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GES, USAID partner to improve reading in public schools

USAID partner to improve reading in public schoolsThe United States Agency for International Development (USAID) is spearheading an ambitious project to distribute more than four million supplementary readers to public schools in Ghana.

With support from the Ghana Education Service (GES), an estimated 13,936 public kindergartens and 14,405 public primary schools are expected to benefit from the project.

The US Ambassador to Ghana, Robert Jackson, said at the launch of the project Tuesday that the motivation for the project is founded on the desire by his country to improve the reading culture of Ghanaian children during their formative years.

“We want the children of Ghana to have the best opportunities. The best way for them have opportunities is to expose them to the world and if they are not exposed to the world through their communities, they can be exposed to the world through the magic of reading,” he said.

Photo: U.S. Ambassador to Ghana Robert Jackson says he is excited about the project.

USAID launched the $6.7 million book distribution project in 2015 as part of efforts to support government to encourage children at the basic level to develop their reading skills in both Ghanaian and English languages.

Coordinator of the project, Guitele Nicoleau, explains from March 2015 to January 2016 USAID worked with the GES as well as the National Council on Curriculum and Teaching to establish criteria for the selection of the materials.

About 33 assessors, made up of university professors, GES officials and experts reviewed the supplementary readers for the schools.

Between July and December this year, a total of 216 districts across the country will be reached with books from 82 publishers, comprising 64 titles – 41 in Ghanaian languages and 23 in English.

Director of the Ghana Education Service, Jacob Korr, said distribution of the books will provide better opportunities in schools because they will have better access to good, quality books that will enable them to develop their reading skills.

“With access to more reading materials in Ghanaian languages and English, pupils will then practice reading and have skills that will strengthen them to learn better,” he underscored.

USAID has supported Ghana to enhance access to quality basic education, strengthen local governance, improve health among others for over 50 years.

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