Accra, Aug 04, GNA – The United States Agency for International Development (USAID), has partnered the Ministry of Education to increase the rate of reading among children, under four-year project.
The United States Ambassador, Mr Robert P. Jackson, who launched the partnership with other key stakeholders, in Accra, on Friday, said the USAID was resolute to encourage the culture of reading among children, especially those at the primary school level.
A statement issued and copied to the Ghana News Agency by the U.S Embassy, in Accra, said the partnership was therefore, part of the USAID’s efforts to increase the number of children who would be able to read with fluency and comprehension in the early grades of primary school.
The statement said the ‘Innovating’ Project would work to create a ‘culture of reading,’ in which more children read for pleasure outside the classroom.
It said the USAID would engage the private sector, civil society, communities, and families to increase the incidence of reading for pleasure in homes and communities.
‘The USAID will build a strong network of early-grade reading champions and grow public-private partnerships to support home and community-based reading.
‘Direct grants will be given to 800 communities to implement innovative local solutions that encourage reading,’ the statement added.
The USAID and its partners, the statement also said, would embark on nationwide media campaigns to sensitise the public on the value of reading and to share approaches that could be used to improve reading achievement, ‘even if parents cannot read themselves.’
Mr Jackson reaffirmed the commitment of the USAID towards helping Ghana achieve her literacy goals as he said: ‘Literacy is a necessary ingredient for national development in the modern world.’
He was joined by personnel from government offices, the private sector, traditional and community leaders, educators, parents, and primary school pupils, to launch the initiative.
He urged the stakeholders to work with the USAID to ensure the effective implementation of the partnership saying, ‘I look forward to working with all of you to foster a culture of reading in Ghana – so that all Ghanaian children are reading and thriving.’
The launch saw school children celebrating the power and fun of reading through poetry, performances, animated videos, and read aloud sessions.
The USAID would work with the MOE and its agencies, the private sector, communities, and other stakeholders to achieve this goal by improving school management systems, training teachers and administrators, providing improved reading and learning materials, and promoting a culture of reading.