Baba Yara Stadium is now ready for CAN 2008.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Inculcate reading habit in children

Newly appointed Kumasi Metropolitan Director of Education, Mrs Gladys Amaning says her vision was to promote reading skills at the basic level of education in Kumasi.
In an interview with the Daily Graphic Mrs Amaning said improving reading at the primary level was very instrumental in enabling pupils to have a grasp over the English language.
“I believe if we are able to inculcate reading in the children at their preliminary stages, then we stand the chance of making them excel in all fields of their endeavour”.
Mrs Amaning spoke to the Daily Graphic on her vision as a new Kumasi Metropolitan Director of Education. She assumed office in June 2008.
There have been calls for intensified supervisory activities in schools, so as to eliminate all impediments that contribute to falling standards.
A new methodology for the teaching and learning of the English language has been launched by the International English Language Teaching Commission. The commission seeks to replace the present methodology which it considers cumbersome and full of technicalities.

The falling standards in the English language and education in general have been attributed to the inability of students to express themselves in simple English and understand examination questions posed.
Mrs Amaning said teachers’ inability to instruct properly in the language makes the situation even more alarming.
“For a start, we are beginning cluster based training for all teachers in September and I know for sure that in a year’s time we would start seeing results”, she said.

Mrs Amaning who started her teaching career in 1976 after completing a Diploma in Home Economics at the Specialist Training College in Winneba, now University of Education Winneba (UEW) said it had always been her conviction to help improve upon reading skills of students thus leading to an improved spoken and written English language.
She said science students for instance hold the conviction that they needed to be excused a bit when it came to English language.
This is a wrong perception since all students need to be able to express themselves in simple English and understand examination questions posed, she said.
Mrs Amaning’s first posting in her teaching career started at the Bagabaga Training College in Tamale where she spent a year and later moved to the Ashanti region.
She thought as a home economics tutor at the Atwimaman Secondary School (now Afua Kobi Senior High) from 1977 to 1980 and at the Technology Sec School from 1980 to 1992.
She was promoted to the position of an Assistant Director in Ghana Education Service (GES) and posted to the Ashanti regional office as a Home Economics Organiser where she served from 1992 to 1994.
She went back to school to obtain a Bachelor in Home Economics in 1997 and returned to the Ashanti regional education inspectorate division where she claimed she realised a falling standard of education at the basic school level.
“I saw there was a great challenge at the basic school level. Supervision was very low and it was as if no one cared about the falling standards”, she said.
She said she told the then Ashanti Regional Director of Education that she wanted to be posted to the basic level to go and help.
“At that point many people did not understand why I wanted to move from the regional office to the basic level but I embraced myself and was posted to the State Experimental School”.
“My vision was to find out the reason for the falling standards and I saw it was because of poor supervision. The students could not read so I decided to create a library on campus and asked each student to buy a story book “.
It wasn’t easy at that time I faced a lot of opposition and there was even an article in The Pioneer newspaper with allegations that I was squandering monies at the State Experimental School so I was invited by the BNI.
Mrs Amaning said she managed to move on with her vision and within one term, a student had read about 100 story books. “The children became interested in reading and within the eight years that I spent at State Experimental, standards improved tremendously at the school”, she said
She continued her education at the University of Cape Coast (UCC) where she pursued a Masters in Education Administration and completed in 2006. She was then posted to the Sekyere West in Ashanti as a District Director of Education, becoming the first basic school head to rise directly to the position of a Director.
She continued her campaign of promoting reading there and went to London to learn about methodologies in teaching English language at the basic level.
From there she came back to Mampong, formed a team of teachers to start teaching kindergarten pupils on how to read based on the experiences she had in London.
“I was shocked to see how the KG pupils were attacking words when we introduced the methodology to them”.
It was whiles serving at Mampong that she was transferred to Kumasi as Metro Director. Mrs Amaning, 56, is a native of New Tafo in the Eastern region and is married with six children.

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