Ghana’s First Lady, Mrs Rebecca Naa Okaikor Akufo-Addo, has identified the development of literacy skills through the provision of functional libraries across the country as critical in ensuring that the Free SHS policy by the government produces quality graduates.
The First Lady made these remarks when she joined Athe good people of Kyebi on Saturday, to commission a new library, the “Kyebi Children’s Library” at the J.B. Danquah Memorial Centre.
Congratulating the Okyehene for the construction of the library, Mrs. Akufo-Addo said it was proof of His Majesty’s commitment to enhancing education in the country, a necessary ingredient for the success of the President’s vision of “Ghana Beyond Aid”.
She said, the importance of children’s libraries cannot discounted as they help to develop and improve children’s reading and writing skills which serves as the solid foundation for their future intellectual abilities, and enable them to function better in today’s technological age.
In contributing its quota to literacy improvement for children the First Lady said The Rebecca Foundation of which she is the Founder, has rolled out a Television reading programme called Learning to Read, Reading to Learn, to help encourage the culture of reading in children.
She said, The Foundation has also built four libraries, in Bia West in the Western North Region, Dafiama Busei Issah District in the Upper West Region, Wenchi in the Bono Region and Moree in the Central Region and will continue to constructing libraries in school clusters where they are needed most.
Mrs. Akufo-Addo also emphasised the need for particular attention to be paid to children with disabilities to ensure that they are not left behind in the quest for enhanced child literacy skills.
She called on parents to guide their children to take full advantage of libraries by patronising them frequently, stating “the library is a special place for our children, a safe place for them to acquire knowledge. It has a large collection of books and other resources covering a wide range of subjects for their benefit”.
The First Lady also cautioned on the need for management of libraries to regularly resource them with updated information to maintain their relevance.
To this end, she urged Foundations, Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs), corporate bodies and individuals to step up to support the government’s wonderful works at improving our educational sector by helping to ensure that libraries across the country are stocked with current reading materials, in order to make them continuously attractive to children.