You’re Making a Difference Here
Ghana was, until very recently, one of the poorest countries in the world. Over the past few years, the nation has experienced unprecedented growth and development (IFAD report; African Development Bank). Although the lives of Ghanaians have improved greatly, the country still faces many challenges, especially in the education sector.
In Ghana, 18% of primary-school-age children are not enrolled in school and of those who are in school, 28% will drop out before completing primary school (UNESCO, 2012). Additionally, over 28% of the Ghanaian population is illiterate and out of all the current primary school classrooms, the government estimates that almost a quarter need repairs (World Bank, 2014; USAID, 2009).
PoP works with 121 communities in Ghana to ensure that students overcome these and other barriers to accessing a quality education. To date, PoP has impacted over 273,500 lives in Ghana.
The Volta Region is located in southeastern Ghana, to the west of the Republic of Togo and just east of Lake Volta. In many of our partner communities in the region, PoP couples school builds with literacy programming in order to create sustainable change.
To date, we’ve built 124 schools in the Volta Region and have also provided our teacher training and educational programming to many PoP schools in the region.
Before Literacy Programming
The Obemla community is located in the Volta Region of Ghana. The William D. Rhodes Foundation’s generous support enabled PoP to build a new, 3-classroom school in the community in 2014. In addition to the new school, the Foundation is providing Obemla’s students with access to quality literacy programming. Before PoP distributed the e-readers, Obemla’s classrooms had few, if any, books. The William D. Rhodes Foundation is transforming the learning experience for Obemla’s students, providing them with easy, transportable access to more books than they’ve ever been able to read before. Since every student has a personal e-reader, students take the devices home to practice the literacy skills they’re learning at school.
Your Impact with Teacher Support
The William D. Rhodes Foundation began providing students at Obemla D.A. School with personal e-readers that come pre-loaded with over 150 books in English and the local language, in 2016. The e-readers complement the Teacher Support program in which teachers receive support and training to ensure that they’re incorporating the e-readers into literacy lessons in the most effective way possible. Access to e-books is a crucial step for Obemla’s students on the path toward literacy and PoP has already seen positive impacts on student attitudes toward reading and literacy rates. For instance, in qualitative assessments of Ghanaian students who received e-readers in the 2015 school year, 99% reported reading after school. This number is more than double that of Ghanaian students who reported reading after school before they received e-readers. The William D. Rhodes Foundation is making literacy gains like this possible for students in the Obemla community.
Community Members Spotlight
John – Head Teacher, 3 years
What does education mean to you? Why is it important?
Education means a lot. It is important to have education in order to fill in the gap between the society and the government and also to help individuals achieve their goals. Most important is to be equipped with the knowledge that you have acquired at school and knowing how to apply it to help yourself and other people do good things.
Do you think the e-reader program is positively impacting your students reading and learning abilities?
Yes, the e-readers have helped the students a lot. We may not have 100% of them reading regularly, but it has definitely improved significantly since the e-reader program started. Having children reading on their devices outside of the classroom has really encouraged others in the community to want to learn to read. Students have chosen to enroll in school since they heard about the e-readers in the classroom.
How is the TS program helping your teachers?
The TS program has really woken up our teachers to keep abreast with the new methodologies and it encourages them to do more. Sometimes with this work, you get tired of doing the same every day, but with the support, they are learning to try new, exciting things in their classroom which has really made them enjoy their jobs more. With the frequent visits from the TS staff, teachers are really encouraged to do their best.