Accra April 23, GNA - Mr Kwadwo Baah-Wiredu, Minister of Education, Youth and Sports on Friday said about 25 per cent of schools in Ghana at the primary level would be provided with libraries or resource facilities by the end of 2006.
He said the policy would be supported with the encouragement of the public, community and private library facilities to encourage reading among pupils in basic schools.
Mr Baah-Wiredu said this at the celebration of the World Book and Copyright Day in Accra.
The World Book and Copyright Day is celebrated every April 23 worldwide, to commemorate contributions made by books and authors particularly young people to encourage them to read, discover and have opportunity to expand their mental horizon.
The day is also used to award pupils in the basic and secondary school who emerge winners in the National Children's Storybook writing competition and the Treasure hunt competition organized by UNESCO and Alliance Fran=E7ais.
Mr Baah-Wiredu said, while celebrating books and authors day there was the need to safeguard the interests of those whose toil had matured into intellectual properties and legacies.
He assured stakeholders of the Copyright Society of Ghana that the Government would soon rectify anomalies in the old Copyright Bill. Mr Baah-Wiredu said the bill was currently receiving attention of the Parliamentary Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs.
He congratulated the award winners and urged organizers of the programme to extend their activities to other parts of Ghana. Mrs Akosua Ofori-Mensah, President of the Ghana Book Publishers Association said the Copyright office in collaboration with tertiary institutions had set up a Reprographic Rights Organization called the "Copy Ghana". She said from August this year, all photocopying machines in institutions would be required to pay a levy for all intellectual work copied.
Mrs Ofori-Mensah said monies collected from these levies would be distributed to the right owners.
She encouraged parents, teachers, students and the general public to buy books, read books and give books as gifts.
"If Ghana is to develop, then its citizenry must be educated since Books are crucial to any meaningful education", she added. Mr Leonard Tingbani, Director, Basic Education Division at the Ghana Education Service, who chaired the function said books were the primary source of acquisition of knowledge.
He said it was important that the society recognized publishers and writers for their contributions in the society.
Mr Tingbani urged pupils to develop reading habits at the basic level so that they could maintain it at higher levels of education.