USAID and Education Ministry launch partnership programme

The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) in collaboration with Ministry of Education (MOE) and Ghana Education Service (GES) has launched a five year partnership for education learning activity.

The partnership, which seeks to help meet Ghana’s basic education priorities, is being implemented by FHI360.

It would improve early grade primary school literacy and explore ways to improve numeracy.

Dr Guitele Nicoleau, Chief of Party, FH1360, said the project seeks to improve, expand, and sustain reading performance for primary school learners nationwide, with special focus on children in kindergarten one through grade three.

Dr Nicoleau explained that the project is designed on local activities in order to get Ghana to increase reading in the early age.

Professor Naana Jane Opoku–Agyemang, Minister of Education, expressed excitement about the vision of the project, saying: “Enabling young learners acquire proficiency in literacy and numeracy, especially at the foundation level allows for solid basis for continued education to the highest level possible.”

“The joy of every stakeholder in the education fraternity is to see our children reading in the local language or English, which is our official language and to be able to show mastery in basic numeracy,” she added.

She said, since the mark of quality education is the ability of young learners being able to read, there is therefore, the need to return the application of the language policy, and therefore urged heads of schools and teachers not to withhold text books from the children for fear that they would ruin them.

The Education Minister, acknowledged US continuous partnership with Ghana in the areas of education, health, governance and agriculture.

Mr Gene Cretz, , US Ambassador said: “Like the Government of Ghana, the US Government believes that reading is the cornerstone to quality education; and young children learning to read first in their mother tongue and gradually transitioning to reading and learning in English is the most effective approach to adopt and adapt to assure quality education.”

Mr Cretz said, the US is delighted of the notable efforts and commitments that the MOE, the GES, and all its partner agencies are making to improve reading in the early grades, adding: “The activities designed are built on the premises of: “Ghana Made and Strong.”

Mr Jacob Kor, Acting Director General, GES, said the project design is good, because study shows that, the most effective way to teach children how to read in the early grades is to balance and use of the mother tongue and English.

“When children are taught in the early grades with their mother tongue, it will help them perform well when it comes to assessment,” Mr Kor added.

The learning project is expected to ensure that 2.8 million pupils of primary school age are to be able to read. It would also train more than 51,000 teachers in pre service training, by promoting a better balance between theory and practice. GNA

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