Accra, August 28, GNA - Mrs Ewura-Abena Ahwoi, an Educationist, has called on parents to introduce inter-generational reading in homes to inculcate reading habits among children.
She said: 'In the olden days our elders used to gather children especially in the night to tell them stories and that sustain children interest in story telling as well as develop their reading habits'.
Speaking at the launch of this years' Ghana Readers Club Week, Mrs Ahwoi noted that children's reading habits start from the home and urged parents to assist their wards to develop the skills of reading.
'Reading is a skill that has to be nurtured,' she said and urged parents to initiate reading to their children at home to broaden their perspective of issues.
The event is being organised by the Ghana Readers Club in collaboration with the Ghana Library Authority, with sponsorship from the GCB Bank, Golden Tree Chocolate, Kingdom of The Netherlands, EPP Book Services and M-P infrastructure.
The week-long event interlaced with seminars is on the theme, 'Reading: A Tool for National Development'.
Mrs Ahwoi therefore advocated the establishment of reading clubs in all schools throughout the country to bridge the gap between deprived areas and the cities.
She also called for Concurrent National Plan on reading, which should be spearheaded by the Ghana Library Authority, adding, 'A child who reads becomes an adult who thinks'.
Sheik Armiyawo Shaibu, Spokesperson of the National Chief Imam, said children who had improved reading ability have the chance to perform well in their education.
He said reading builds children's self-confidence; provide greater understanding of cultures and above all makes them functional in a simple way.
He also emphasized the need to extend reading clubs to every community, especially the deprived ones to restore discipline among the youth.
Mr Kwadwo Addeah Prempeh, President of the Ghana Readers Club, said the week celebration was the first in the series of events for the next five years.
He said they would organize similar events in all regions and urged teachers and parents to get ready to welcome the team.
He, therefore, appealed to their regular donors and stakeholders to support their efforts to sustain the programme.
Ambassador Ron Strikker, Ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to Ghana, suggested establishing libraries at vital areas such as the Banks, Hospitals, schools where people spend long hours waiting for services.
He said reading is for both socio-economic and society development of every nation and called parents to set good examples by setting up libraries in the home and develop the habit of reading books regularly.
Mr Guy Amarteifio, the patron and Regional Librarian for Greater Accra, said members of the Readers Club were given opportunities to be educated on topical issues through lectures, workshops, and debates.
He said due to the importance of the readers Club to teaching and learning, the Ghana Library Authority has extended it to supplement and compliment the classroom teaching.
Mrs Rebecca Akita, Acting Executive Director, Ghana Library Authority, urged major stakeholders such as parents, teachers, community leaders and the Ghana Education Service to cooperate with organisers of the Ghana Readers Club to carry out a nationwide formation of readers clubs.
'Another hurdle will be maintaining the relevance and sustainability of clubs' activities. It is, therefore, incumbent on you to ensure that activities of the club are attractive to keep old members and enrol new ones,' she added.
Dr Zanetor Agyeman-Rawlings, Member of Parliament for Korle Klottey Constituency, who chaired the event, said the current generations were entangle with Whatsapp coded communications and have totally forgot how to spell correctly.
She appealed to the youth to try and spell out the words on whatsapp conversations and try to correct each other, adding, 'that is the only way you can master courage over the English language'.
She also urged them to take every opportunity that comes their way to make a difference as well as challenge their thoughts.
In a speech on his behalf, Mohammed Adjei Sowah, Mayor of Accra, announced that he would be instituting Scholarship Awards at Basic Schools within the Metropolis and when one is a member of the reading club, one stood the chance of winning the scholarship award.
The Mayor also announced plans to equip all the Millennium Schools in the Metropolis with e-materials to make the children smart, adding, 'when you take up the culture of reading, your future is limitless'.
A 30-page document for the five-year reading plan was launched. GNA
By Patience Gbeze, GNA