Mr. Mathias Tulasi, the Chief Executive Officer of Literacy Ambassadors Ghana (LAG), a non governmental literacy organisation has commended the National Democratic Congress(NDC) on its manifesto promise of providing free literacy skills for market women, commercial drivers, labourers and head porters ‘kayayei’ etc.
Mr Mathias Tulasi has said so as his reaction to the manifesto of the National Democratic Congress in the impending general election.
According to him, the world is in the grip of a crisis that has devastating impact on personal autonomy, economic security, job opportunities, levels of health, and the quality of democracy.
The fact is that around the world, almost one in six people over the age of 15 cannot read and write. In addition, almost two thirds of non-literate people across the globe are women. This is both a sign and a cause of women’s continuing marginalisation and poverty.
“Literacy is crucial to personal well-being, to the development of communities and nations, to health, to personal autonomy and to political participation and governance. It helps to spread awareness among the people of their rights.”
“People with good literacy skills enjoy a higher standard of living, have better opportunities of finding jobs, and are able to continue to learn new skills that will help them in the workplace.”
“Against that background, a nation with high literacy rate is more likely to attract a large pool of investors and entrepreneurs as well as the inflow of money which in turn have a great impact on the nation’s economy.
Ghana at 63 years but still most school pupils cannot read either in their L1 (first language) or L2 (second language). And yet it has been generally agreed that reading guarantees good learning habits and a child who cannot read is not likely to do well in the subjects that require in-depth reading.
Most pupils do not also benefit from lessons taught at school because they do not understanding English Language which is mostly used as the medium of instruction at school.
It is imperative as a nation we take steps toward developing the habit of reading and writing among pupils and hence the need for stakeholders to join forces in order to reduce illiteracy in Ghana.
As an organisation, we have launched ‘Empowering Women and Girls through Literacy Initiative’ in partnership with our sister NGO Stefania Forte Education Foundation, aimed at equipping women and young girls with literacy skills.
It is therefore refreshing to have read same in the NDC’s manifesto at page 75 thus 7.2.9 where it was captured under Life-long learning thus providing free literacy skills for market women, commercial drivers, labourers and head porters etc.
We are excited because, it is the right step towards providing literacy for all when implemented.
This is because, parents attitude and literacy practices have a very significant influence on their children’s literacy development throughout school as it has been said that children don’t read books because their parents don’t read books.
The fact remains that supports for adults, especially women, to become literate emphasizes the role of learning within the family, including intergenerational learning and creating a learning environment in the home.
In that view, every child who then struggles with reading and writing could develop adequate literacy skills from his or her parents through the right and needed support. But that is not the case as we speak because most parents cannot read and write and how would they be able to help their wards as far as reading and writing are concerned? So, the National Democratic Congress(NDC) has done well for including free literacy skills provision in their manifesto.
Let us all be committed towards inspiring a life of reading among children and thereby reducing illiteracy and poverty in Ghana drastically in order to make Ghana a winning nation because a reading nation is a winning nation.”