The Volta Regional Education Directorate has held this year’s edition of the Reading Festival under the theme, “Learn to read and read to learn” in Ho in the Ho Municipal Assembly (HMA).
The Reading Festival aims to encourage and stimulate learner’s interest in reading by demonstrating that reading is fun, stimulating parents/guardians and community interest in reading.
The Festival which was contested by 18 teams had performances in poem recital, dialogue and spelling bee competition among others, and was attended by personnel from the Security Services, the clergy, Managers of School Units, Municipal and District Directors of Education, Traditional Leaders, parents and pupils.
In her welcome address, Madam Enyonam Afi Amafuga, Volta Regional Director of Education indicated that the USAID Partnership for Education and Learning, has brought great transformation to how literacy is taught to the youngsters with incredible results.
She said with the state-of-the-art strategies and the time-tested phonics approach to instruction of literacy, the youngsters have had their minds opened to the simplicity of acquiring literacy skills and have surprised many teachers, education officers and observers in terms of the progress they make in a short time.
She contended that without a firm foundation in literacy and numeracy, the academic journey becomes extremely herculean and for that matter the importance of USAID’s timely intervention in the Education Sector at the Basic Level which has resulted in the training of thousands of teachers, Curriculum Leads, Headteachers, SISOs and Directors of Education across the country over the years cannot be overemphasized.
She added that tens of thousands of materials were designed and printed for the sole purpose of meeting the literacy needs of the children, and commended the USAID, the American People and the USAID-Learning Team for their immense support which has yielded results.
Madam Amafuga was hopeful that the foundation laid in the youngsters would continue to be perpetuated by the hardworking teachers in order that the pupils never ever lack adequate literacy skills on their academic journey.
“In this way, each person would be able to explore his/her full potential toward becoming responsible and useful adults in various fields to contribute to the growth and development of Mother Ghana”, she stressed.
Mr Bright Ofori, Deputy Volta Regional Director of Ghana Library Authority, said reading is one of the most beneficial and practical activities that a human being can do and recalled that books were the main source of entertainment centuries ago, but with the widespread of technological advances such as the cinema, television, internet, among others, many people left their books on the bookshelf.
He said reading, “develops your communication tools and expands your knowledge and the conception around you, gives you a wonderful opportunity to learn about other cultures and places of interest in the world and gives you an insight into the diversity of our world and the chance to visualize it”.
According to him, in a broader sense reading helps to explore new ideas, histories, beliefs, and scenarios and it does not only increase knowledge, but also helps in overcoming challenges in life.
Mr Ofori noted that through reading, you get to experience life’s problems, pleasures, and how to be a better person by exploring new cultures and added that though travelling to explore may be your passion but it is easier and less expensive to learn more about places through reading than making time and money to travel.
At the end of proceedings, the North Tongu District became first in the competitions with 14 points followed by Ho West with 13 points and Ho Municipal with 12 points.
The 4th, 5th and 6th positions went to the Ketu North District (11 points), Kpando District (6 points) and Anloga District (3 points) respectively. Prizes and certificates were given to the candidates for making themselves and their districts proud.