The World Bank has revealed that 87% of children in Sub-Saharan Africa cannot read and understand a simple story at age 10.
World Bank Acting Country Manager, Dr Beatrix Allah-Mensah revealed this at the International Day for Education of Poverty-End (EPD) Poverty Day event held at the World Bank office in Accra on Saturday.
“Failing to address the situation would only result in wasted potential among the youth and negatively impact a country’s future workforce and economic competitiveness,” she said.
The multilateral development bank is, therefore, seeking to reduce at least half the share of children who cannot read and understand a simple story at age 10 by 2030.
The Bank intends to set a new learning target to sharpen support for quality primary education.
World Bank Acting Country Manager, Dr Beatrix Allah-Mensah
The new learning target recommends all countries including Ghana to adopt a literacy policy package created by the World Bank which consists of interventions focused specifically on promoting the acquisition of reading proficiency in primary schools.
The Bank is also supporting countries with a refreshed education approach to strengthening entire education systems so that literary improvements can be sustained and scaled up.
Speaking at the event, Gifty Twum Ampofo, the Deputy Minister of Education, said Ghana’s strides in ensuring primary enrolment have improved to a large extent, with Free Compulsory Universal Basic Education (FCUBE) guaranteed by the constitution.
She said policies such as the Capitation Grant and School Feeding Programme further enhanced primary enrolment.
Although, she admitted that challenges still remain with quality in terms of reading and writing and that more is needed to be done, and it is for that reason that primary school curriculum has been reviewed to improve literacy and numeracy.
Nevertheless, she expressed her confidence in the new curriculum; expecting that it would bring results the country needs.