U.S. Ambassador Robert P. Jackson launched the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Partnership for Education: Innovating activity today in historic Jamestown, Accra. Innovating is a four-year partnership with the Ministry of Education (MOE) that will work to create a “culture of reading,” in which more children read for pleasure outside the classroom. Ambassador Jackson was joined by Ghanaian government officials, the private sector, traditional and community leaders, educators, parents, and primary school pupils at the launch, which celebrated the power and fun of reading through poetry, performances, animated videos, and read aloud sessions.
Through Innovating, USAID will engage the private sector, civil society, communities, and families to increase the incidence of reading for pleasure in homes and communities. USAID and its partners will undertake nationwide media campaigns that emphasize the value of reading and share approaches that all families can use to help improve reading achievement, even if parents cannot read themselves. USAID will build a strong network of early-grade reading champions and grow public-private partnerships to support home and community-based reading. In addition, USAID will provide direct grants to 800 communities to implement innovative local solutions that encourage reading.
“One of our top development priorities is to work with the Ghanaian government to improve reading skills in the early grades of primary school. Literacy is a necessary ingredient for national development in the modern world,” said Ambassador Jackson at the launch. “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 objective of USAID’s education program is to increase the number of Ghanaian children who are able to read with fluency and comprehension in the early grades of primary school. USAID works 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.