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General News of Sunday, 30 May 2010

Source: GNA

Essien-backed Reading Goals launched to increase literacy

Cape Coast, May 30, GNA - The Ministry of Education, with the Pearson Education and the Michael Essien Foundation has launched a project dubbed, "Reading Goals" to inculcate reading habit in basic pupils. To this end, three books with interesting contents on the Ghanaian international football hero, Michael Essien, the 2010 World Cup and the events and history surrounding the previous World Cups, have been launched to ensure the success of the project.

The books were developed by the Pearson Education, a global education services provider, in partnership with SEDCO Longman, its local partner. The Pearson-SEDCO Longman group, has made available 90,000 copies of the books to the Central Regional Education Directorate, to be freely distributed to upper primary pupils to ensure that the project, which also aims at increasing literacy levels through a professional approach, succeeds.

Mr Alex Tettey-Enyo, Minister of Education, who simultaneously launched the project and the books at the auditorium of the School of Medical Sciences of the University of Cape Coast, at the weekend, said it marked the beginning of a revolution in reading among Ghanaian children. Mr Tettey-Enyo said even though some progress had been made in terms of access to Education under the Free Compulsory Universal Basic Education (FCUBE), the country "is struggling to achieve the effective literacy rate earmarked under the Millennium Development Goals (MDG 2), which targets the achievement of Universal Primary Education."

He said the increase in enrolment should be seen as a positive achievement adding, "but we want to move forward towards the attainment of quality teaching and learning, which needs even greater commitment and support from government and other stakeholders". Mr Tettey-Enyo, therefore, called for a collaborative effort to step-up the current levels of literacy to an acceptable rate to ensure that the country's education system was functional and effective. He called on stakeholders in the Education Sector to be innovative and pay critical attention to the contents and features used in various study materials required to promote literacy.

Mr Tettey-Enyo, therefore, commended the Pearson-SEDCO Longman Group for ensuring that the contents and features of the project books were in line with the requirements of the Ministry to promote literacy. He urged the various districts directors of education in the region to ensure that the books were made available to the children before the end of the World Cup Tournament.

He assured sponsors and collaborators of the project that the Ministry of Education and the Ghana Education Service would provide the needed support to ensure the success of the project.

Mr Anthony Egyir Aikins, Mayor of Cape Coast Metropolitan Assembly, observed that the standard of education in the region was not the best and expressed the hope that the project would reverse the situation. He commended the Pearson-SEDCO Longman group for its continued support for Education in the country and appealed to the Ministry of Education to support the group to achieve its goals in the country. He said the region was doing enough to improve the standard of education.

Mr Michael McGarvey, Sales Director, Africa and the Caribbean of Pearson Education, said the company would use the project to build language skills and develop vocabulary levels of children. Mr Frank Segbawu, Manager of SEDCO Longman, a publishing firm, said it would also in subsequent months extend the books to other basic schools across the country.

Michael Essien, in a recorded message played to the audience, who were mostly pupils, drawn from basic schools in the region, urged children to take their education seriously because it was the only weapon to propel them to greater heights. Other collaborators of the project include One-Goal and the Chelsea Football Club, UK.

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