The First Lady Mrs Rebecca Akufo-Addo has identified reading as the panacea to enhancing the quality of education and deepening the intellect of the youth.
According to Mrs Akufo-Addo, people with high literacy skills are better positioned to expedite the development of a country and meet its challenges, stating, “a literate population and communities are in a far better position to develop and innovate than less literate societies”.
Mrs Akufo-Addo who is also the Executive Director of the Rebecca Foundation, made these comments when she opened a 40-seater computerised library facility in Moree in the Central region.
The library, stocked with modern computers and books on different subjects is expected to serve as an attractive and welcoming environment for the youth to develop the habit and delight in reading.
Stressing on the importance of reading and its many benefits Mrs Akufo-Addo said, in a growing competitive world where life-long learning has become the only way to grow intellectually and build a wealth of knowledge, many children in sub-Saharan Africa struggle at the lower primary level to read in the official or any local language and in instances where they can read, they are unable to understand what they read.
She said a vast amount of information in the world, is spread through written works and considering the impact of newspapers, books, and the internet in our daily lives, anyone with limited literacy skills is virtually excluded from written information that can change their lives.
Mrs Akufo-Addo stated that it is this plethora of benefits inherent in the ability and habit of reading that informed the Rebecca Foundation to come up with the “Learning to Read, Reading to Learn” initiative, a two-part concept made up of a television reading programme, now in its second season, and provision of much-needed libraries in some school clusters across the country.
She said the Rebecca Foundation has so far built three of such computerised libraries in the Dafiama Bissue Issah in the Upper West Region, Sefwi Debiso in the Western North Region, Wenchi in the Bono Region and will soon construct three more libraries at Kumawu in the Ashanti Region, Krachi East in the Oti Region and Achimota school in the Greater Accra Region.
The First Lady charged the youth to strive to read as many books as possible stating, “when I launched the Learning to Read, Reading to Learn initiative, I charged our children to read a book each day. I repeat this charge today. Read, learn new words, learn new things and consider writing your own little stories”.
Mrs Akufo-Addo also urged the Ministry of Education, to incorporate library services as a critical component of the educational reforms for basic schools as research has shown the significant role of school libraries in building a reading culture.
On behalf of The Rebecca Foundation, the First Lady extended her profound gratitude to the Ghana Library Authority, Ghana Book Development Council, Metropolitan and District Assemblies, the Ghana Education Service and donors for assisting the Foundation in its literacy enhancing endeavours.