Let’s Start Teaching Of Reading From Kindergarten

At the recently held public forum at the Accra Conference Centre, the Ministry of Education explained that the new language policy which allows a Ghanaian language to be used both as a medium of instruction and of speech from KG- class 3, without a similar approach to reading, is a thoroughly researched work and has been endorsed or certified by UNICEF and other related academic bodies as an authentic concept.

For this reason, the ministry is using the scarce resources at its disposal to furnish its full implementation. Therefore, teachers and the trainees in the Colleges of Education are being re-orientated to be abreast of the concept.

In schools, the most seriously damaging problem confronting us is the teaching of reading to make our children to read perfectly in class 1.

For years, we all know, because of lack of quality methods and programmes, a lot of our children in the public schools fail to read.

Why should we not direct our attention and resources to improve .reading which is the cause of mass' failures in BECE? Is it the case of not having the requisite measures to apply to solve the circumstance?

Though, some individuals, institutions and organizations know that children can't read in our schools, the sad thing is that they cannot identify what is' actually causing it.

GES lacks quality methodologies for its teachers, thus, be- ginners cannot be helped to 'read perfectly in class 1. Again, it also lacks quality methodologies to help poor readers. This is the rea- son why a large number of students leave the system with a low level of competence in reading.

Some individuals who have studied the causes of poor performance in our schools could not come out with accurate answers and results. The Cape Coast University's research on the public schools' poor performance currently, declared that teacher attrition and absenteeism contributed to- this degradation.

No, our children cannot per- form to expectation because teachers do not have the right tools to work with to make the children to read. Schools must be given a reading plan. This will make them to read and improve upon learning of all other subjects .

Then, Imani Ghana led by Prof. Djangmah thinks that when three years is extended to four years in SHS, it will improve performance. No students in SHS, who cannot perform well, fail as a result of the poor foundation we have in the system.

So, the resources that 'will be used to improve the poor conditions prevailing in the basic schools must be used to improve the teaching of reading from K. G to Class One. If this is done the 'products from the JHS will be more knowledgeable enough to find the three years adequate to complete their courses.

Also, the Salaga North MP, Mr. Mumuni Alhassan feels that using 30% of his common fund to purchase motorbikes for circuit supervisions will provide the mag- ic wand to solve the problems. No, the bikes will only provide a 'joy' ride for the officers.

A year ago, I had a workshop on reading skills for all the head teachers of the Gomoa West District. After the workshop, they approached me and demanded that I should visit every school to train their teachers.

What I gathered from "this meeting was that our schools lack quality methods and if this tool, quality methodology -is made available, a large number of these schools will excel. Therefore, it's not motor bikes, absenteeism, and extension of the period that are needed.

One remedy that can cure this canker is the adoption of a Reading Plan which will make out children to read in c lass 1.

How can we introduce a Reading Plan in our Schools first, we must have a quantity method- it blends spelling, pronunciation with reading as one item.

Then, we must have three programmes - KG 1, KG2, class 1. The children will be taught a certain number of topics involving 177 spelling symbols of vowel and consonant sounds. These spelling symbols are used to write all the English words.

In these programmes, they are taught in different topics with their related words. So, in the end, after learning all these 177 sounds and their related words the children will be able to read every English word.

In this process, individual pupils will learn what each programme provides, and progress at their own rate, and must show their knowledge of one unit of information before being allowed to move on to the next.

This means from KG- Class I, the children will be taught all the topics they need in order to read perfectly on their own. This is what we need as teachers for our schools.

A few months ago, some teachers known as the Concerned Teachers demonstrated against the government for chalk, registers, and notebooks.

In fact, I felt ashamed about this behavior. Teachers do not need registers, notebooks, chalk to make their children to read; what they need is quality methodologies. And so far as our children are becoming social liabilities and not performing well, we need re- orientation courses to update our skills to improve the performance of our children.

A reading plan will help pupils in remote areas and villages to enjoy the same form of programmed learning and therefore not feel being neglected. With these academic improvements in class I, using the R.P more students will pass their BECE with excellent grade. This can reduce the aggregate from 40 to 15; therefore. More knowledgeable students who can use 3years would be offered admission in SHS.

I am passionate about public school children reading, thus, appealing to the Ministry of Education, GES, and the Presidency, as a matter of urgency to introduce the reading plan in our public schools to save our innocent children from the poor reading disease that has engulfed the sector.

If I am called on 0275835394 by the GES, colleges of education, the District Directors (GES) or DCEs, I will provide the Reading Methodology which blends spelling, pronunciation and Reading as one item. Another Remedial method to help poor readers, is the New Scrabble that helps children to spell .accurately and pronounce words perfectly.

Source: Ghanaian Times


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