The Deputy Minister for Education Rev. John NtimFordjour says government is committed to improving literacy, as part of efforts to help overcome learning poverty in the country. Literacy is the ability to read and write, and learning poverty is the inability to read and understand a simple text by age 10.
He says government is working with development partners to create conducive environments for children to be able to reach their full potential and climb to the highest possible educational level.
Wednesday 8th September was celebrated by various countries and the United Nations Education, Scientific, and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) as World Literacy Day. The celebration was under the theme; “Literacy for human-centered recovery: Narrowing the digital divide.” According to the World Bank, learning poverty is prevalent in many low-income countries with an estimated 53% of pupils at age 10 unable to read for understanding.
The Deputy Education Minister says one of the initiatives the ministry is rolling out to improve literacy is the Transition to English (T2E) Plus program, which is being implemented in partnership with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).
He explains the Ministry of Education is working “to implement the Transition to English (T2E) Plus program across 5,425 schools to improve learners’ reading performance among pupils from kindergarten 2 to primary 3.”
“T2E Plus, which is a phonics-based approach to language learning, will sustain the gains yielded by the ongoing Early Grade Reading Program (EGRP), T2E and National Reading Radio Program (NRRP),” he told an Accra – based TV station.
T2E Plus will air supplemental radio reading lessons nationwide, as well as conduct training, coaching and mentoring for teachers and other education personnel. It will also provide teaching and learning materials for pupils. Mr. NtimFordjour chairs a technical committee that will provide guidance for the implementation for the T2E Plus program and make recommendations on how to improve it to the Minister for Education Dr. Yaw OseiAdutwum.
As UNESCO urges education stakeholders worldwide to make digital education tools more available to help improve learning in schools, Mr. NtimFordjour assures government is taking the advice seriously.
“That is why we have undertaken a lot of electronic based interventions… There is tremendous effort at the Ministry of Education to ensure teacher trainees have ICT as a compulsory course that they are taught. Just last week, we also launched one-teacher one-laptop initiative which are all promoting digital learning,” he explained.