The Educator Network, an organisation of teachers, and the Literacy Empowerment and Action Project (LEAP), a children’s education programme, have appealed to teachers to be committed to their work and encourage children to improve upon their literacy through reading and writing.
According to available records, despite the quality of education in Ghana, most teachers were not committed to teaching children in their classes, which has led to high child illiteracy in Ghana.
The concern was shared by the organisations at a conference held on the theme: “Empowering children through words,” held at the Lincoln Community School in Accra, during their third annual Ghana Literacy Summit last Saturday.
Speaking at the celebration, Dr Leslie Casely-Hayford, a development consultant for the Association for Change, stated that the education sector had not been focusing on improving and empowering children to read and write but rather on other things.
“Our teachers do not seem to be working towards change and improvement in this literacy context and some do not appear to care about the impact that they are having on their pupils,” she added.
Dr Casely-Hayford indicated that, now most teachers were found in different fields of work and studying for higher educational certificates when they were supposed to be teaching.
According to her, most children often fear their teachers because of the teachers reprimand them, which discourages them from learning.
She, therefore, said teachers’ attitude towards children should be one that focused on improving their relationship with them.
According to Dr Casely-Hayford, efforts were being made to assist children to learn to read first in their mother tongue, which provided a strong basis for transition to reading in a second language, and helped them to move onto basic phonic and syllabic approaches using meaningful words to build up their confidence in literacy.
She further revealed her involvement with one of the non-governmental organisations (NGOs), the Olinga Foundation for Human Development, which focused on providing teachers with moral leadership skills and literacy education to ensure that 50 per cent of children were able to break through with literacy in the mother tongue within nine months.
She also called on all NGOs, educationists and partners to scale up and deepen the foundation training for transformational work and expressed the hope that they would spread their tenterhooks in the coming year to another 200 schools across the country in order to reach out to 48,000 children through reading.
By Daniel Agbenyega/Daily Graphic/Ghana