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17.01.2006 General News

USAID to support Ghana with teaching materials

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Accra, Jan. 17, GNA - The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has awarded the Chicago State University three million dollars under an agreement to collaboratively develop and distribute 600,000 teaching and learning materials to Ghana from 2005 to 2008.

Ms Gloria Daniels, President of the Chicago State University, Ms Elizabeth Ohene, Minister of State in charge of Tertiary Education, and Ms Pamela Bridgewater, US Ambassador signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to this effect.

The MOU forms part of the launch of the Textbook and Learning Material Programme (TLMP) in Ghana by Mrs Laura Bush, the First Lady of the United States of America, at the Accra Teacher Training College on Tuesday.

Ghana was chosen for the launch of President George Bush's programme for Africa, which aims to link minority serving colleges in the United States with institutions in Africa to provide textbooks and school supplies for African students. The Chicago State University is to work with the Ministry of Education and Sports and USAID to distribute the textbooks and learning materials that would provide young pupils in Ghana with additional supplementary reading materials.

Other African countries to benefit from the TLMP are Ethiopia, Senegal, South Africa, Zambia and Tanzania. Ms Daniels said the supplementary reading; teaching and learning materials were to help to accelerate the pupil's acquisition of literacy and to make teaching and learning interesting.

She said the TLMP would focus on reaching children in difficult to access areas and the materials produced would be based on the priorities and curricula of Ghana and should be culturally and socially acceptable. The goal of the TLMP in Ghana is to enhance learning opportunities in primary schools by providing substantial copies of high-quality, cost effective teaching and learning materials that would enhance MOES curriculum development and improve the quantity, quality and content of teaching and learning materials in Ghana.

At the launching of the TLMP Mrs Bush pledged her country's commitment to improve education in Africa and Ghana in particular by ensuring that every child had access to education.

She said every child, whether rich or poor, must be given the opportunity of education because it was only through that means that the child would be able to contribute to the development of the country. The TLMP programme is a component of the Africa Education Initiative (AEI) announced by President George Bush in June 2002. About 25,000 books would be given to the libraries in Ghana and 300,000 teachers would receive training under this programme.

The AEI focuses on three primary activities: girls' scholarships, teacher training and textbook and learning materials development, which would receive 600 million dollars over eight years.