The entire membership of Read Ghana Foundation, wish to congratulate Ghanaians as the country marks its 61st Republic Day Today. We say, hurray for the milestone attained.
As Ghana celebrates its 61st Republic Day Today, we must all sincerely thank the Almighty Lord for how far He has brought us as a nation though we still have several setbacks.
In reflection, this was the day that the country totally weaned itself from the British Colonial Rule.
It was all joy how 61 years ago, Ghana marked this event of profound historical and political significance.
However, we must be quick to add that, our beloved nation still faces challenges such as corruption, unemployment, diseases, severe poverty, lack of social amenities, lawlessness, child labour, teenage pregnancy, drug abuse, chieftaincy disputes, armed-robbery, illiteracy, poor and inadequate infrastructure in schools, inadequate libraries etc.
Education is the bedrock of every society. Read Ghana Foundation believes that, together, we will shape the future of education in Ghana.
Against that background, We congratulate Osagyefo Dr Kwame Nkrumah, Former President Rawlings, JA Kuffour and John Mahama for the great roles they played towards education as presidents of this country.
As a foundation that is committed to closing the illiteracy gap, by bringing literacy to the doorstep of all Ghanaian school pupils irrespective of their religion or social standards through outreach programs in their respective schools, churches and communities etc.
We will like to dwell on our school pupils inability to read and understand as one of the challenges facing the education of our beloved nation and the need to adopt one pupil, one textbook concept as also suggested by UNESCO.
It is a common knowledge that majority of our Ghanaian school pupils cannot read either in L1 or L2 yet it is generally agreed that reading guarantees general learning.
A child who cannot read is not likely to do well in the subjects requiring reading and according to research findings most pupils do not benefit from lessons taught at school as a result of not understanding English and the bottom line is because they cannot read.
A child who reads will eventually become an adult who thinks. We need to focus our attention on this seriously.
We will like to clear these misconceptions in the minds of some Ghanaians:
•Schools are responsible for Literacy. This is not true because a broad range of actors shapes literacy development thus from parents, peers and health services etc.
•Parents have no influence on their children’s literacy development after early years. This is not true because parents attitude and literacy practices have a very significant influence on their children’s literacy development throughout the school.
•lt is too late to do anything about literacy problems after children finish primary school. This is not true because thousands of children enter secondary school able to read, but not well enough to do well in school and others not able to read at all. With specialized support, these young ones can develop good or even excellent literacy skills.
•Some people just cannot read and write. This is not true because almost everyone who struggles with reading and writing could develop adequate literacy skills given the right and needed support.
•Only people with the most severe cognitive difficulties are incapable of developing functional literacy skills. This is not true because educational stakeholders are responsible for teaching children how to read and write.
On this 61st Republic Day Celebration, we are calling on the following stakeholders to do their best in promoting reading culture among school pupils thus teachers, parents, government,chiefs,nurses, doctors, pastors,assemblymen and women, journalists,old students, library board,publishers,MPs, Ghana Association of Writers etc because a reading nation is a winning nation and we are of the firm belief that, Ghana must win through reading.
The above important stakeholders should also partner with Read Ghana Foundation in the formation of reading and debating clubs in schools across the country.
It is, however, very sad to note that, after 61st of independence, the majority of our school pupils have to crowd over 1 English Textbook during reading lessons.
This ugly situation is very worrying and making it extremely difficult for pupils to do individual readings during reading lessons.
The government must, therefore, make the supply of textbooks to schools a topmost priority, so that every pupil can have access to a textbook during teaching and learning because the current situations in our schools are nothing good to write home about.
As we mark this day, the youth must come together and read more about the history of our independence and beyond. History is good and we can only know more about it through reading.
The government must make efforts aimed at reviving existing libraries by stocking it with good and very interesting books.
There must also be plans to provide all schools without library facilities across the country with one.
Once again, Happy Republic Day Celebration and let us be reminded that, we need patriotism in order to put Ghana at that enviable position.
To conclude, Ghana @ 61. One pupil, One textbook should be the way forward because we need to raise more avid readers in our country.
Long Live Ghana
Long Live Education
Long Live Read Ghana Foundation
Ps.Bright McBrain Tulasi