he Ministry of Education, in partnership with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), has launched the End-line Impact Evaluation Report for the Early Grade Reading programme to deliver quality education to Ghanaian children.
The Report found that Ghana’s results under the Early Grade Reading programme are larger than those for any other comparable reading programme worldwide.
The event also saw the launch of the distribution and production of instructional materials for the Transition to English (T2E) activity, and Term One materials in the selected 230 schools in 19 districts across the country.
Also was the opening of the term two and three materials development workshop.
The implementation of the T2E programme started from October 2019 through to September 2020 to demonstrate proof of concept in transferring reading skills from local languages to English.
It builds on the Early Grade Reading programme by utilizing a systematic phonics-based activity with strong vocabulary, language comprehension, and writing aligned with links to the newly introduced curriculum.
These much-awaited materials seek to provide a rich reading environment in schools to ensure that learners have access to books, which are critical to develop their reading skills.
From January 20-24 this year, USAID and the Ghana Education Service (GES) sent over 88,000 newly validated English and Ghanaian languages materials to 230 schools in 17 districts across the country.
These include teacher guides, learner’s books, supplementary readers, and classroom materials as well as alphabet charts, expected to benefit more than 18,000 Basic One and Basic Three learners.
The items build upon nearly 3.1 million materials that were developed, printed, and distributed since the start of the 2017/2018 academic year.
The programme has also seen the training of 73 master trainers in the use of the T2E reading materials as well as 1,300 teachers, assistant head-teachers, curriculum leads, and circuit supervisors to deliver engaging and effective reading lessons to improve children’s reading abilities.
Dr Mathew Opoku Prempeh, the Minister of Education, expressed appreciation to all partners for the interest shown in improving the quality of education for pupils.
“This programme marks another landmark opportunity between the Government of Ghana and the United States as we launch these interventions to promote the quality of education in the country,” he said.
Dr Opoku Prempeh said the Ministry had a vision of making Ghana a learning nation and that early grade learning formed a strong pillar in achieving that goal, adding: “If we are able to achieve this Ghana would be on the pathway to becoming a learning nation”.
He said literacy and numeracy remained a strong foundation to learning and, therefore, commended the USAID for its support.
Ms Sharon L. Cromer, the USAID/GHANA Mission Director, commended government’s efforts in strengthening the systems and capacity to deliver quality education services to all children.
She said improving the literacy and numeracy skills of Ghana’s youngest citizens was foundational to achieving the President’s vision of Ghana Beyond Aid.
“I am proud of the tremendous success of this USAID/MOE partnership over the past six years in the area of Early Grade Reading. USAID supported the MOE and GES to significantly improve reading scores for kindergarten two, primaries one and two pupils.”
“The End-Line Impact Evaluation Report that we are officially disseminating today found that Ghana’s results under this reading programme are larger than those for any other comparable reading programme worldwide,” she stated.
She said the USAID was proud to have worked hand-in-hand with the Ministry’s National Council for Curriculum and Assessment to validate the materials.
Mrs Judith Akoto, the Monitoring and Evaluation Advisor, Education Office, USAID Ghana, said the Report showed an increase in average scores as the Early Grade Reading programme dramatically reduced zero scores across all subtests in the evaluation findings.
She, therefore, recommended that the MoE and GES reviewed and adopted elements of the Early Grade Reading programme’s fidelity of implementation and supply chain management tools.
The USAID’s Learning programme was implemented from December 2014 through September 2019 using local Ghanaian languages for instruction.
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During the 2017-2019 academic years, over 7,200 schools in 100 districts implemented the programme throughout 10 regions of Ghana.
More than 51,000 teachers, headteachers and curriculum lead received high-quality instructional materials and training in innovative reading instruction methodology, with 707,843 kindergarten two and primaries one and two pupils benefiting from the project.