While Ghana’s literacy statistics boast anywhere from 74% to 82% literacy nationwide (a remarkable discrepancy from the official stat–66.6%, or exactly two thirds English fluency), our experience in Ghana taught us that for many people, literacy is a basic understanding of English grammar, a functional proficiency in oral communication, and a primary ability to read and write. It also does not include any formal linguistic instruction in the local languages, except in elective classes at the senior high school level–a level unreachable to the majority of Ghanaian students due to high cost (roughly GHC 5600 or US$1866 for a full 3-year education) and location (many students are forced to board in the village or town of their high school).
And even if Ghanaian students are able to overcome the financial and geographical obstacles to their secondary education, they often find themselves in classrooms without books. Under-resourced schools abound in Ghana, locked in a cycle of impotence, inflation, and poverty wherein neither families nor schools can afford to provide students with the necessary books and materials, so students receive a substandard education, ensuring their own future poverty in an already oversaturated job market.
So what can we do?
Untold International is working to provide books to senior high schools and libraries in need throughout Ghana for the following programs:
It is our firm belief that a student of literature must be exposed to the literature s/he is studying in order to gain the full impact of it. In keeping with our mission, we are focused on these two programs because we believe exposure to literature and creative thinking inspires both imagination and innovation.
Why senior high schools?
While many primary, junior high, and basic (both primary and JHS) schools receive some government assistance, senior high schools (even those sponsored by the government) do not. Although several executive administrations have promised free senior high school, students and their families continue to shell out thousands of Ghana cedis for secondary education, leaving them with no money for books, paper, or pencils.
How can you help?
As we encounter schools in need, we will post updates on our Facebook, Twitter, and other social media calling for either specific book donations or special money donations. While some of the English literature elective books may be available in the US, UK, or other native English-speaking countries, we are partnering with the Bureau of Ghana Languages in Accra to provide the local language elective texts, and for this we are asking for monetary donations.
Stay updated on social media and get involved through our ongoing GoFundMe campaign!