We give thanks to the Almighty God for His sufficient grace upon us as a country.
As today marks International Literacy Day, on the the Theme “Literacy in a digital world” The entire membership of Read Ghana Foundation an NGO that is keen in making sure Ghanaians become avid readers,we believe it is an opportunity for us to touch on issues concerning sharp decline in reading among Ghanaian youth.
The questions we would like to ask are; As young people how often do we get a chance to be part of something big?Do we design and plan our own future?How often do we get a chance to flashback,learn from our past mistakes and decide on how to move forward?
As a literacy foundation, we have come to the conclusion based on our findings that, education and training can make the difference for our youth between poverty and employment, success and failure.
But unfortunately, it is evidently becoming clear that, one major issue that may endanger the prosperity of our beloved nation is the sharp declining in reading among our Ghanaian youth.
The youth no longer have love for books and the interest to read. Our limited libraries throughout the country are poorly patronised, hardly would you see the youth going to buy books to read.It however makes reading habit very elusive currently.
This is very sad and bad for our country because reading is the key to learning.A child who reads is an adult who thinks.
Our findings in our schools across the country depicts that, majority of the pupils do not benefit from lessons taught at school because they don’t understand English. So the question is how will the child be able to understand English without reading books?
The choice of Theme for this year’s International Literacy Day thus “Literacy in a digital world” we as a foundation think is very appropriate and timely and on that note, we congratulate UNESCO for the great job done over throughout the decades especially in the educational sector across the globe.
The fact therefore remains that,a new technology does not wipe out what went before; it transforms and enhances it. When people started writing,they didn’t quit talking. So why are our youth trying to change the trend negatively?
One would have expected that, the advancement in technology would have enhanced reading among the youth because the internet provides enormous information on several learning areas.
But surprisingly,our youth are rather misapplying and had resorted to playing video games, watching TV, chatting on social media, doing Sakawa, watching porn etc
The human resource of this country will not be able to sustained the future if our youth do not take reading and love for books seriously.
It is said that, the youth are the future leaders and this is a very true statement but then it is again said that, a reader today, a leader tomorrow so then how would the youth be able to lead in the future if they don’t read now? Then it will definitely be a mirage.
Is it not surprising that, majority of our youth are struggling to make common expression in the English Language?
As youth you aspire to become great leaders tomorrow but you are refusing to read books?
Great leaders are those who use ideas and knowledge acquired from books and other reading materials to better the lives of the people in the various communities and the world at large.
Reading the youth must understand is the process of constructing meaning from a text.lt is a weapon to the mental and social development of the individual.
So instilling the habit of reading among the youth,should not only be seen as responsibilities of only teachers but must be seen as a shared responsibility by all stakeholders especially parents.
We must all do our best to help this country raise great leaders and entrepreneurs if only we can pay serious attention to reading.
Let us all rise up to the occasion and deal with this decline in reading among the youth before it gets out of hand.
Reading must be made a Ghanaian culture moving forward through collective efforts by all stakeholders.
Books the youth must understand is more than just a compilation of printed papers.
Books are very important to our lives. The questions are,how many books have you read? Do you even read at all?Some of our youth will not read books unless their teachers or parents instructs them to do so.
The youth must again understand that,reading increases knowledge and they may not know when this knowledge will be useful.
The more knowledge the youth will have the better equipped they will be in tackling the challenges they may face in life.
As a literacy foundation,we would like to entreat the youth to develop interest in reading now that,they know the importance of reading in their lives to make the library as one of their homes and books their best friends.
Reading will expose the youth to new things, it will enhance self improvement, improve understanding, prepare them to take action,it will also help them to gain experience from others,it will sharpen their communication skills,it will help them connect their brain, it will help boost their imagination and creativity etc.
The youth we believe must be part of the developmental process.They must contribute with their skills,education, knowledge, ideas and active engagement.The youth must be active partners and not passive beneficiaries.
To our dear parents,we say train up your children the way they should go as far as reading is concerned so that,when they are old they will not depart from it.
Children don’t reads books because their parents don’t read books.
As we mark this day,we say congratulations to all our facilitators for their great commitment towards eradicating the saying that, if you want to hide something from the black man then put it in a book. We also congratulate all other education related NGOs for tremendous efforts. Together let us work assiduously in achieving the SDGs for education by the 2030 target.
Read Ghana Foundation believes that,a reading nation is a winning nation and that is our slogan. A reading nation …………………
Long Live Ghana
Long Live UNESCO
Long Live Read Ghana Foundation
Policy and Programs Director