The vast majority of schools in Ghana are severely under resourced. A teacher can be teaching a class of over 45 children in a small classroom, where a couple of books can be shared between the entire room. Writing utensils and literacy resources are also scarce, with very few children having books at home, and libraries are often too far away to access on a regular basis, if at all.
These factors rob many children of the opportunities to develop literacy skills and develop a love for reading.
According to UNESCO and the Center for Universal Education of Brookings:
21.2% of school children are not being taught how to read.
The poorest 20% of Ghanaians only receive 3.3 years of education.
Reading is the heart of education
Reading and writing are essential skills in the search for meaningful employment. Literate individuals enjoy a wider range of career choices, and are more likely to champion for equal pay and fair working conditions for themselves and their family.
Women who can read and write are more likely to demand equal treatment, more capable of using their voice to vote, more likely to share their skills to benefit others and are better equipped to become socially and financially independent.
Literacy significantly enhances a person’s ability to access, understand and apply health related information to their lives. This means better hygiene and sanitation practices, increased awareness of disease and a stronger initiative to seek out quality healthcare for their family.
Literacy training gives young people, at risk of delinquency, a chance to seek productive employment and participate more fully in society. This lowers their chance of engaging in criminal activity and increases their capacity to lift themselves out of poor social and economic situations.
Resource: World Literacy Foundation
How do we help?
Pen to Paper Ghana are working to improve the lives of the young through the power of literacy. We believe that reading is the heart of education and that every child should leave Junior High School at least being able to read and write.
Our literacy programme allows teenagers, who have missed learning to read in primary years, to receive daily, free phonics classes, whilst our teacher training is effective in enabling primary school teachers to gain the skills required to teach literacy to the younger generation. We also run a mobile library van to resource school children with story books in order to develop their love for reading, as well as running a scholarship programme and improving school infrastructures.