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09.03.2012 Education

Basic English Project Graduates To Receive Reading Books

By Jodo Sam - Daily Graphic
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Graduates of a pilot Basic English Project under the National Literacy Programme of the Non-Formal Education Division (NFED), are to benefit from the donation of a quantity of supplementary reading books from the Ghana office of the UNESCO to augment the growing need for new reading materials.

The books, which are made up of six varied titles of a thousand copies each, were produced at a cost of $32,000. They formed the second of such assistance extended to the NFED by UNESCO. The first was in 2009 when the UNESCO provided 3,000 copies of a functional English Reader for new literates.

The books, which are not for sale, are to be distributed by the NFED through its mobile Mini-Book Box Libraries which are kept by facilitators and from which the books could be borrowed, read and returned. The topics in the books were selected from three broad areas of life; health/life skills, occupational skills and civic awareness and good citizenship.

The Acting Director of the NFED, Mr Charles Afare, recognised with gratitude the healthy relationship between the NFED and UNESCO. He hoped the contents of the books would provide relevant information to the readers and enable them make informed decisions about their lives and participation in society.

The Minister of Education, Mr Lee Ocran, who received the books on behalf of the NFED, noted that developing books was an intellectual effort that involved more than merely printing words on paper. He said because the cost involved in such enterprise was enormous, it was important that observers evaluated issues carefully before they accused officials wrongly for inefficient use of public funds.

“There is this narrative out there that the Ministry of Education’s spending on book publications are too huge, which is wrong. I would entreat all commentators who come on radio and television to speak on matters that have to do with publication of books to do so from expert viewpoint and not come out to turn the public against something good,” he said.

He expressed gratitude to UNESCO for their support and was hopeful that the long standing relationship between the institution and Ghana would continue to grow from strength to strength.

The Education Programme Specialist at the Ghana Office of the UNESCO, Mr Abdoul Wahab Coulibaly, who was the brain behind the publications, pledged UNESCO’s continued support to the NFED in the coming years.

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