Dr Archibold Yao Letsa, Volta Regional Minister has opined that the provision of quality education in this dispensation requires huge capital investment and a high level of commitment on the part of all major stakeholders to ensure quality human resources development of the country as a whole and in particular the Volta Region.
He added that it was therefore incumbent on us as major stakeholders to recognise such commitment as a clarion call and collaborate in contributing our quota to turn the fortunes of the country in the area of education.
Dr Letsa who was speaking during the Volta Regional Reading Festival in Ho noted that education was an essential tool for the holistic development of individuals, and a means through which individuals are equipped with the requisite knowledge, skills and attitudes for improved social-economic conditions, moral uprightness and nation building.
He contended that the government has shown enough commitment toward providing quality, accessible and free education to every Ghanaian child up to the secondary level, with the objective of ensuring that secondary level education becomes the minimum academic qualification of every child.
He indicated that the New Patriotic Party (NPP) Government under the leadership of President Akufo-Addo was still committed to ensuring that education at the secondary level remains free.
He deemed the theme, “Learn to read and read to learn” as appropriate since it tides to the government’s educational reforms and interventions aimed at equipping learners with basic skills such as reading, arithmetic and writing to lay a strong foundation for the development of the individual’s talents.
He mentioned the introduction and implementation of policies, programs and interventions such as Free SHS, Standard-Based Curriculum, Common Core Curriculum, Inclusive Education, and Ghana Accountability for Learning Learning Project among others as interventions targeted at benefiting primarily Ghanaian children.
The Minister said it was, therefore, heartwarming to note that USAID-Learning, the Ministry of Education (MoE) and the Ghana Education Service (GES) in conjunction with the Volta Regional Education Directorate have taken this lofty initiative to stimulate pupil’s interest in reading and help promote a reading culture among pupils in the Basic Schools.
He noted that over seven hundred and fifty thousand (750,000) pupils across the country were able to read and understand as a result of the USAID-Learning and its partners, and commended them for the meaningful contributions made towards the improvement in quality education delivery in the region.
He gave the assurance of the Volta Regional Coordinating Council and its preparedness to partner with and support willing individuals and organizations to promote quality human resource development in the region and Ghana as a whole.
Mr Geshon K. Dorfe, Senior INSET Specialist (USAID-Learning) on his part said the theme for the Festival was appropriate especially, at the time when we are all helping to develop good reading skills and habits among learners at the Basic levels of education in the country.
He opined that the ability to read is the foundation for future successful learning and advancement in all spheres of social and academic work and for that matter, the best legacies we can leave our children was the support for the acquisition of good reading skills.
He indicated that the USAID-Learning seeks to support the MoE and the GES to improve reading performance in public schools in the country, adding that the USAID has procured over 14 million teaching and learning materials (TLMs) for public basic schools.
He further mentioned that the USAID through the Learning initiative has worked with the MoE and GES and developed, printed and distributed TLMs to over 5,000 schools, including Braille materials for children with visual impairment, and trained over 22,000 teachers in the use of the TLMs under the Transition to English (T2E) Plus Activity.