Accra,- The United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) has urged Ghana to adopt innovative models to improve literacy among children at the primary level.

Mr Abdourahamane Diallo, UNESCO Country Representative in Ghana, said that had become necessary because, many children were completing school without reaching the requisite level of reading and critical thinking skills.

“Sustainability and inclusivity are at the heart of the global 2030 agenda.

“It is unfortunate to read that many children are being left behind in our pursuit to achieve the SDGs, especially the Goal 4 on education,” he said at a ceremony to officially present the 2021 UNESCO-Japan Prize on Education for Sustainable Development to the World Vision Ghana in Accra on Tuesday.

The Prize, funded by the Government of Japan, recognises the role of education in connecting the social, economic, cultural and environmental dimensions of sustainable development.

The World Vision Ghana is one of three laureates for the 2021 edition.

The other winners are: the Media Development Centre of the Birzeit University (Palestine), and the Kusi Kawsay School (Peru).

Each of the awardees will receive an award of US$50,000.

Mr Diallo said World Vision Ghana was selected for its “Unlock Literacy Project (UL)” in Ghana, which promoted a holistic approach to the development of literacy focusing on critical thinking, a core competency for sustainability.

He said apart from its contribution to the reading skills and critical thinking, the Unlock Literacy Project had an important attribute of being an evidence-based literacy project.

He said the project was purposefully designed to showcase what worked and what did not work so far as the promotion of reading and critical thinking was concerned.

“We are inviting the Government of Ghana and other stakeholders to join hands in scaling up innovative models such as the UL and many others that have been piloted by NGOs and development partners to solve some of the challenges the country is facing,” Mr Diallo said.

Madam Akua Mensah, Acting National Director, World Vision Ghana, said the Unlock Literacy Project aimed at empowering children at the primary level to think critically about local issues and take actions, as well as to make reading exciting through multi-lingual education.

She said since its implementation in 2016, the project had reached 192 school communities and about 24,000 boys and girls.

“World Vision Ghana has invested close to $9.5m in the past five years in the Unlock Literacy reading intervention in ten districts across Ghana,” she said.

In a speech read on his behalf, Dr Yaw Osei Adutwum, Minister of Education, commended World Vision Ghana for achieving the milestone and “raising the flag of Ghana high.”

He said the Government, through the Ghana Education Strategic Plan (2018-2023), was working to bridge literacy gaps and improve learning achievement of basic school pupils.

Dr Adutwum said reports generated from the recent National Standardised Test for Primary 4 pupils would help to identify the challenges facing the education system in some core subjects.

“This will also facilitate the development of implementation of a comprehensive standard-based basic school curriculum to improve learning achievement in basic and foundational skills areas,” he said.

Source: Ghana News Agency

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