EPP Books Services, Ghana’s leading publisher and largest book distributor on Thursday launched a reading initiative called “Stock your Library Project”.
The Project, which is a collaborative goal between EPP Books Services and the Ghana Library Association, aims at donating and equipping various school libraries across the country with reading and informative books to promote reading amongst students.
The five million project, which is in fulfillment of Mr Adams Gibrine, Chief Executive Officer, EPP Books Services, promise towards the sustainability of the country’s educational system also forms part of EPP’s corporate social responsibility of supporting, teaching, learning and researching activities of the various educational institutions in Ghana.
It also marks EPP Books Services 25 years in Ghana and Africa, Mrs Millicent Brookman, Representative, EPP Books Services said in Accra.
Speaking on the theme, “Addressing Ghana’s Literacy and Reading Challenge through Private Sector Participation”, Mrs Brookman, reading a speech on behalf of Mr Gibrine, observed that the CEO, having personally experienced what it meant to teach or study without adequate materials, nurtured the need to do something to support the country’s educational system.
“I have a very deep understanding of what it is not to have the benefit of teaching and learning materials while in education.
“And this is what ignited a promise I and my company made years back to support our educational system anytime the opportunity presents itself,” she quoted Mr Gibrine.
Mrs Brookman however stated that it was the wish of EPP Books Services management not withstanding “race, finance or creed, each child deserves and should be able to achieve his or her full potential,” she said.
Mrs Matilda Amissah-Arthur, Second Lady, lauded EPP Books Services for the initiative that was not only aimed at stocking libraries with books but would go a long way to cultivate a reading habit amongst children.
She said the majority of children who could not read was becoming a problem in the country and as a result had made some to stop schooling.
Mrs Ammisah-Arthur noted that majority of children go to school but could not read, “Not only in the villages, but in the city of Accra, Tema, Cape Coast, Tamale.
“And those who are promoted too do not understand what they read,” she said.
She therefore encouraged students in beneficiary schools to take the opportunity to read, as it would help them to be secured, participate in public discourse and also raise their standards in governance when they grow, adding that “Knowing how to read and being educated is far reaching”.
She urged teachers to help students to form sentences, read and understand what they were reading.
Mrs Amissah-Arthur also appealed to EPP Books Services not to only concentrate on schools with libraries, but however collaborate with other corporate bodies to create boxes and keep books in for pupil’s who had been deprived of libraries in their schools and communities usages.
“EPP please do not only concentrate on the distribution of books, instead put in training programmes for teachers, parents, guidance and siblings to understand the task ahead of us as a country.
“Also look at how to sustain the project in terms of books content, not just user friendly, but culturally accepted books must be your priority,” she advised.
Professor Perpetual Dadzie, President, Ghana Library Association, expressed worry at the poor state of libraries at the various institutions across the country.
She said: “This state of affairs does not arguer well for the future of our children”.
Prof Dadzie however appealed to corporate organizations to support EPP Books Services through the provision of infrastructure to stock books.
Ms Kinna Likimani, Programmes Officer, “Mbaasem” Foundation, said the initiative was a good start especially when the country had no priorities in reading.
As part of activities marking the launch, GH¢ 10, 000.00 worth of books were presented to Police Barracks Primary School and Seventh Day Adventist Primary School both in the Northern Region, Presbyterian Model School and Catholic Basic Schools in the Central Region and La Nkwantanang Cluster of Schools in the Greater Accra Region.