USAID Early Grade Reading Program Receives 100,000 Evolution Pencils From BIC International In Support of Pupils


The USAID Partnership for Education: Learning Activity, in collaboration the Ghana Education Service (GES) has received a 100,000 –pencil donation from BIC International in support of an Early Grade Reading Programme being implemented in 100 districts across all 10 regions in Ghana.

One key intervention of the programme is to increase the availability of quality materials to improve teaching and learning in over 7, 200 schools.

According to Nana Osei Akumia, Communications & Publications Specialist, available data show that in many of these schools, pupils do not have pencils, thus hindering their ability to fully participate in the reading programme.

“In view of this need, BIC International, when approached by Learning, agreed to provide 100,000 pencils for the pupils. The donation by BIC International is to support the fight to address the current low reading scores of children in the early grades, and also to ensure that all Ghanaian children have the opportunity to become lifelong readers” he said.

“Indeed, corporate organisations in Ghana like BIC International, have the potential to play a key role in helping to mobilize human and financial resources to schools, districts, and communities to develop and encourage a culture of reading across the nation” he added.

Dr. Guitele Nicoleau, Chief of Party of USAID Partnership for Education: Learning said the programme is targeting children and it is a good concept to help them to read and write. She said the reading materials are all produced by Ghanaians.

She called for more partners to support the children and was pleased with BIC International for coming onboard.

Fred Birikorang who represented the Ghana Education Service (GES) on behalf of the Director General thanked BIC International and appealed to them to support other educational programmes.

George Nkonsah, Country Business Development Manager for Ghana, Togo, Benin and Liberia expressed that BIC has been in Ghana for over 40 years and they are still the number one ball pen company in Ghana with over 60 million pens sold annually in the country.

He noted that the patronage of BIC products extend to other categories including their shaving range.

“For these reasons, we need to give back to our community, while we are not expert in development work, we would like to support an existing programme in the sector we operate. We have been impressed by the ambitious project of USAID Partnership for Education; Learning’s objective to make 1.1 million children to read at 100k ghc”he said.

According to Mr. Nkonsah, the BIC Evolution is an environmentally friendly product made from recycled material, with a cover that is non-chewable, cannot break easily, lasts longer and cannot harm children.

The USAID Partnership for Education: Learning is part of an intergral project designed to support the Ministry of Education (MoE) and the Ghana Education Service (GES) to improve reading performance in public schools in Ghana.

Learning’s Reading Programme seeks to improve learning outcomes for an estimated 1.1 million pupils in KG2, P1 and P2 through a systematic phonics-based approach to reading.

The early grade reading programme includes the development of teaching and learning materials in all 11 GES- approved Ghanaian Languages, and In Service training and coaching for approximately 30,000 teachers,Head Teachers and Curriculum Leads in the phonics-based approach to reading.

Circuit Supervisers are also trained with fidelity, and the data used to make improvements to the programme. The Learning activity is being implemented in 7,276 primary schools in 100 districts spread across all the 10 regions in Ghana.

Present at the event was Kwame Essah, Public – Private Partership Manager of the Learning programme.

Story by Sammy Heywood Okine

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