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Government Must Include Library Facility In Yet To Be Built School Infrastructure — Mathias Tulasi

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Mr Mathias Tulasi, the CEO of Literacy Ambassadors Ghana (LAG) has called on government to include a library facility in schools yet to be built.

Mr Mathias Tulasi said this at a Reading Festival held today at Somanya Methodist JHS in the Eastern Region.

According to him, it is sad government is still building school infrastructure for basic schools without a library.

He noted, “we cannot talk about literacy promotion without a library because it is an essential instrument for developing desirable study habits in students.”

His full address below:

A SPEECH DELIVERED BY MR MATHIAS TULASI, CEO- LITERACY AMBASSADORS GHANA AT A READING FESTIVAL HELD AT SOMANYA METHODIST JHS ON MONDAY 31ST MAY, 2021.

Good morning distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen. All protocols duly observed. I am extremely delighted to be part of this Reading Festival on the Theme “A Reader Today, An Enlightened Individual” Congratulations to the organizers and the sponsors.

Ladies and gentlemen. Today’s gathering is very important because education, as we all know is the doorway to the progress and prosperity of individuals, communities and nations.

It is very sad to note that many stakeholders are not helping the education sector in the country. We should all understand that, nations, that fail to give prime of place to education, and quality education for that matter, will continue to languish behind the rest of progressive humanity.

Mr. Chairman, it is very unfortunate to note that although education policy makers are increasingly focusing on the quality of education and school learning environments, but as a country we have a piecemeal approach to investing in library infrastructure.

Isn’t it sad that this gargantuan edifice as we can all see came without a library? There are a lot of basic schools in the country but the question is how many of such schools have a library? On that note, I would like to recommend that government school projects yet to be built should come with a library component if we are really committed to investing into the future of the younger generation. We cannot talk about literacy promotion without a library because it is an essential instrument for developing desirable study habits in students.

Mr Chairman, ladies and gentlemen. A lot of our Ghanaian school children do not understand lessons taught at school because they do not understand English.

I must say that the inability of pupils to read and understand is largely contributing to the poor performance of pupils across the country yet all the children gathered here, have great ambitions and aspirations to become teachers, nurses, lawyers, doctors, engineers, scientists, surveyors, journalists, accountants, contractors, politicians etc. How is that possible? The fact remains that if all pupils can read and understand, they will all be able to do very well in all the subjects that are taught at school.

Many parents are not helping their children to learn how to read at home but they are very interested in watching TV programs with them. This is very sad because it is distracting and destroying their future. The television is a good tool but most parents do not know how to use it in teaching their children.

Mr Chairman, in the past, we had what we called bedtime stories but now nothing like that in our Ghanaian homes. It will be good for all parents gathered here to revisit that.

Parents should understand that reading is the key to learning and they should make conscious efforts in promoting reading among children at home especially reading aloud to them.

Parents should buy interesting story books for their children on their birthdays instead of the usual biscuits, toffees, chocolate, indomie, picopico,coca-cola etc.

Pregnant women should also make it a point to read aloud to their unborn babies every day during the second trimester thus the 6th month of pregnancy till they give birth because it has great benefits for the unborn child.

As we are all aware, government has introduced the standard-based curriculum in basic schools but as we speak there are no textbooks and it is making the work of the teacher difficult. It is long overdue for the textbooks to be supplied to the schools.

To our hardworking teachers, there are scientific findings on how the brain learns to read called the Science of Reading. It will be good for all us to abreast ourselves with this knowledge in order to provide the best of reading instructions to learners. I would call on all head teachers and schools represented here to liaise with Literacy Ambassadors Ghana as Somanya Methodist JHS has done in order to gain insight into issues concerning The Science of Reading. We can always start from somewhere.

To my dear students gathered here, Read in the morning, Read in the afternoon, Read in the evening. Read Anytime, for I say, a reading student is a winning student.

Mr Chairman, we are gathered here to celebrate reading because we want these pupils here to develop love for reading so that it promotes an interest in other subjects of the curriculum.

Together, we will shape and change the future of education across Ghana through literacy.

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