As part of the celebration of World Literacy Day on Friday, 8th September 2023, staff of Standard Chartered Bank Ghana PLC spent time with children in the Kanda Cluster of Schools. It was a time for reading with them, listening to them read, and sharing inspiring stories with the children about their own reading journeys.
Under the theme, “Promoting literacy for a world in transition: Building the foundation for sustainable and peaceful societies,” Standard Chartered employee volunteers got first-hand feel of the impact that corporate involvement in community development can have on young minds.
According to the Ghana Statistical Service, about eight million Ghanaians are illiterate, whereas UNICEF reports that only 7% of Ghanaian children in Class 3 have the expected reading skills for that level.
To combat this, Standard Chartered launched its Reading Club Project in February 2023. The project aimed to engage over 400 young learners from four schools within the Kanda East Municipality, including Kanda Estate 3 & 5 Basic School, Kanda AMA Basic, Ring Road Basic School, and Islamic Training School. It is part of the bank’s commitment to community engagement programmes, focusing on enhancing reading skills and fostering reading habits among young learners.
Standard Chartered’s support for literacy in Ghana ignited a transformational journey that will reap benefits for communities in the medium and long-term future. In a world where knowledge is power, this initiative has been nurturing young minds, one book at a time.
The project is not just about distributing books. Taking a holistic approach, it seeks to improve the overall quality of education. Teachers’ capacities are enhanced, and young learners’ literacy levels are assessed regularly. Beyond the classroom, there are periodic literacy engagements with employees from Standard Chartered, community volunteers, and class teachers. These interactions foster a love for reading, aiming at transforming learning into an exciting adventure.
To ensure that the engagements were effective, the participating schools received literacy materials consisting of age-appropriate books, literacy board games, jigsaw puzzles, flashcards, and chess games. These tools will not only enrich the learning experience but also ignite the students’ creativity and critical thinking.
The Bank partnered with United Way Ghana, a non-profit organisation dedicated to improving education, health, and economic opportunities for all. The Ghana Library Authority, the Ghana Education Service, and Kanda East Municipal Assembly also lent their support, creating a network of resources and expertise, reinforcing the project’s impact.
The ultimate goal of the Standard Chartered Reading Club Project is to have at least 80% of young learners reading books at their class level and comprehending what they read. This would represent a huge leap from the present statistics of around 36% of students who understand what they read or have read to them.
The Standard Chartered Reading Club Project was established to be a beacon of hope, reminding us all of the power of education and literacy to change destinies and communities. This initiative enriches the lives of young learners, leaving an indelible mark on their paths toward a better, more literate future.
Literacy is the gateway to knowledge and empowerment. Standard Chartered Bank Ghana PLC, along with its partners, has taken commendable steps to empower young minds, individually and collectively.