St. Thomas Aquinas and Forces Senior High Technical Schools, both in Accra, have been presented with copies of the recently launched book, Understanding English Literature, at a brief ceremony in their respective schools.
Presenting the books valued at GH¢4,500, the author, Mrs. Mercy Catherine Adjabeng, who is herself a former English Language and Literature tutor of Wesley Girls’ High School in Cape Coast, said she was pleased to be supporting schools to achieve academic excellence.
“I’ve been a tutor for many years, I continue to engage students in several ways and I believe we all have a duty to support the academic excellence of Ghana’s transformational leaders in the making. That’s why it’s a great joy to me to have this opportunity to donate these books to boost academic excellence of our students.”
Mrs. Adjabeng said she is convinced the book is a timely intervention that would boost the academic performance of students in English language and Literature courses because “it breaks down the concepts and techniques of Literature that make students think the subject is difficult.” She also noted that teachers could use the book to enhance their work.
“Teachers of Literature can also use the book as a facilitator’s handbook to provide further information for their teaching. This is because the book ultimately aims at providing a complete guide for general reading, studying, and a straightforward approach to understanding and enjoying Literature.”
She added that “English is the language of instruction and assessment in schools; this means a poor command over the language affects performance no matter the level of skills.
“In the 2018 WASSCE, a total of 193,882 candidates representing 61.67% failed to obtain the pass mark for English Language to enable them gain admission into the University. Out of this number, 68,002 which represents 21.6%, obtained F9 or failed in English Language. This is a serious threat to the academic capital,labour force and sustainable development of this country, “ she noted.
Headmaster of Forces Senior High Technical School, Lieutenant Colonel Osman Shamun Zuneiduwho, received the donation assured the author that the school will make her proud because the books have come to fill a gap.
“I wish to express our gratitude. The Book will go a long way to help the students, especially those in the final year and others to come. It will serve as a reference both for core English and elective Literature; it has come to fill a gap with respect to these subjects. We are grateful Mrs. Adjabeng has accepted our invitation to be a resource person for both staff and students with regards to Literature. Finally we’re happy she has accepted to be an Ambassador of the school because of her activities towards the development of the youth, especially the girl child,” he said.
On his part, Headmaster of the St. Thomas Aquinas Senior High School, Mr. Paul Akwasi Amoasi Baidoo, was full of praise for Mrs. Adjabeng who is also a parent of the school.
He also assured Mrs. Adjabeng that the school would ensure the use of the books reflects in the performance of the students. He also urged her to make time to engage both teachers and students to improve the learning and performance in both English and Literature.
“Please be assured that we will do you proud by ensuring the effective use of these books to reflect in our academic performance in general and particularly in the 2020 West Africa Schools Certificate Examinations, (WASSCE) and beyond.”
He urged other parents and well-wishers of the school to also lend some support.
Mrs. Adjabeng expressed profound gratitude to her main sponsors; Stanbic Bank Ghana, I-ZAR Group, Effe Farms and Trading Enterprise and other benevolent individuals for their support. She was also grateful to the authorities of both schools for their warm reception.
She also urged parents, past students and corporate organisations to support her to scale up the distribution of her book to other schools, especially the underprivileged, in order to enhance the overall academic performance in literacy in the country.
“I would like to appeal to parents, past students, individuals and companies to sponsor copies of the book to other schools to boost the understanding and performance of our students in English Language, thereby securing our academic and human resource capital.”
Understanding English Literature is Mercy Catherine Adjabeng’s second publication. The first is the Discovery Teen Magazine, a publication which aims at informing and educating adolescents about the changes associated with their transition into adulthood.
The magazine also aims at generating national sensitisation and advocacy programmes to address issues of concern to the adolescents.
The writer, who has also authored books for other people, hinted at a yet-to-be-published English book that focuses on providing guidelines for good essay writing.