UNESCO asserts, “Literacy is a fundamental human right and the foundation for lifelong learning. It is fully essential to social and human development in its ability to transform lives. For individuals, families, and societies alike, it is an instrument of empowerment to improve one’s health, ones’ income, and one’s relationship with the world.”
In an interview with Mr Mathias Tulasi, the Chief Executive Officer of Literacy Ambassadors Ghana (LAG), he said "It has become necessary for all stakeholders to join forces in order to reduce illiteracy among Ghanaians and thereby achieving basic literacy for all".
According to him, there is a misconception that schools are responsible for literacy and that is why any literacy challenge of a child is attributed to the inefficiency of the teacher or the school system, but the fact remains that a broad range of actors from parents, peers, religious leaders, library services and health services shape literacy development of children.
Parents are the number one educators of their children and as such their attitude and literacy practices have a significant influence on children's literacy development throughout school.
But the question is, Ghana at age 64, can we boast of all parents having basic literacy skills which can be used in equipping their children?
Many parents cannot read and write, so it becomes challenging for these parents to help their children in their academics especially on issues of reading which is the key to learning.
"Everyone who struggles with reading and writing could develop adequate literacy skills when given the right and needed support", he said.
So, all stakeholders must join forces geared at equipping the citizenry with basic literacy skills.
As Ghana celebrates its 64th Republic Day tomorrow, promoting the culture of reading and equipping parents with basic literacy skills should be part of our core reflections.
The government must do its best to supply textbooks on the Standard-Based Curriculum to schools because it is getting long overdue so as to aid the teaching and learning process.
Government should support Ghana Library Authority with the necessary logistics to enable the librarians reach out to villages in order to promote literacy among the rural folks.
A reading nation is a winning nation. Ghana must win through reading.