Use International Literacy Day to reflect on child education and learning outcomes 

By Morkporkpor Anku 

Accra, Sept. 8, GNA – Miss Laura Cristina DelValle, National Director of World Vision Ghana, has called on stakeholders in the education space to use the celebration of the International Literacy Day to reflect on child education and learning outcomes. 

She said this reflection might help improve their programmes and policies and contribute to improving Children’s literacy in Ghana. 

Mis DelValle was speaking at a breakfast meeting to commemorate the International Literacy Day Celebration on the theme: “Promoting literacy for a world in transition: Building the Foundation for sustainable and peaceful societies.” 

The breakfast meeting was organised by the World Vision Ghana together with its partners like Worldreader, Accra World Book Capital 2023, Pencil of Promise, UNESCO and Civil Societies Platform on SDG 4. 

The Day is celebrated on Friday September 8 every year to raise awareness and concern for literacy problems that exist within local communities as well as globally.  

It was founded by proclamation of The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, or UNESCO, in 1966 “to remind the public of the importance of literacy as a matter of dignity and human rights.” 

She said quality basic education equips children with literacy skills for life and further learning and achieving this required support from parents, teachers, and school management, therefore, a child’s education was everyone’s responsibility.  

National Director said World Vision in collaboration with its partners and the government through the Ministry of Education and other stakeholders improved child literacy and education outcomes. 

Professor Samuel A. Atintono, Principal of Accra College of Education, cited studies that showed Ghana had invested more than several other Sub-Saharan African countries in its educational system with between 8 per cent and 10 per cent of GDP over the last ten years and close to 24 per cent of total government expenditure on the sector.  

He said unfortunately, the performance of the sector in terms of quality and learning outcomes had not attained the needed international standards and educational efficiency benchmarks. 

He said Sub-Saharan Africa also was reported to have about 30 million school-age children, who were not attending school, more than any other region in the world.  

Prof. Atintono called for the conscious efforts of government agencies such as the CEA, Development Partners, Publishers, Writers, NGOs involved in literacy programmes such as World Vision, World Education and Pencils of Promise to work together to improve literacy and drive learning outcomes to provide a transformative change.  

“This you can achieve by using innovative approaches to deliver education and literacy to many out-of-school children, the youth, and adults who have either missed school or desire lifelong learning opportunities,” he added. 

He said over the years, various CSOs and partners had played a vital role in supporting and continuing to support the government to deliver literacy programmes.  

Mr Leslie Tettey, Regional Director for West Africa, Worldreader, said they were focusing on the promotion of reading in the home by parents and families. 

He said that through digital platforms they were bridging the gap in reading and promoting the culture of reading. 

The Regional Director said aged appropriate books were available but what was the challenge was how it was distributed, hence, the need to embrace their digital platforms, which had the books for teachers and students. 

He said there should be a deliberate policy to ensure that the country increase in its culture of reading to improve its socio-economic development. 

Mr Emmanuel Ntim, Acting Executive Director, Complementary Education Agency, said Literacy remained the ladder that had helped many vulnerable, disadvantaged, and marginalized people climb out of poverty.  

He said the commemoration of the all-important Day on THE Country’s educational calendar offered an unparalleled opportunity to remind the public of the importance of literacy as a matter of dignity and human rights. 

“It is interesting to state that efforts are being made towards the transformation of literacy in Ghana, regrettably, recent happenings around the world have hampered the progress of literacy,” he added. 

He said the world could not transition into building sustainable and peaceful societies without the significant role of books and reading.