Reports on the administration of 2005 and 2007 National Education Assessment (NEA) tests in English and mathematics for primary three and six pupils provided evidence of the poor performance of public primary school pupils with regard to literacy and numeracy skills.

Mrs Esther Happy Edjeani, Director at Basic Education Division of the GES, who disclosed this, said in 2005, while only 16 per cent of primary three public school
pupils achieved grade-level proficiency skills in English language, only 23.6 per cent of primary six pupils were able to achieve the grade level skills in the English language.

Mrs Edjeani was addressing District Directors of Education inthe Ashanti Region at a day’s briefing on the National Literacy Acceleration Programme (NALAP) in Kumasi last Friday.

NALAP is a literacy-initiative by the Ministry of Education,
Science and Sports and the GES which focuses on reading
comprehension aims at providing the much needed quality instruction to bring about improved learning outcomes.

The programme is being funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).

Mrs Edjeani explained that to facilitate the design and development of the processes for the literacy initiative, the GES has put in place a National Literacy Task Force to provide strategic oversight and policy direction for the design and implementation of the national literacy instruction approach.

In 2007, she said, the GES developed a proposal which identified
Ghanaian language materials under the Assistance for Teacher Education Programme (ASTEP) to serve as the base for the development of the national literacy instruction approach.

Mrs Edjeani said the major objective of NALAP was to equip
the majority of children learning the basic education system with the skills of literacy to improve their learning abilities and serve as a springboard for further academic pursuit.

Mr Joseph Kwabena Onyinah, the Ashanti Regional Director of Education, who presided, noted that the introduction of this new approach was a major contribution to the implementation of the current official language policy of the country.

He was optimistic that after the programme, pupils in primary
three would be functionally literate and numerate and would have achieved reading fluency in their mother tongue and English language.

Mr Onyinah therefore implored the directors of education to
actively involve themselves in the programme and ensure that it achieved the desired objectives.

Source: GNA