By Patrick Biddah
World Reader, a non profit organization established in Ghana, but with an international presence, has set out to encourage reading among children between the ages of three and 12.
This ambition is to open the horizon of children at an early stage of their lives and to expose them to relevant information to their education and growth.
To achieve this, founders of the organization, have created a website which is uploaded with child- friendly stories for easy access and reading, aimed at impacting their lives.
The website, which is www. Booksmart.Org is uploaded with over 3,000 books which are in multiple languages for the understanding of all manner of children from diverse cultural background.
In the Ghanaian situation, the books come in five major languages which are Ewe , Asante Twi, Akuapem Twi , Fanti and English.
So far , between 2021 and 2022 , over 4,313 Ghanaian families, children and teachers have actively read on Booksmartin view of the fact that reading is encouraged at home schools, libraries and at the clubs.
Speaking at a press briefing on Wednesday, May 17, 2023 to highlight this digital reading solution, the Content Acquisition and Programmes Manager for Worldreader, Madam Kezia Agbenyega, intimated the partnerships her organization has with the government towards giving contents that will reflect the curriculum need of the Ghanaian child.
“ Over the next 3 years, Worldreader will focus on increasing reading impact among children 3-12 years, emphasizing children aged 8-12 years usually between classes 4-6 years. In Ghana , this focus is aligned with the government’s educational priorities improving learning outcomes using literacy as a proxy as outlined by the Education Strategic Plan ( 2018-2030) and the Ministry of Education’s Communities Of Excellence Initiative “, she pointed out.
According to madam Agbenyega, the books which can also be accessed using a QR code covers science arts, culture and many relevant subjects and topics .
This , she emphasized is a product of a working relationship with over 400 local and international publishers. Some of these publishers she mentioned are Afram Publishers, Buck Press and Sub-Saharan publishers Sam Woode Limited.
Present at the briefing was the West Africa Director of Programmes and Partnerships, Mr Leslie Tettey, who was hopeful that more and many Ghanaian families will take advantage of the digital literacy platform which can be used without data since the cost of data and mobile devices continue to hinder access to the internet by impoverished families.
This position is backed by the fact that only 8percent of schools in Ghana have access to internet currently.
With this initiative, Mr Tettey further expressed the optimism that the foundational reading skills of Grade 3 students which stands at 30percent will be improved , adding that in Ghana where only 4% of the GDP budget is spent on education will be increase to 6percent .
Since its inception in 2010, Worldreader has supported over 21milliion readers in over 100 countries.