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07.07.2003 Regional News

New Teaching Project launched in Wa District

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Funsi (UW), July 7, GNA - A new teaching project aimed at using environmental print to promote healthy literacy habits among children in deprived communities has been inaugurated at various workshops for teachers in the Wa District.

It entails the use of discarded commercial wrappers with labels which explain the contents of products such as tooth paste, soap, milk and empty cans of other products by teachers to encourage children to form reading habits in communities where reading materials are not available. The project also encourages teachers in such communities to acquire discarded packing cases and use them in making teaching aids instead of relying on cardboards from official sources.

Mr Abudulai Jakalia, a Lecturer at the Department of English Education of the University of Education, Winneba, developed the system. About 200 teachers from Lasia, Tuolu, Poyentanga, Bulenga and Tendamba cluster of schools had already been exposed to the new teaching methodology in the workshops sponsored by the Wa District Assembly.

At one of such workshops at Funsi in the South Sissala area of the district, Mr Jakalia said the marginalized in the society must be encouraged to strive to use their own means to break the vicious cycle of inferior literacy if they wanted to be empowered. Literacy was the strongest weapon that could be used to hold on to political and economic power, he said. "It means that the more literate you are the more likely that you will have power." "Any meaningful print in the neighbourhood that can be used for communication is important to a poor person as long as he can select what is good and useful," he said.

Mr Jakalia expressed regret that most of the Junior Secondary School teachers he had interacted with, during the workshops, were not aware that JSS pupils would be examined in English literature at the Basic Education Certificate Examination with effect from 2005.

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