Executive Director of Institute for Educational Studies (IFEST), Peter Anti, has called on relevant stakeholders to help ensure students improve their level of literacy in the country.
According to him, COVID-19 has impacted literacy skills of students and it is incumbent on teachers and parents to help students get back to their books. Mr Anti explained literacy among students is crucial to the survival of the educational sector.
“Stakeholders in the system should find ways and means to ensure that students are improving their level of literacy. So, we need to be very strategic about this because it is the foundation of our education sector.
“The ability of the students to read, understand and write is very key to the success of any educational system. And if we are not careful, those who are coming back into the school system, after this long COVID break, we will not be able to help them recover in terms of their level of literacy”.Mr Peter Anti
Strategies to improve literacy rate
Touching on the specific measures to help ensure an improved literacy rate in the country, Mr Anti opined that some policy measures from the Ministry of Education will help in attaining an improved literacy rate.
Additionally, Mr Anti suggested that parents should also encourage their wards to read more in a bid to improve themselves.
“So, coming back from COVID, it means that we needed to put in place specific measures to ensure that the literacy level of our students [improvees]. I was glad yesterday to hear that the Ministry of Education has launched a policy that seeks to ensure that the level of literacy among the pupils in the education sector is improved the next… three to four years.
“I think we also have to try and look at it from different angles and various contributions from other people. Parent would have to play a specific role to ensure that the level of literacy of their ward is improved. Teachers would now have to try as much as possible to include various ways of ensuring that students also improve on their literacy level”.Mr Peter Anti
Literacy rate in the country
Justifying his stance, Mr Anti revealed various research works suggests that anytime there are school closures, students return with “30% loss in literacy and 50% loss in numeracy”.
The Executive Director for IFEST further underscored the need to ensure an improvement in the overall literacy rate of the populace and not just children.
“Now, in our part of the world, I mean sub-Saharan Africa, normally students return with 40 to 50% loss in literacy and 50 t0 60% loss in numeracy. It means that when you close schools, the likelihood that students will not have the kind of literacy skills that they would normally get is high. And this is established empirically.
“If you study the data, even Ghana [to be] specific, you realize that the adult literacy rate is about 78%. That is an improvement from 2010. So, you’ll see that even at the national level we are increasing at a decreasing rate. It means that we are not doing so much well in terms of improving the total adult literacy rate in the country. All these [boils] down to the nature of policies that we will put in place to ensure that we improve the level of literacy in the country…”Mr Peter Anti
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