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The United States and Ghana have launched a new programme to support and improve reading among Ghana’s primary school students.
The Ghana Learning Radio: Reading Program, developed by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Ministry of Education will provide distance learning instruction in English and the 11 official Ghanaian languages of instruction for Kindergarten two through fourth-grade students.
The programme is in response to the closure of over 25,000 primary schools nationwide due to the Covid-19 global pandemic.
U.S. Ambassador to Ghana Stephanie S. Sullivan and Ghana’s Minister of Education, Dr Matthew Opoku Prempeh, launched the learning programme.
The Ghana Education Service (GES), in collaboration with the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation (GBC), will start broadcasting the interactive and easy-to-follow reading lessons on June 15, 2020.
The lessons are adapted from USAID-supported instructional materials validated by the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment (NaCCA).
The broadcasts will also include health and safety behaviour-change messaging that focus on handwashing, social distancing, and child-protection as well as messages to parents and caregivers to encourage homework supervision, family health and hygiene, and the prevention of bullying, sexual assault, and early pregnancy.
“All GBC radio stations will broadcast one-hour reading instruction sessions from 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, with repeat broadcasts of the lessons on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays from 4:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m., a release issued by the Public Affairs Section of the U. S. Embassy said.
It reiterated the United States contribution to the fight against Covid-19 pandemic, illustrated by recent announcements of new foreign assistance that are made possible through the American people’s generosity and the U.S. Government’s action.
“The American people have given more than $11 billion that will benefit the global Covid-19 response and continue to ensure that the substantial U.S. funding and scientific efforts on this front remain a central and coordinated part of the worldwide effort against the disease,” it said.
In Ghana, it indicated that the United States has provided almost $17 million U.S. to address immediate impacts of Covid-19 by helping to strengthen health systems and to continue to improve reading outcomes.
“The United States is also addressing long-term impacts by helping to develop environments for economic growth and conflict mitigation,” it added.