General News of Thursday, 21 December 2017
Source: Joseph Kobla Wemakor
The Municipal Director of Education in the Prestea Huni-Valley municipality, Mrs. Francisca Mwin-Ira has underscored the need for all parents and guardians in the country to be to more committed in the welfare of children to ensure that they are given the right form of education at a tender age in order to prevent them from being exposed to reading and learning difficulties that could go a long way to mar their future.
According to her, giving children a very strong literacy foundation in education at an early stage is the key to securing a better future for their academic excellence.
“We all know how important it is to educate a child and the best way to start is when they are still young” she added.
Mrs. Francisca Mwin-Ira made the observation while addressing a gathering at an event dubbed the “second reading festivals” for kids which took place last Saturday at the Golden Star Resource Mines Site, Bogoso in the Western Region.
The reading festival was organized by an NGO called REMALJ Jolly Reading Clinic, on the theme: “Literary, a firm foundation for academic excellence”.
Speaking at the event, Basic Coordinator of Ghana Education Service in the Prestea Huni-Valley municipality, Ms. Aba Quansah noted with grave concern the embarrassment most people have had to battle with when interacting with graduates from the Senior High School (SHS) due to their inability to express themselves in simple English Language.
Ms. Quansah believes most of these SHS graduates who lack the ability to read or speak simple english language in one way or the other might not have been exposed to strong literacy education in their early stages.
She therefore commended the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of REMALJ Jolly Reading Clinic for the move in initiating the project as well as the festival adding, ” There’s an adage that , catch them young and they shall be yours forever and that’s exactly what the CEO of this noble social enterprise is doing and has done to much to imbibe this literacy thing in the lives of these young kids”.
Ms. Quansah observed that the REMALJ Jolly Reading Clinic CEO is not only passionate about the literacy aspect of the growing child but moves further to train their coordination and concentration skills by the use of varying teaching and learning materials.
“This aspect of their training help children in Mathematics and Science related subjects as the child moves on the academic ladder”. She concluded.
Delivering her keynote address on the topic “Literacy, a firm foundation for academic excellence”, the CEO of Mummies Angel Montessori School, Mrs. Victoria Brakoh disclosed that reading aloud to children at an early age is an effective way to help them expand their understanding of the world.
She maintained that when children focus on literacy activities, they enjoy reading and sees it as a treat but not a chore.
She therefore appealed to parents and guardians to cultivate the habit of reading to their children at home by limiting television watching and computer time in favour of reading time and and enroll children into the jolly reading clinic group including the effective utilisation of books at the local library to help bring out the best in them.
For his part, the Finance Manager of Golden Star Resources, Bogoso, Mr. Rodney Oddoye who doubles as the guest of Honour for the festival, urges all parents and guardians to show love and demonstrate commitment towards the welfare of children. He equally called on all parents, guardians and care givers to assist children in reading as well as read to them to ensure they develop reading skills which are very crucial for survival in their academic pursuit.
To parents who have difficulty helping their wards to read, this is how Mr. Oddoye advises them: “This resource is a very good one to make use of. You can join the jolly kids here, you can see that they are very jolly and they’ve picked up a lot of very good skills”.
Reading difficulty has been the bane of most Ghanaian children even some graduates as a result of inability to establish sound literacy foundation for children on part of teachers in their tender ages coupled with lack of adoption of the right teaching methodology to execute the agenda.
But in an interview, CEO of REMALJ Jolly Reading Clinic, Mrs. Emefa Gyamfi posited the right technique for fixing up the reading difficulty situation faced by children is simply adopting the “Jolly Phonics”.
Explaining what Jolly Phonics methodology stands for and why she thinks it’s a problem solver, Mrs. Gyamfi noted it’s a good program by all standards developed by Chris Jolly in UK in 1992 which introduces kids to reading through sounds. “With Jolly Phonics, children are able to learn through fun, taught literacy through synthetic phonics where they learn letter sounds and also blend these sounds to achieve full pronunciation of whole words”.
Regarded as a woman who bore children’s education at heart, Mrs. Emefa Gyamfi has been very instrumental in helping both children and adults in Bogoso township and its environs to overcome their learning difficulties through proper application of the Jolly Phonics techniques.
Being a certified Jolly Phonics professional trainer in the country, Mrs. Gyamfi believes education of a child must be based on a firm literacy foundation which prompted her ability to establish the reading clinic.
The reading festival showcased an array of performances displayed by children including reading of moral lessons, talk shows, Jolly phonics quiz competition news time and above all classroom demonstration of sound identification and blending.
Some dignitaries present at the event include: Ms. Philipa Varis , Vice President Corporate Responsibility, Golden Star Resources, Madam Veronica Kusi Twum F&A, GES, Mr. Emmanuel Aborampah, Group Operations Manager, Technical Services Golden Star Resources, 2nd Deputy Municipal Coordinating Director, Prestea Huni-Valley Municipal Assembly Mr Samuel Tutu- Ani, Prestea Huni-Valley Very Rev. Felix K.N. Asiamah, Superintendent Minister, Methodist Church, Bogoso, Mr. Peter A Bamfloe, Culture Coordinator of GES, Prestea Huni-Valley.
This is the second festival of its kind in the history of REMALJ Jolly Reading Clinic since its inception in April, 2016.