The acting Executive Director of the Ghana Library Authority, Mrs Rebecca Akita, has advocated a national policy and regulatory framework on reading to ensure standard and best practice.
“We need a national reading policy that will establish standards regarding lingua franca, content, pedagogy, coordination, objectives, qualifications of reading instructors or guides, research and development related to the teaching and learning of reading,” she said.
Mrs Akita said this at the launch of a reading clinic organised by the Ghana Readers Club of the Ghana Library Authority.
The Ghana Readers Club was instituted by the Ghana Library Authority as a conduit for promotion of reading and creative writing.
The week-long reading clinic, which includes seminars, debates and exhibition is to encourage reading among students and pupils.
At the opening ceremony, Mrs Akita said there was no clear-cut policy on reading, which allowed individuals and groups to use the gap for personal gains.
‘In the absence of such a national policy on reading to ensure standards and best practice, it is a field day for the plethora of non-governmental organisations that seek to promote reading in Ghana. Many of them are in the field for monetary gains at the expense of quality and relevance,” she said.
She further advocated a Public Library Policy to illuminate the operations of public libraries, especially public and community library services provided by private persons and groups.
“Some of the libraries being established by individuals and groups were not up to standard, therefore, we need a policy to enable the authority to regulate all libraries,” she said.
Mrs Akita appealed for support from the government, stakeholders, parents and corporate organisations to assist the reading clubs to promote their objectives.
“Social media English is bad”
The Member of Parliament for the Korle Klottey Constituency, Dr Zenator Agyeman-Rawlings who chaired the event, bemoaned the level of bad English used among the youth, especially on social media.
“The youth need to use good English when using social media because interacting in shorthand writing does not encourage writing good English”, she urged.
While urging teachers to use their authority to encourage students to read, she advised students and pupils not to read for examinations only but for the joy of it.
An educationist, Mrs Ewura-Abena Ahwoi, also underscored the need for students and pupils to read for information as well as broaden their perspective and knowledge.
Relevance of the club
The Greater Accra Regional Librarian and Patron of the Readers Club, Mr Guy Amarteifio, urged members of the readers club to read on selected topics to equip themselves with knowledge.
“It is the only means by which pupils and students may learn other skills which are very necessary in life but are not taught in the classroom,” he stated.
Additionally, he said the new skills acquired from reading made the children result oriented.