The First Lady, Mrs Rebecca Akufo-Addo, has inaugurated a 30-seater library and Information and Communications Technology (ICT) centre at Moree in the Abura-Asebu-Kwamankese District in the Central Region, with a call on the nation to reignite the reading culture.
The library was constructed by the Rebecca Foundation, under the “Learning to read, Reading to learn” project which aims at building libraries in school clusters to encourage the reading habit among children between the ages of six and 15.
Mrs Akufo-Addo said three other libraries had been built by the foundation in the Upper West, Bono and Western North regions, adding that others would be built in the Oti and the Ashanti regions soon, noting that it was essential that the youth read to equip themselves with knowledge for the future.
She said the importance of reading as a necessary habit towards acquiring knowledge in the nation’s development efforts could not be overemphasised.
“Having the skills to read, write and communicate effectively is vital for social and economic development. It allows individuals to expand their knowledge and understanding of society. It is also essential for social and human development. The ability to read and write well provides individuals with skills and empowers them to transform their lives,” she said.
She observed further that reading and understanding text, contextualising text and being able to apply same to life were necessary for development.
Reading a struggle
However, she said, studies showed that many children at the lower primary level in sub-Saharan Africa struggled to read and understand, saying in a globally competitive world, lifelong learning had become the only way to grow intellectually and build a wealth of knowledge.
She said anyone with limited reading skills was hindered, and that such persons were excluded from vast amounts of information that could change their lives and help them make profound decisions and conclusions in the fast-growing world.
Mrs Akufo-Addo said access to education had significantly improved due to the free SHS policy, adding that it was essential to help the young develop the reading culture to improve learning outcomes.
Ghana Library Authority
The Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Library Authority, Mr Hayford Siaw, for his part, said the number of libraries had increased from 61 to 80 in the last three years, saying the number of books in the libraries had also increased.
The Central Regional Minister, Mr Kwamena Duncan, said the government was committed to ensuring that all children of school age, particularly those in the rural areas and the underprivileged, had access to education without limitations.
The Member of Parliament for Abura-Asebu-Kwamankese, Mr Elvis Morrris Donkoh, appealed for support to help equip a hospital ward project at Moree.
Earlier, Mrs Akufo-Addo had presented items, including personal protective equipment (PPE) and some hospital essentials, to the Saltpond Government Hospital.
She said her foundation was committed to ensuring access to quality health care, particularly for women and children.
No active COVID-19 case
The Mfantseman Municipal Chief Executive, Mr Kenneth Kelly Essuman, said the municipality recorded 114 cases of COVID-19, with seven deaths, adding that the remaining 107 had all recovered, with no new cases.