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Library Authority, GES and Education Ministry to build capacity of SHS librarians

The Ghana Library Authority (GhLA) with the support of the Education Ministry is set to begin a nationwide residential training programme for Senior High School (SHS) librarians.

The collaboration between GhLA and Ghana Education Service (GES) is the first-ever nationwide training of such magnitude in Ghana’s history for school librarians.

The training forms part of government agenda within the framework of the implementation of Free SHS policy to build the capacity of school librarians to ensure quality education, leading to improved learning outcomes.

The policy directive by Dr Matthew Opoku Prempeh, Education Minister seeks to equip all school libraries within the country with necessary learning resources and supplementary reading materials as part of ongoing investment by government.

“The Minister recognises that most important resource of any library is its people and hence, the nationwide training to equip the school library managers with 21st century skills in librarianship and information science is to enable them to serve the needs of students and teaching staff,” said Hayford Siaw, Acting Executive Director of the Authority.

He added, “We have assembled a team of seasoned librarians and Information Science professionals from GhLA and the University of Ghana for this School Library Transformation Agenda and expect drastic changes to occur through the training programme offered.”

Almost 700 school librarians are expected to be taken through training areas such as Cataloguing and Classification, Preservation of Documentary Materials, Practical use of Library Management System for collection management and many others.

Providing more details on government agenda for school libraries, Mr Siaw said already supplementary reading materials are being sourced from publishers across the country to equip school libraries.

Libraries with notable issues in infrastructure have been documented and interventions are ongoing to bring them to acceptable standards.

Senior High School libraries will soon be equipped with open sources websites for download and use without internet including Wikipedia, Khan Academy and many others.

They will be available on the Raspberry Pi with RACHEL installed. It also includes WiFi capabilities and will automatically act as a hotpot in schools.

To ensure ongoing learning possibilities for students, they can already have access to classics from the Ghana Library App, downloadable on Appstore and Playstore. More tailored resources will soon be available for SHS students on the App.

The upcoming training has been categorized into four zones.

Zone one will be made up of schools in the Ashanti, Bono, Ahafo and Bono East Regions. Zone Two will comprise schools in the Greater Accra, Central, Western and Western North Region.

Zone Three will focus on schools in the Eastern, Volta and Oti Regions and the Zone Four will cover schools in the Upper East, Upper West, Savannah, Northern and North East Regions.