We’re committed to improving literacy — Rev Ntim Fordjour

BY: News Desk Report
Rev Ntim Fordjour, Deputy Minister of Education, reading a book with Rasheena Reid, Head of USAID Learning, at the launch of Transition to English (T2E) Plus Steering Committee
Rev Ntim Fordjour, Deputy Minister of Education, reading a book with Rasheena Reid, Head of USAID Learning, at the launch of Transition to English (T2E) Plus Steering Committee

A Deputy Minister of Education, Rev. John Ntim Fordjour, has said the government is committed to improving literacy, as part of efforts to help overcome learning poverty in the country.

He said the government was 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.

Last Wednesday was celebrated by various countries and the United Nations Education, Scientific, and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) as World Literacy Day. The celebration was on 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 per cent of pupils at age 10 unable to read to understand.

Rev. Fordjour said one of the initiatives the ministry was rolling out to improve literacy was the Transition to English (T2E) Plus programme, which was being implemented in partnership with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).

He explained that the Ministry was working “to implement the Transition to English (T2E) Plus programme across 5,425 schools to improve reading performance among pupils from kindergarten two to primary three.”

“T2E Plus, which is a phonics-based approach to language learning, will sustain the gains yielded by the ongoing Early Grade Reading Programme (EGRP), T2E and National Reading Radio Programme,” he told an Accra – based TV station.

It 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. Rev. Ntim Fordjour chairs a technical committee that will provide guidance for the implementation for the T2E Plus programme and make recommendations on how to improve it to the Minister of Education, Dr Yaw Osei Adutwum.

UNESCO’s advice

As UNESCO urges education stakeholders worldwide to make digital education tools more available to help improve learning in schools, Rev. Ntim Fordjour assures the government is taking the advice seriously.

“That is why we have undertaken a lot of electronic-based interventions.  There is a 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 is all promoting digital learning,” he explained.