Standard Chartered Bank Ghana collaborates with United Way to improve Childhood Literacy

Standard Chartered Bank Ghana Plc in partnership with United Way Ghana will engage 400+ young learners from four schools within the Kanda East Municipality in periodic literacy activities over a year.

This partnership forms part of the Bank’s community engagement interventions which seeks to provide young learners with opportunities to enhance their reading skills while developing their reading habits.

Standard Chartered Bank Ghana Plc and United Way Ghana share a commitment to contribute towards UN SDG 4 – Quality Education, by improving access to age-appropriate books for basic school children and ensuring that they have the right engagements with volunteer readers to improve their literacy skills.

Under this project, United Way Ghana with funding from Standard Chartered Bank Ghana PLC has enrolled Kanda AMA Basic, Kanda Estate 3& 5 Basic School, Ring Road Basic School and Islamic Training School into its Childhood Literacy Project for a year.

Activities outlined for the year will be centred on teachers’ capacity enhancement, assessments on young learners’ literacy levels, and periodic literacy engagements with employees from the Bank, volunteers from the community, and class teachers.

To ensure that all engagements are effective, the engaging schools have been provided with relevant literacy materials comprising 750 age – appropriate books, 8 literacy board games, 4 sets of jigsaw puzzle, 4 sets of Flash Cards, 8 sets of Chess Games, and A-4 sheets amongst others. Four (4) mini book shelves have also been donated to the school to store the books.

The over 400 young learners to be engaged will be enrolled into the Standard Chartered Reading Project which was launched on 16th February 2023 at the Kanda Cluster of Schools in Accra in partnership with United Way Ghana and support from Ghana Library Authority, Ghana Education Office and Kanda East Municipal Assembly.

The Reading Project is intended to take off with the establishment of reading clubs in the four (4) schools. Mr Felix Kissiedu – Addi, the Executive Director for United Way Ghana said “This Project forms part of United Way Ghana’s Improving Basic Education Project strategy which is ensuring that all children of school age are enrolled in school at the right age and have access to the required resources and engagements to promote lifelong learning.

Results from the pre-assessment conducted on the young learners indicate that 49.80% of the young learners were able to read lower primary books, while only a harrowing 36% understood what they read or was read to them. The key expected outcome from this project is to have at least 80% of the young learners able to read books at their class level and understand what they read by the end of 2023.”

The Reading Club Project will run for a period of 36 weeks, from February 20, 2023, to December 4, 2023.

In her address, Mrs. Angela Okai, Company Secretary, Standard Chartered Bank Ghana PLC said “Reading, as we all know, is essential to everything in life, from the basic to the most complicated tasks, and we cannot overemphasize its importance, particularly in the formative years.”

She added that the project is core to Standard Chartered’s community strategy of empowering young people to learn, earn and grow, and is aligned with the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

Mrs. Yaa Adu-Opare, Head of Administration Directorate at the Ghana Library Authority (GHLA) thanked United Way Ghana and Standard Chartered Bank Ghana PLC, as well as the various schools and parents for their contribution towards instilling reading habits in Ghanaian children. “I would like to take this opportunity to thank United Way Ghana, Standard Chartered Bank Ghana PLC for their support in making Ghana a reading nation.

She added “We are excited about the launch of this literacy project, and look forward to seeing the impact it will have on the lives of the children we engage with”.

The Municipal Education Director, Madam Adisa Tasa expressed her gratitude to Standard Chartered Bank Ghana PLC and its partner United Way Ghana for the kind gesture.

“Though the Kanda Cluster of Schools is in the centre of town, we are one of the needy schools in the area. Bringing the Reading Club Project to the four schools is the best thing that can ever happen to these young learners, I strongly believe that the outcomes from this Project will reflect in an improved academic performance from these young learners.”

Standard Chartered Bank Plc. is the oldest bank in Ghana. They are listed on the stock index of the Ghana Stock Exchange, the GSE All-Share Index and have been in operation since 1896.

United Way Ghana is a member of the United Way Worldwide Network the largest privately- funded non-profit in the world working variously in over 1800 communities and over 40 countries. United Way focuses on Education, Health and Economic Empowerment; the building blocks for ensuring a resilient community and creating social impact in the local communities.