One of the greatest strengths of this idea is that it has been designed to fit into existing systems and social norms. By this, I mean that everyone in Ghana has a mobile phone, and my personal experience of the country is that everyone knows how to use one! Furthermore, it is perfectly acceptable to answer and refer to one’s phone at any time of the day.
That, in addition to the critical importance of learning to read at a young age and the part that plays in educational outcomes for the rest of a child’s school years and beyond, make this both a viable and hugely important possibility.
Our experience of implementing a phonetically regular reading programme in kindergartens in Ghana has demonstrated encouraging results so far. Teachers using the programme have told us that in all their years as a kindergarten teacher, they have never seen such quick progress when it comes to their pupils learning to read and write. We are impacting thousands of children with the phonics programme, but the idea being discussed above is aiming to use very similar content to affect hundreds of thousands, because of the mobile phone technology element.
It is a step forward, and based on my experience working in Ghana for many years, an objective that I believe is achievable.
Using mobile phone technology to provide resources to teachers quickly and cost effectively is a truly innovative initiative. Everyone has a mobile phone, and this programme is using that starting point to create daily reading and writing activities for thousands of young children. Bravo to everyone who has been involved in developing this idea!