Ho, Feb. 25, GNA-Mr Emmanuel Keteku, Ho Municipal Director of Education, on Wednesday called for the establishment of community libraries in the country to encourage children to read and write.
He said well equipped community libraries would help the young patrons to read and write for entertainment and for proficiency as well as gain comprehension of the English language as they explore other subjects.
Mr. Keteku said this in a speech read for him at the first Volta Regional Drama and Poetry Festival in Ho organized by the Centre for National Culture (CNC).
The festival was on the theme: "empowering the young ones to cultivate the habit of reading and writing."
Mr. Keteku said the regional based libraries were not accessible to all children especially those in rural communities.
He said the need for such facilities had become important in view of the Chief Examiners Report which indicated that students' performance in English over the years remained "very, very abysmal."
Mr. Keteku said failure in English Language mostly affected other the study of other subjects because English was the key subject and medium of instruction and called for concerted effort from all stakeholders to address the issue.
He said for instance, "the general performance of pupils in Ho Municipality in the 2009 BECE was 58.20 per cent" a startling performance which could be attributed to weakness in reading, writing and comprehension of the English language.
He therefore urged parents to show interest in the reading culture of their children.
Mr. Alexander Asum-Ahensah, Minister for Chieftaincy and Culture, commended the CNC for the initiative and encouraged it to broaden its scope to help children use proverbs in their communication, story telling, essay writing, public speaking as well as poetry and rhymes.
He said similar programmes were introduced by the Ministry of Education in 1985 and another by the National Commission on Culture and the Ministry of Youth and Sports but such initiatives failed and hoped success would be achieved this time.
Mr William Addo, Volta Regional Director of CNC, hoped the initiative would produce more prolific writers for the country.
He said the Centre had developed so many initiatives to help young people in the Region and also to entertain adults after 'a hard day's work' but lacked the infrastructure especially, a functioning arts theatre to implement them.
Mr. Ralph Avornyo, Volta Regional Director of Ghana Broadcasting Corporation, who chaired the programme, advised school children to read anything they come across.