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Samira Promotes Reading Culture

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Ghana’s Second Lady, Mrs Samira Bawumia has said there is the need for Ghanaians to inculcate the habit of reading and writing into its growing population especially in children at the basic education level.

According to her, the enviable practise of reading is what has made some renowned personalities successful and transferring that habit to children would give them the assurance that a good life is within their reach.

Speaking at an event organised to mark the World Book Day, in Accra, last Monday, Mrs Bawumia said, “Reading would open your eyes to the world. For some of us, the difference that we made in our lives is because we had reading and we could dream big and we could see that there was a world beyond where we grew up.”

Mrs Samira Bawumia speaking at the World Book Day

She added that from reading, “you get knowledge, you get awareness and your consciousness expands and you know that the world is bigger than your immediate environment.”

Reading Clinic

The book reading clinic which was hosted by the second lady under the auspices of the Samira Empowerment and Humanitarian Project (SEHP)―a not-for-profit organisation, brought together about 150 pupils from selected basic school in Accra and had astute Ghanaian authors read aloud to the participating children.

The event which anchored on the theme; “READING, it’s my right,” presented reading to the children as a fun and interesting activity.

The event grounds had been decked to suit the discerning eyes of the youngsters―bright furniture, balloons and colourful books―made the children bury their heads in literary pieces for close to an hour.

Poor Reading Habit

Over time, researchers have observed that the habit of reading seemed to be dying leading to poor performance amongst students in the country but Mrs Bawumia says SEHP is working passionately to augment government’s effort to correct this fault.

Aside refurbishing libraries for some schools, “we’ve been giving books to libraries through a project called a library in a box project. We donate books in a secured box to schools that do not have libraries for themselves…and putting together a list of volunteers who would go around the schools to read to the children,” she noted.

For reading habit to be cultivated in children, Deputy Minister of Education, Barbara Asher Ayisi highlighted the need for parents to invest in the pre-school stage of their children.

She said, “It is sad to say that you visit some of tertiary institutions and secondary schools, our young people cannot speak and speak well because the foundation is wrong. The pre-school level is the most important stage and if the child loses it, that is the end.”

The deputy minister further entreated teachers to gain more knowledge in the English Language so they can properly teach children to read and pronounce words correctly.

One key purpose of the SEHP is to improve literacy & critical thinking among students.

By: Grace Ablewor Sogbey/ ksogbey@gmail.com

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