An opportunity to read
Rosemary has always loved books. It’s this love that has led her to her role in her school library alongside teaching, and it’s what she believes is the key to a bright future.
My name is Rosemary. I’m 32 years old and I’m married with two children, the firstborn is 10 and the second is five years old.
I started my basic education in Mutsensa Primary School in Ghana, I went to secondary school and after completing there, I passed my exams well and applied for a Diploma at Offinso College of Education. I did a 4-year program there.
Then after completing that, I proceeded again to do my degree course at the University of Winneba. So now I am a student there, and we do classes during weekends – Saturday and Sunday.
I’m someone who likes reading. When I was in primary school, I was the library prefect and that is when I got an interest in being the library madam in this school, which is what I do now alongside my teaching here. They posted me to this school in 2012, so I’ve been here for roughly nine years.
My favourite book is “Rabbit and Tortoise”. I just like it because of the moral lesson. That is why I developed an interest in that book. I’ve read so many books in the library, but that is my favourite book.
When I started my basic education, especially in primary school, there was a lack of learning materials. We didn’t have structures, we didn’t have books. There were a few library books that were available, but perhaps not even 20 in total. We had a trunk that we used to put them inside. So we didn’t get access to books really, especially at that young age.
But once I got to secondary school, there were some books that were there and we were using them.
If I were not to have had the opportunity to read, my life could have been different.
I gain something out of teaching, and I teach my younger ones to become better people in future. So, I live as a role model for them. I do this in the hope that one day, they can become a teacher… not only a teacher alone, other professions are there too – nurses and the rest. I want them to feel inspired.
With the help of AfriKids and Book Aid International, we are able to improve the quality of education we have in Ghana.
If these organisations continue to help us, it would help to improve the performance of pupils in our schools and it will help to improve education and help students be better people in the future.
We are given storybooks to stock our libraries for use. Even when it was lockdown, we did community-based extra classes for children. And then there is the mobile library, we sometimes have it come here for the children to get access to the books and read.
When we were in lockdown we were in our homes, but we were called for training and they advised us that we should try and go from one house to another to educate children while they are still at home. Not necessarily children from our school alone, but other children just from our neighbourhood, we gathered them together to teach them so many things. We used the library books to teach them.
There has been training outside of lockdown from Book Aid International too. We were taken through how to run a school library, shown how we should try to clean the library, make the place very attractive for the children to get access to the books, and then how we should also stamp the books, give numbers to the books and arrange them -sort them according to the reading level of the children.
We have fiction and non-fiction books in the library. So when children get inside, they know the column to go to and look for the level of the books they will be able to read.
From Book Aid International we were given 200 books for each school, and there are 20 schools in our community. The children are always happy to read the books, especially books that contain pictures. They always marvel at those kinds of books! Teachers too come inside the library to sit and read to get information they can then take to their pupils in the classrooms.
They always marvel at those kinds of books!
We don’t have textbooks in the school for everyone for their lessons, so what we do is use the library books to teach our pupils.
To get quality education, I’m sure reading is the first thing that’s needed. If books are not there, I don’t think we would be able to get quality education.
People who are teachers, lawyers, nurses, whatever… they get there through books. So, if books are available and children can get access to books to read, then it will improve the quality of education in the world. Ghana too.
All images Ⓒ Natalia Jidovanu.
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