Stephanie S. Sullivan, the US Ambassador to Ghana, has joined Ghana’s Education Minister, Dr Matthew Opoku Prempeh, to launch the Ghana Learning Radio Reading Programme.
The Programme was developed following the closure of over 25,000 primary schools nationwide due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
It is expected to engage parents, caregivers, and students through daily broadcasts to support and improve reading among Ghana’s primary school pupils.
Due to the pandemic, millions of primary school pupils are out of school and to address this challenge, the Ministry of Education partnered the US Government through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) to design a national radio programme on reading.
The programme would provide distance learning instruction in English and the 11 official Ghanaian languages of instruction for Kindergarten two through fourth-grade students.
The Ghana Education Service, in collaboration with the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation, started broadcasting interactive and easy-to-follow reading lessons on June 15, 2020.
Lessons which are adapted from USAID-supported instructional materials and validated by the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment would include health and safety behaviour-change messaging focusing on handwashing and social distancing.
It would also broadcast child-protection messages to parents and caregivers to encourage homework supervision, family health and hygiene and the prevention of bullying, sexual assault, and early pregnancy.
GBC radio stations across the country would broadcast one-hour reading instruction sessions from 1030 hours to 1130hours on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, with repeat broadcasts on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays from 1600 to 1700 hours.
The US continues to lead in the fight of the COVID-19 pandemic, illustrated by recent announcements of new foreign assistance made possible through the American people’s generosity.
The Americans have given more than $11 billion to help in the global Covid-19 response and continue to ensure that the substantial US funding and scientific efforts on this front remain a central and coordinated part of the worldwide effort against the disease.
In Ghana, the United States has provided almost $17 million to address immediate impacts of COVID-19 by helping to strengthen health systems and improve reading outcomes.
The United States is also addressing long-term impacts through environmental development for economic growth and conflict mitigation.