A fresh survey has revealed that about 98 per cent of pupils in basic schools of Ghana can neither read nor understand English or any Ghanaian language effectively.
According to the latest National Education Assessment report, only two per cent of the basic school pupils sampled in the nationwide survey are able to read fluently with understanding.
The survey carried out between July 9-11 2013, revealed that 44% of the 19,458 pupils could read without understanding what they read whiles only four per cent were able to read with some understanding.
The biennial survey was carried out in 550 public and private schools across the country in 170 districts.
The disturbing findings come on the heels of the West Africa Senior Secondary School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) results, which registered over 50 per cent failure in 2014.
The immediate past president of the Ghana Book Publishers Association, Eliot Agyare, in an interview with Accra-based Citi FM said the only way the menace can be nip in the bud is to “start a campaign that will emphasise on reading” besides the mainstream curriculum.
“Reading is a learned habit and a habit is something that lives with you. So if you don’t learn and develop the habit it won’t become a part of you,” Agyare stated. “One of the things we realised is that reading has not been developed as a habit for majority of our children.”
He added: “As long as children in the schools don’t have books that they will enjoy reading, we can’t assume that they will become readers at the end of the day. Once children don’t have books that they will enjoy reading you don’t expect them to read.
“It will be a fallacy to think that all teachers are adequately resourced to teach reading in the schools.”