In 2013, an Early Grade Reading Assessment (EGRA) was done here in Ghana. Eight thousand (8,000) second grade students from all over the country were assessed. Both English reading skills and the local language reading skills were tested. (English is the national language.) The results were unbelievable! Overall, not one student could read a primary two level story, 50% could not read a single word of the story, 44% were struggling readers - reading less than 10 words a minute, 4% were able to read with SOME understanding, only 2% could read fluently and understand what they read.
Literacy in the local language scored even lower. 86% of the Dagaare speaking students could not read a single word of Dagaare. 10% were struggling readers. 4% were able to read with some understanding. No one could read Dagaare fluently and understand what they read.
So, as an elementary education teacher, one who has taught reading in the past, the very distant past, I have started to go to the Kindergarten class last week. (There are six more weeks of school this year.) I wanted to evaluate what the children knew. So, I started with letter recognition. The highest score was 10 (ten) out of 26, the lowest was 0 (zero) out of 26. Both of these students were in the KG 2 class...they have completed almost two years of school! (You must keep in mind, most of the parents are illiterate.)
For the remainder of this school year, I will work with the Kindergarten students. In September, when the new school year starts, I will work with the lower grades and start reading clubs for the upper grades. And, I will watch and listen to see what God has in store for me! (I will still be taking care of the Kalsagri church, I am not leaving that!)