The Rotary Club of Accra-Airport, in collaboration with Book Aid International and the Street Child Empowerment Foundation (SCEF), has donated different kinds of reading books totalling 10,000 to 40 basic schools in the Ga South Municipality.
The three philanthropic organisations also furnished the library rooms of some of the beneficiary schools with bookshelves, tables, and chairs, with some teaching staff of the schools also receiving basic training in library management and programme.
The project is dubbed ‘Reading is Basic Phase 2’, is worth GH¢200,000.00. It is meant to improve the reading skills and learning outcomes of pupils in the beneficiary schools.
Some of the beneficiaries are Honrise M/A Basic School, Akoteaku M/A Basic School, Taribiya Primary School, Kwaku Panfo M/A Basic School, Oduman Asuaba M/A Basic School, Tupaa M/A Basic School, Amuman M/A Basic School, Domefaase M/A Basic School and Farm of Hope School Boarding House for street-connected children.
Others include Nglesie Amanfro Community 1 Basic School, Ngleshie Amanfro Community 2 Basic School, Taribiya M/A Junior High School, Ngleshie Amanfro M/A 1 Basic School, Ngleshie Amanfro M/A 2 Basic School, Ngleshie Amanfro M/A 3 Primary School, Ngleshie Amanfro M/A 4 Primary School, and Tomefa M/A Basic School.
The rest are St. Faustina M/A Basic School, St. Peters R/C Basic School, Galilea M/A 1 Junior High School, Galilea M/A 2 Junior High School, Galilea M/A 1 Primary School, and Galilea M/A 2 Primary School.
Launching the project at a short ceremony in the Ngleshie Amanfro Cluster of Schools on Thursday, January 26, 2023, Francis Kodzotse, Head of Monitoring and Supervision, Ga South Municipal Education Directorate, said Phase 2 of the ‘Reading is Basic’ project was spurred by the positive impact and feedback from Phase 1 of the project.
“Reading is Basic Project has improved significantly the reading ability of pupils. It has also built pupils’ vocabulary, expression, writing skills, and ability to search for simple information either in books or the internet,” he noted.
According to him, the project had also impacted positively on about 120 teachers and 80 school prefects in 40 schools within a span of two years. Enthused about the positive impact of the project, Mr. Kodzotse entreated SCEF, Rotary Club of Accra-Airport, and Book Aid International to sustain the bond between them and the Ga South Municipal Education Directorate.
The President of the Rotary Club of Accra-Airport, C.C. Bruce Jnr., commenting on the project, said: “We, at Rotary Club of Accra-Airport, believe that education is a right, and should not be available to just a few people. Reading is in the heart of education, and so, together with our implementing partners, SCEF and Book Aid International, we intend to improve the reading skills and the overall performance of the pupils.”
The Rotary Club of Accra-Airport, with support from the Rotary Club of Elgin, Illinois, USA, is the lead funding agency of the project.
Mr. Bruce Jnr. explained that Reading is Basic Phase 2 Project was in two phases – the first part focusing on 23 schools, while the second part would focus on 17 schools.
“Together, we are looking at 40 basic schools. We at Rotary believe that through education, we can empower the people to rise out of poverty,” he underscored.
The West African Representative of Book Aid International, Prince Kay-Takrama, also commenting on the project said education remains a priority in their scheme of things, assuring that Book Aid International would sustain their interventions in order to reach more children in Ghana.
“What we want to see in Ghana is more children reading to improve their learning outcomes”, he stressed.
Book Aid International and SCEF are the implementing agencies of Reading is Basic Phase 2 Project. In phase 1 of the project, Book Aid International reached 15 basic schools with almost 11,000 books in 2020/2021.
They have supported SCEF to also train 200 teachers with basic management in library and also assisted the teachers to set up book lending systems in the beneficiary schools.
The Executive Director of SCEF, Paul Semeh, on his part, said they are inspired by removing children from the streets and taking them back to the classroom.
He explained that it was during the process that they realised there were some impediments in the classroom that were making the children not excel and which were also contributing to drop out.
“One of the impediments was that the children were not able to read and write after six years per the GES’s own assessment and the frustration was making them drop out. That is why we came up with the intervention, Reading is Basic, to save the situation. Once children are able to read, they become happy and stay in school”, he noted.
Considering the impact the project is making in the communities they are piloting it, Accra Metro and Ga South Municipal, Semeh appealed to the Rotary Club of Accra-Airport to adopt some of the schools and mentor them.