UNITED WAY GHANA IMPACTS STUDENTS ON INT'L LITERACY DAY THROUGH LITERACY DEVELOPMENT AND SKILLS TRAINING
Literacy and skills are key powers for sustainable growth and development. Without them, an individual’s growth and opportunities are limited. On a national scale, low levels of literacy prolongs poverty, inequality and even constrains the growth of economies. In a world of rapidly emerging technology, individuals, especially students, must nurture their skills in order to take advantage of the evolving world of work.
To mark International Literacy Day on Saturday, September 8, on the theme ‘Literacy & Skills Development,’ United Way Ghana organized the Back to School & Literacy Fair to engage students in literacy activities and digital training to develop their capabilities and nurture their skills.
Hundreds of pupils convened at the Kawukudi Park in Nima to participate in various activities including reading clinics, digital skills workshop, arts and crafts skills training as well as a seminar on quality, inclusive education for parents.
Over the last 15 years, our social impact programmes and community driven initiatives have improved the livelihoods of thousands of people through education, health and financial stability - building blocks for good quality of life. With the support, expertise and resources of partner organizations and volunteers that share a similar passion with United Way Ghana, we are transforming communities to become healthier, better informed and more productive.
Under IBE, United Way Ghana has implemented sustainable solutions including the Nyansapo Scholarship Scheme, provision of quality textbooks and reading materials, capacity building initiatives for teachers, sensitizing parents and community leaders to support quality education and engaging school management on good institutional governance. IBE has positively impacted over 13,000 people since it was established in 2012.
“Bridging literacy and arts skills gaps is a major challenge. At United Way Ghana, we believe digital literacy and skills training are essential in preparing students for the world of work to build and harness their skills for future career success,” said Janet L. Butler, vice president, Africa Region & the Caribbean for United Way Worldwide.
Monitor Childrens phone usage
Ghana Education Service’s Circuit Supervisor for Kotobabi, Theophilus Agyei, in his speech enumerated the advantages of literacy and education for the child, family, community and nation as a whole. “Education paves the way for a better future for us all. Let’s fully support students to get the best of education.
As part of activities, students were taught basic coding skills in the digital literacy workshop by volunteers of United Ghana Education Service’s Circuit Supervisor for Kotobabi, Theophilus Agyei, in his speech advised parents to monitor the use of tech devices by their children to protect them from accessing pornography and cyber bullying. “Always check how your children use their phones to ensure it’s for learning and study purposes. As parents, we should be interested in how our wards use technology and the internet appropriately.”
Eneza Education, main partner for the Back To School & Literacy Fair, educated parents and teachers on ways to use their mobile phones to access learning materials. Eneza Education’s content lead, Josephine Arthur said the organization’s interaction with stakeholders showed that many are not aware of the enormous benefits of technology with regards to education. “This fair helped us to create more awareness on mobile technology and education as well as address the inaccurate perceptions parents had about technology.”
Making reading a habit
Habiba Mohammed, 11, participant of the Back to School and Literacy Fair confessed her newfound love for reading. She indicated that her interest in reading has always been affected by her parents challenge to buy reading materials.With a grin, she shares how excited she is to have participated in the Back to School and Literacy Fair. She said, “Through this fair, I know that I can frequently borrow books from my community library. The challenge of my parents are no longer going to stand in my way.”
With support from the Ghana Library Authority, a mobile library was on hand to give children the opportunity to read books of all kinds. Speaking to parents at the seminar on education, Lily Narh of the Ghana Library Authority advised parents to give their full support to the literacy development of their wards. “Encourage your children to visit the community library regularly to spend most of their time reading because in order to become a responsible adult, you must read,” she said.
Helping Children With Learning Difficulties
Special Attention Project (SAP), a partner for the event, sensitized parents about the existing support for children with special needs or learning difficulties. Richard Opoku, Programmes Manager of SAP said many parents opened up about the learning difficulties their children were experiencing and sought for help. “This was a relevant platform for us to interact with parents, in order to expose them to the resources available to help children with special learning difficulties to also access quality basic education to reach their full potential.”
As part of activities, students were taught basic coding skills in the digital literacy workshop by volunteers of United Way Ghana. Also, skills were provided in bead making and other arts and crafts activities. Children were engaged in play during recreational time with a bouncy castle and trampoline.
The Back to School & Literacy Fair was organized by United Way Ghana in partnership with Eneza Education and with support from the Ghana Library Authority, Special Attention Project, Achievers Ghana, EPP Books & Services, IBM Ghana, Worldreader, Muslim Family Counselling Services, Top Dog Africa & Crust Media.
September 8 was proclaimed International Literacy Day by UNESCO on November 17, 1965 to highlight the importance of literacy to individuals, communities and societies.
Each year, United Way Ghana marks International Literacy Day as part of its Improving Basic Education (IBE) programme with the objective of improving the accessibility and delivery of quality education at the basic level.
Under IBE, United Way Ghana has implemented sustainable solutions including the Nyansapo Scholarship Scheme, provision of quality textbooks and reading materials, capacity building initiatives for teachers and engaging school management on good institutional governance. IBE has positively impacted over 13,000 people since it was rolled out in 2012.