Dr Kingsley Agyemang launches Readathon Challenge for pupils
The first-ever reading competition for pupils in lower primary schools to encourage them to cultivate the habit of reading has been launched at Kyebi in the Abuakwa South Municipal Assembly in the Eastern Region.
Known as ‘Readathon Challenge’, the competition is part of the Kingsley Quizzes, a number of educational programmes organised by Dr Kingsley Agyemang, the Registrar of the Ghana Scholarship Secretariat, who is also an aspiring parliamentary primary hopeful for New Patriotic Party(NPP) for Abuakwa South.
The competition, which is first of its kind in the country, has become necessary because a National Standardised Test in 2015 indicated that 98 per cent of primary two pupils in the country could not read. The situations improved to 62 per cent when the same test was held for primary two pupils.
For a start, 20 primary schools in the municipality have been selected and given 15 sets of books for the pupils to read and after six weeks, those selected from their schools will be tested in reading proficiency and proficiency in word spelling, comprehension, characters description and building.
Some of the primary school pupils
Five pupils will represent each school and those who make it to the finals will each receive an electronic tablet loaded with approved reading materials and cash prices for their schools and the teachers.
Organised by Kingsley Quizzes, it is in collaboration with the Ghana Education Service, Kingdom Books and Stationery, Vibe Travel Consult, Luki Media Gh, JL Properties, Functions Risk Consult and Beulah Insurance Brokers.
Dr Agyemang described the statistics as “frightening and unpleasant situation” because although the number of those who could read had increased from two per cent to 38 per cent, it required urgent attention, hence the decision to supply reading books and use the competition to encourage reading.
“This intervention is to create excitement, generate the culture of reading and comprehension among the children,” he said and added that even before the books for the competition were supplied, the schools had formed reading clubs.
He explained that Kingsley Quizzes had Mathematics and Science Quiz for JHS schools, Spelling Challenge for upper Primary pupils, Debates and Mentorship for high schools, but nothing for lower primary pupils, therefore the Readathon Challenge was to cater for the lower primary.
He said his support for the people in the area had been in the form of welfare support, education programmes, agricultural support and social engagements but most of the activities hovered around education because that could take the country to the next level of development.
Dr Agyemang said the impact of the educational programme was being realised because in the last BECE, the Education Directorate indicated that due to the interventions, “mathematics and science scores improved drastically in the constituency.”
He said the area is a deprived community but they had been able to ensure that each year, at least, 40 students from the BECE studied science related courses at the senior high level and all these were possible because of interventions like free vocational classes for students, among others.
He noted that the maiden winners of the Kingsley Mathematics and Science Quiz went to Abuakwa State College and represented the school at the National Mathematics and Science Quiz to the quarterfinals, another indication that the interventions, which started four years ago, were yielding results.
Dr Agyemang said the target was to graduate at least 30 students from the tertiary level in the science disciplines.
The Fanteakwa North District of Education, Gloria Aggrey-Kilson, who represented the Regional Directorate, commended Dr Agyemang for the investments he had been making in the education of children in the area.
She appealed to teachers in the area not to join the bandwagon of their colleagues who had been abandoning classrooms for greener pastures outside the country at the expense of the future of the schoolchildren.