Barely a week after a major debate about the dwindling quality of education in Ghana, a new survey has also revealed that 98 percent of primary two pupils in basic schools can neither read nor understand English or any Ghanaian language properly.
This was contained in the “Early Grade Reading Assessment” report commissioned by the Ghana Education Service (GES) for primary two pupils. This was carried out by the Assessment Services Unit (ASU) of the GES with support from the Research Triangle International (RTI). The project was funded by the USAID.
The acting Director General of the GES Charles Aheto Tsegah confirmed on the Citi Breakfast Show on Tuesday that only 2% were found to either read or understand English or any Ghanaian language properly.
He however said “its not acceptable to me but these are formative stages so we won’t rush to make any serious conclusions about it, so for us it helps to identify that there are real challenges that we need to deal with but that is not the end of the road.”
Commenting on the outcome of the report, the immediate past President of the Ghana Book Publishers Association, Elliot Agyare, said: “Reading has not been developed as a habit for majority of our children. Secondly we also assume that we will become readers without adequate resources. We all complain that the libraries are non-existent in this country and schools have not been resourced with books. As long as schools don’t have books and the children don’t have books that they don’t enjoy reading you don’t expect them to read.”
He added that “it will be a fallacy to think that all teachers are adequately resourced to teach reading in schools.”
Mr. Agyare suggested that Ghana can adopt United States of America’s “no child left behind” reading programme “which teaches children how to read until they enjoy it and becomes a habit.”
He urged the education sector managers to start a campaign that emphasizes the importance of reading and teachers need to be trained on how to teach reading in the classes.
A seperate report in the National Education Assessment (NEA) survey also measured pupils’ competency in Mathematics and English in primary three and six.
The report followed a survey carried out from July 9 to 11, 2013 that sampled a total of 19,458 pupils in primary three and 17,447 pupils in primary six with 550 public and private schools in 170 districts in Ghana.
It aims at measuring pupils’ performance in the two subjects and intends to give the GES an indicator of the effectiveness of primary education system.
Meanwhile a United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) report says significant progress has been made in terms of primary school enrollment particularly over the past few years due to strategies such as school feeding programme, capitation grant and free school uniforms to improve access to education.
The report, which used the Gross Enrolment Ratio (GER) and Net Enrolment ratio (NER) to assess the participation of children in the educational system noted a positive result towards achieving Millennium Development Goal two (MGD 2).
According to the report, NER in primary school at the national level increased from 81 per cent in 2006/07 to 88.5 per cent in 2008/09 and remained at that level in 2009/10.
GER at the national level also reached 95 per cent in 2007/08 and has virtually remained at that level for 3 years to 2010.
The report however noted some regional variations in the achievement of MGD 2.
“Central, Western, Brong-Ahafo, and Upper West regions recorded a GER of more than 100 per cent in 2010 with Greater Accra Region reporting the lowest GER. Central Region recorded the highest NER of 97 per cent while the lowest ratio is reported in Greater Accra with the remaining eight regions recording NER within the range of 81–90 per cent.”
Click to read the summary report
By: Nana Boakye-Yiadom/citifmonline.com/Ghana