A newspaper committed to highlighting issues in the educational sector has been launched in Accra.
The newspaper, “Educational Times” published quarterly, seeks to chronicle a wide range of opinions from stakeholders in the education sector, including policy makers and students to effect reforms in Ghana’s education.
It is an initiative of the Ghana Reads Initiative, a nonprofit literacy organisation, focused on education.
Speaking at the launching of the newspaper in Accra, Mr Charles Neequaye, Editor of the Educational Times, said the introduction of a newspaper that solely focused on issues of education was apt.
He said over the years, mainstream media, both private and public had failed to allot enough spaces to issues of education, leaving many challenges in the sector to remain in the dark.
“They prefer to publish issues on politics, politics, sports, entertainment, among others, thus relegating issues on education to the background, forgetting that education cuts across all the spectrums of society. It is this imbalance that the newspaper, Educational Times intends to correct by making sure that the sector is given adequate prominence in the media landscape,” he said.
Though it is currently a 16-page newspaper, Mr Neequaye said there was adequate room for expansion in subsequent editions in the future to ensure that all matters in the sector were covered.
He appealed to stakeholders in the education sector, including the Ministry of Education, the Ghana Education Service and students to contribute their quota to the newspaper by sending articles for publication.
Mrs Tina Aforo-Yeboah, Board Chair, Ghana Reads Initiative, said inculcating the culture of reading in the youth and children across the country, through creative literary programmes remained the objective of the organisation.
This commitment and dedication towards the objective stemmed from the integral role of reading in education in national development, added Mrs Aforo-Yeboah.
She said the introduction of the Educational Times, therefore, formed part of the NGO’s interest and commitments to promote quality education in Ghana, adding that “it is doing so based on ample and reliable information that has proven to be efficient in building strategies for developments in social, political and economic aspects of every country.”
She added that “the newspaper has a wide range of articles and things that would be of interest to everybody, to every generation as far as education is concerned.”
Mrs Aforo-Yeboah, a former Editor of The Spectator newspaper, assured potential readers and patrons that the paper would strive to fulfill its objectives, mission and vision in order to meet expectation.
Mr Albert Kwabena Dwumfour, the President of the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA), said the Educational Times was an impetus into the newspaper business because it would drive competition in the system as well as create jobs for the teeming Journalist
He noted that financial constraints, low sales and lack of adverts continued to taunt efforts of newspaper publishers saying, “all these challenges, I can say are some of the reasons why a lot of newspapers have folded up.”
“In this regard I want to appeal to Corporate Ghana and particularly government institutions to distribute the adverts across board devoid of discrimination in order to help strengthen our media houses,” he said.
Currently, there more than 100 newspapers in Ghana, while over 70 newspapers have collapsed within the past decade.
Mr Dwumfour assured publishers of the Educational Times of the Association’s support to ensure that it achieved its objectives.
Mr Ransford Tetteh, a former president of the GJA, who chaired the occasion, bemoaned the dwindling interest in reading among Ghanaians.
He, therefore, commended Ghana Reads for the initiative to whip up the interest of reading among Ghanaians, particularly the children and youth.
Ms Sandra Yeboah, the National Director, Ghana Reads, said over the past five years, the NGO had held programmes aimed at promoting pleasure reading as a tool for education, especially among school children.
“This is the goal Ghana reads seeks to achieve with the production of our newspaper – to bring together the voices and stories of stakeholders in education regardless of rank, class, age and location.
“We hope to create a platform where parents, students and teachers can contribute in the decision process of our education system,” she said.
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