Mrs Barbara Asher Ayisi, Deputy Minister of Education, has called on parents to instil the culture of reading in their children at a tender age to enable them form excellent study patterns as they grow.

This, she said, was the safest guarantee for their children to become self-dependent and responsible students in future.

“Parents and teachers should collaborate effectively to spark the culture of reading, writing and ultimately learning habits in children at infancy as that would build their interest in books as they grow.”

Mrs Ayisi said this on Wednesday, when she toured some public basic schools in the Cape Coast Metropolis to welcome some newly enrolled pupils as part of the “My First Day at school” celebration.

The event, observed annually, was instituted to allay the fears of newly enrolled children by making their first day at school enjoyable for them to be retained in school.

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The Minister donated 5,000 customized exercise books and quantities of confectionery to the pupils.

Schools visited included Efutu-Kokwado M/A Basic School, Saint Lawrence Catholic basic school (A and B) at Abura, Abura T.I Ahmadiyya Basic School ‘A’, Besakrom M/A Basic School, Pedu Basic School and Ekon M/A Primary School.

At Besakrom M/A basic school, she donated 30 school uniforms to the 67 students in the newly inaugurated school and promised to support them with the necessary teaching and learning aids to boost academic work.

Mariam Larbi, a 13-year old class five pupil, who was in the school for the first time, thanked the Minister for the honour done them and appealed to her to supply the school with furniture, drinking water and a place of convenience.

At Saint Lawrence Catholic School Basic ‘A’ School at Abura, Mrs Ayisi interacted with the over 40 children as they sang songs and recited poems.

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Madame Eugenia Ampah, Headteacher of the school, thanked the Minister for supporting the school and helping to boost the morale of the children with her warm visit.

In all the schools attended, many of the children who had come to school were accompanied by their parents who took keen interest in the activities marking “My First Day at school”.

Speaking to the media after the tour, the Mrs Ayisi reiterated Government’s commitment to invest heavily in the youth of the country with the provision of free quality education to all eligible Ghanaians to support national development.

She urged students to take full advantage of the free education policy to study well to help reduce poverty and create wealth and prosperity for all.

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Touching on the falling standards of education in the Cape Coast Metropolis, she called for the support and collaboration of all stakeholders in education to help arrest the situation.

“I am saddened by the falling standard of education in Cape Coast and as Government we are leaving no stone un-turned to reverse the trend but I wish to call on all, particularly chiefs and parents to support us”.

She said even though there had been sustained efforts by various governments to improve existing facilities and infrastructure in schools more is needed to be done.

Mrs Ayisi was accompanied by Mr Ernest Arthur, Cape Coat Municipal Chief Executive (MCE), Mr Stephen Amoah, Municipal Director of Education, Mrs Vida Amoah Mintah, Regional Chief Inspector of Schools and Mr Alexander Smart Tawia, Regional Education Public Relations Officer (PRO).

Source: GNA/NewsGhana.com.gh

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