Koforidua (E/R), April 4, GNA - Twenty eight teachers and four staff members of Ghana Education Service (GES) have benefited from a two- day English phonics training workshop in Koforidua in New Juaben Municipality of Koforidua.
The programme dubbed: 'Systematic Synthetic phonics,' requires an approach of teaching phonics gradually so that children could confidently develop their prowess in English language.
The participants were drawn from the lower primary level of some basic schools in the municipality.
The programme was organised by Novan Education and Training, in collaboration with Village by Village, a non-governmental organisation (NGO), which focuses on improving teaching techniques.
Speaking to Ghana News Agency Mr Martin Lodziak, a United Kingdom volunteer with Village by Village, an NGO and an English teacher said, the training have become necessary because , research conducted by USAID and GES in Ghana have shown that, only two per cent of pupils in class two could read fluently and understand English language.
He said there are many factors, which could contribute to this assertion, explaining that if teachers have the skills of teaching phonics and the ability to teach English language, it would boost English literacy rate in the country.
Mr Lodziak said it is vital for the children to understand English language at an early age because the text books they read as well as their examinations are in English.
He said, the participants were taken through what phonics means and looked at some of the phonics skills, such as decoding, encoding and blending sounds of words together as well as how to make children read fluently in English.
The participants were also thought how to do a model phonic lesson and Early Grade Reading Assessment, to enable a teacher to access the reading improvement level of a pupil.
He advised the teachers to praise their pupil as a form of motivation and urged them to reflect on their teaching practices.
Ms Abena Gyamera, Training Officer at the Municipal Education Office said, the constant practice of the phonics coupled with some improvement in the syllables would help improve the reading and the understanding of the children in English language.
She said, it would also encourage the teachers to do more child centred learning, involving the pupils active participation in the classroom.
Mr Miracule Gavor, Chief Executive Officer, Novan Education and Training said, so far 65 teachers have benefited from the programme, which has reached more than 450 pupils in their various schools in the New Juaben Municipality, Asuogyaman District and the Akuapem North Municipality.
He said, the core target of the programme is to get the pupils to be fluent in the English language and also afford the teachers a new approach of teaching English language that is result oriented.
Ms Augustina Oduro, a participant and a teacher of the Freeman Methodist Primary School called for the need to make phonics a subject to ensure easy teaching and understanding of the English language.