Regional News of Tuesday, 8 October 2013

Source: GNA

Schools urged to engage qualified librarians

The Central Regional Chairman of the Ghana Library Association (GLA), Mr Edwin Asamoah, on Monday, appealed to authorities of Senior High Schools and institutions of higher learning to stock their libraries with relevant books and engage qualified librarians to encourage students to patronize them.

Mr Asamoah noted with concern that many school libraries were not the best and stressed the importance to have such libraries adequately resourced to meet the demands of the global world.

Mr Asamoah made the call at the regional launch of the maiden library and information week celebration at Cape Coast under the theme “Information Literacy and Public libraries, the role of schools”.

The ceremony, which was attended by members of the Ghana Library Association (GLA) and basic schools in the Cape Coast Metropolis, was to create awareness about library information importance, as well as showcase the resources and services the library can offer.

He expressed regret that in Ghana, 43.4 percent of the population cannot read and write, thereby slowing down the development of the country.

Mr Asamoah said as part of the celebration, a three-day reading clinic for classes three to six pupils would be opened for selected schools in the Cape Coast Metropolis, adding that the services would soon be extended to other schools in the region.

He said school teachers and librarians in the region would be trained to enable them help inculcate the habit of learning in school children since many children now like playing computer games and watching television instead of reading.

He said radio programmes on the importance of library information would also be organized as part of the celebration.

Mr Samuel Sarpong, Central Regional Minister in a speech read for him, commended the GLA for organizing the programme, stressing that it would encourage the youth to develop the habit of reading.

He said reading could help reduce stress and enable the reader to be very analytical and critical in thought, as well as help to develop their vocabulary and improve their spelling.

He said reading was not popular among many people in Ghana and attributed the situation to socio-economic background of the individual coupled with the failure of teachers to promote reading among children in addition to the lack of reading materials and role models in reading.

Mr Sarpong appealed to librarians and teachers to educate their students not to use internet facilities provided in libraries to view pornographic materials and commit cyber fraud.

Mr Felix Ansah, an Assistant Director with the Cape Coast Metropolitan Education Office who presided, said reading by school children was a challenge adding that about 90 percent of pupils cannot read and many of the fail in their BECE because they cannot read.

He expressed concern about the fact that pupils were now more interested in watching movies and football matches on Television instead of reading and urged them to develop the habit and interest in reading.