Achievers Ghana on 23rd April, 2020 launched its COVID-19 Response Initiative in the area of children’s education which is in line with SDG 4 entitled COVID-19 Home Literacy Project with the objective of helping to sensitise deprived communities in local language to ensure the residences are well informed on COVID-19 preventive measures and with the disruption of all activities including closure of schools, it is imperative children in these deprived communities are engaged while at home with innovative ways of bridging their knowledge.
Achievers Ghana is reaching 2,500 children in these deprived communities of Greater Accra region and specifically in Nima/Mamobi and its surrounding communities with home literacy and providing them with educational materials uniquely tailored towards educating children on COVID-19 prevention but also making sure they have ample materials to keep them engaged academically.
Lacking basic reading and writing skills is a tremendous disadvantage. Literacy not only enriches an individual’s life, but it creates opportunities for people to develop skills that will help them provide for themselves and their families.
Most governments around the world have temporarily closed educational institutions in an attempt to contain the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic. These nationwide closures are impacting over 90% of the world’s student population. Several other countries have implemented localized closures impacting millions of additional learners.
Ghana confirmed its first case of coronavirus on March 12 and has since reported a total of 1,550 infections and 11 deaths. In a bid to keep the rapidly spreading virus at bay, the government has announced a series of sweeping measures including banning mass gatherings and shutting down all borders and schools. But the coronavirus pandemic has revealed the stark regional, social and economic inequalities in Ghana’s educational system.
Closing schools indefinitely has long been the reality for many high school pupils in slum communities of Nima and Mamobi of Greater Accra region, where educational facilities operate with limited infrastructure compared to those in well planned communities. This has often manifested in basic schools’ inability to resume classes on time due to a shortage of teachers, delays in feeding grants and a lack of building facilities which, on occasions, have resulted in children having to stay out of schools.
Almost all pupils and students who are kept out of the classroom by the COVID-19 pandemic in the Nima and Mamobi communities do not have access to a household computer and have no internet at home, at a time when digitally based distance learning is used to ensure educational continuity. Even teachers in these slum communities do not have access to reliable information and communication technology (ICT) infrastructure and household connectivity thus the rapid transition to online learning has been very challenging.
“Children are the hidden victims of the COVID-19 pandemic. Lockdowns and school closures are affecting their education…” Henrietta H. Fore.
Recognizing that knowledge gap and need to help address the situation, Achievers Ghana on Thursday April, 23rd launched the Home Literacy project in Nima and Mamobi Slum Communities of greater Accra region, the project mainly aimed at providing young learners within the target area with grade appropriate learning materials in order to reduce the impact of the pandemic on their education. Contents of the learning materials is centred on the precautionary measures of the novel virus. Passionate team members of Achievers Ghana and volunteers will be engaged with children using a participatory and (edutainment) approach. The team and volunteers will visit about 100 households and engages with 2,500 children on weekly bases.