Literacy as the word suggests means ability to read and write but that is not the case for some children in Ghana. A child at fourteen years old not able to read or write a simple sentence should be a cause of concern to the society. J Initiative works to encourage these late readers to be confident and catch up with their friends through the reading recovery approach while creating an enabling environment for those already reading to be encourage to read but with understanding.
Ghana is The National Education Assessment and the Early Grade Assessment conducted in 2013 has shown that the performance of more than forty percent children in reading at the early grade level in Ghanaian schools is below the minimum proficiency level. While current research has amply demonstrated that children learn to read better in later years when the foundation to reading is effective at the early grade level. JI wishes to support the Ministry of Education to address the shortfall in reading proficiency, to establish the concepts of reading among school children to be easier and quicker in both mother tongue and English. In effect, the skills of reading acquired by children during the period would improve their learning abilities and serve as a springboard for further academic pursuit.
J Initiative’s approach to literacy broadens the conceptualization of the literacy framework but this is not to say we are ignoring the earlier literacy concepts. We appreciate the fact that literacy involves a continuum of learning in all the factors one could think about that will enable individuals to achieve their goals, develop their knowledge and potential, and to participate fully in their community and wider society. We try our best to make our literacy programme reflect Emergent literacy. Emergent Literacy is that approach which helps children develop a growing understanding of print and language as a foundation for reading and writing. Through play and hands-on experience children see and interact with print as they build an awareness of its functions and conventions.
In the 21st century, Literacy is all about helping children to communicate with others and to make sense of the world. It includes oral and written language and other sign systems such as mathematics, art, sound, pictures, Braille, sign language and music. Literacy also acknowledges the nature of information communication technology, and many other forms of representation relevant to children including screen based (electronic games, computers, the internet, television).
Early childhood is the first and the most critical period in a person’s life. The Global Education Report (EFA Report, 2007) confirms that children’s success in life begins in early childhood years, and investment in literacy at the Early Childhood Care Development (ECCD) has a direct and positive impact on primary school quality and learning outcomes at the end of Junior High School. There are numerous parameters relating to quality standards, supervision and regulation in early childhood education. Foundation in reading is one of the most critical requirements for pupils’ academic achievement in later years.