country.
He explained that OLE 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 in the OLE Basic eLearning Library (BeLL) that is housed on a Raspberry Pi server.’
‘With this, 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.’
‘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,’ he said.
In line with this, he said OLE Ghana was currently working with World Vision Ghana on the Ghana Reads programme to explore new ways towards addressing challenges facing educational delivery.
The 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 found on the BeLL housed on the Raspberry Pi server in the classroom.
The partnership has since 2013 yielded positive results. Currently, World Vision Ghana has awarded OLE Ghana an initial one-year contract to implement the project through four Area Development Programmes (ADPs) at Afram Plains, Kintampo South, Anyima Amansi and Sekyere East districts.
Mr. Essien commended World Vision for the support which he said would go a long way to improve education in the country.
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