Tamale based Non-Governmental Organization, Youth Empowerment for Life, (YEfL) has proposed the introduction of “one district-one library” policy for Northern Region.
This follows damning reports of poor reading and spelling skills attributed to majority of basic school pupils in the Northern Region.
The Centre for Active Learning and Development (CALID), an NGO, lately revealed that 48.5% of basic school pupils in the Sagnarigu district of the Northern Region could neither read simple letter words or workout simple numeracy from grade 2 symbols.
The knock-on effect is poor performances at the levels of Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE) and West Africa Senior Secondary Certificate Examination (WASSCE).
Acting Director of the YEfL, Alhassan Abdul-Ganiyu at a round table discussion in Tamale on a year-long campaign dubbed, “One District; One Library: a catalyst for universal youth literacy,” asked government to implement the proposal.
According to him, the campaign was in line with the Sustainable Development Goals 4 and 6 which stipulates that “By 2030, all youth and a substantial proportion of adults, both men and women, achieve literacy and numeracy.”
“The goal of the campaign is to promote literacy and numeracy skills among the youth and to improve the educational outcomes in the region especially in the BECE and WASSCE.”
“The performances of students in these examinations are horrifying and consistently so for the past 8 years. We believe that the establishment of these libraries would help redirect the energies of the youth from cybercrime which has taken a toll on their lives to reading which would lead to increased performance in the BECE and WASSCE in the region.”
Northern Regional Director of the Ghana Library Authority, Aaron Kuwornu claimed truancy and laziness were major contributory factors to students’ abysmal performance.
He subscribed to the establishment of modern libraries across the region to overturn the situation.
The Director in charge of Planning and Monitoring at the Northern Regional Directorate of Education, Prince Askia Mohammed accused some school heads, parents and educational authorities of poor leadership.
“Huge investments have been made in the education sector over the years but still the quality is nothing to write home about.”
“Until there is a change in the behaviour of teachers, parents and authorities with regards to effective management of schools and strict supervision, the quest for quality education might take a long time to achieve”, he underscored.
The panel discussion brought together civil society organizations promoting quality education, the media and other stakeholders to interact with over 250 youth from the region.
The discussions proffered strategies required to improve access to quality education considering the consistent poor performances at the BECE and WASSCE levels.