Read to Inspire & My First Day at School Programme
One of the most nerve-wracking moments in every learner’s life is their first day at school. To complement the efforts made by school leaders to facilitate children’s entry into the education system, the Ministry of Education and the Ghana Education Service (GES) have collaborated to establish a programme dubbed “My First Day at School”, an annual event to welcome Kindergarten and Primary One pupils at the beginning of each academic year. The occasion provides an opportunity for politicians and officials of the GES to visit public sector schools across the country to interact with the new entrants, distribute educational materials and fete them in a relaxed atmosphere to help sustain their interest in school.
As part of efforts by the Newmont Women & Allies (W&A) to give back to communities around the Newmont Ahafo mine, they have adopted this programme and added a reading component to it. The outreach programme is dubbed “Read-to-Inspire & My First Day at School’’ and this year, they extended an invitation to the school to join them in this worthy cause. The visit sought to interact and welcome fresh pupils entering the Gyedu Basic school, present stationery (such as pens, pencils, erasers, crayons, exercise books, story books, old reading books etc) and share their own experiences with them. Over the past years, the group has provided stationery for children from surrounding communities and mentored them. Reading is so fun and the more children enjoy reading, the more they will read and stay in school.
On a wet Wednesday morning of 11th September 2019, our Gye Nyame and Nyansapo classes met up with the Newmont women at the Newmont Ahafo Mine from where we made our way to the Gyedu Basic school. The children were chaperoned by two teachers, Ms. Tracy Elizabeth Ritchie and Mr. Alan Macdonald. Once the protocols had been broken between the Newmont Women and Allies, school leaders and a high-profile team from the Asutifi North District of the Ghana Education Service Office, the day began in earnest.
Our first stop was the Kindergarten class where we welcomed new entrants by singing rhymes and distributing snacks and stationery. Thereafter, we proceeded to the Primary classes where ISA children were paired with Newmont Women & Allies to read to the children. At the Junior High School levels, there were mentoring sessions in addition to reading. Newmont staff took turns to impress on girls in particular to focus on their studies and to shun all forms of social vices.
It was such a fun, fulfilling and impacting day and it was also great to see ISA students putting their experience from our community service projects to good use. In all, it was a day well spent and the energy and the effort that went into making this first day back at school special for children was really heart-warming. We are very grateful that our students were a part of it and we look forward to further collaborations in future.