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09.06.2005 Regional News

"Poorly stocked libraries is drawback to pursuit of knowledge"


Kpando, June 9, GNA - The position of poorly resourced and stocked schools and public libraries represents a serious draw back to the pursuit of knowledge, Mr Frank Y. Korwu, Kpando District Director of Education observed on Tuesday. He noted that textbook ratios in schools was pathetic with some schools contending with a single reader meant for a class of 35 and others with nothing at all.

Mr. Korwu was speaking at this year's International Children's Book Day (ICBD) award ceremony at Kpando, under the auspices of the Ghana Library Board and the International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY). He said a recent survey conducted in the Kpando District revealed that only 37 per cent of pupils in primary schools could read three-letter words such as pot, cat and dog, while 67 per cent of students in JSS could read simple sentences with understanding.

Mr Korwu stressed that books were vital sources of information, documentation and instruction and indispensable tools in education. He commended dedicated and hard working teachers who had introduced innovations into their teaching methods in a desperate attempt to salvage the situation of the lack of books in schools. Mr Korwu commended the Kpando District Assembly for its programme to establish libraries in communities in the District and urged NGOs to assist the scheme.

Mr Pious Adanuti, Acting Kpando District Chief Executive (DEC), appealed to parents to pay adequate attention to the welfare of their children by following school activities with keen interest. He said the habit among pupils to watch videos endlessly was preventing them from acquiring and sustaining the reading habit.

Mr Prosper Akussah, Acting Volta Regional Librarian said books improve child imagination, horizons, vocabulary, source of self-education, teaches tolerance and wisdom and satisfies curiosities. He observed that reading habits and social characteristics of children showed that those who read widely performed better in schools than those who were yet to learn the act of reading. Mr Akussah urged stakeholders to cultivate and entrench the habit of reading in children saying "books are a necessity in the child's life if the child is to grow and develop into an educated person".

Mr Elikem Tamakloe, Regional Children's Organizer of IBBY urged Parents Teacher Associations (PTAs) to make the restocking of libraries as priorities in their programmes of development of their schools. In an essay competition organized to mark the day, master Setornyo Heh of Gayibor Academy in Kpando came first in the primary category, while Kafui Tumata and Constance Korkor, both of Delta Primary School in Kpando were second and third respectively. Edwin Agbenu of Delta JSS in Kpando was first in the Junior Secondary School category, while Yayra Ahiabah of Gabi JSS and Edem Sunu of SDA JSS both in Kpando were second and third respectively.

In the competitive poetry recitals for children in the Early Childhood Development Centres (ECDC), Magdalene Gotah of Tsakpe RC Central was first, while Benedicta Aidu of Continental Preparatory ECDC was second and Kofi Kle also of Tsakpe RC Central was third. The award winners received certificates shields, novels, exercise books, parcels and picture books as prizes.