Prior to the reading competition, letters were sent to the participating schools inviting them for the competition. All invited schools expressed their readiness to participate in the competition on the scheduled date after receipts of the letters. On Friday the 22nd of November, the date scheduled for the competition, the participating schools which included; St. Charles Lwanga Junior High School, Sumbrungu-Kolgo Junior High School, Ata’ampuurum A’ Junior High School, Sumbrungu Junior High School and Bolga Nyariga M/A Junior High School were all present before the time stated for the competition. The competition were scheduled to kick start at exactly 10:00am, latest by 9:30am all schools were already seated in the women meeting hall where the competition took place. Three staff from the Upper East Regional library including the Regional Librarian Mr. Leslie Kasanga was in attendance. Two of these staff in addition to a teacher from Kulbia Primary constituted the panel of judges for the competition. All librarians were also in attendance except the Gowrie-Kunkua Librarian.
In welcoming all to the reading competition, I touched briefly on the importance of reading and the significant efforts by CESRUD/FAVL Ghana over the years to promote and cultivate the reading habit in everyone by establishing and supporting three village community libraries in Sumbrungu, Sherigu and Gowrie-Kunkua. In collaboration with Biblionef Ghana, CESRUD/FAVL Ghana have also extended the libraries to 20 basic schools in Bolga West B’ and North circuits so that those from faraway schools can also have the joy of reading. I touched briefly also on CESRUD/FAVL Ghana yearly reading programs organized in the three community libraries and encouraged all to participate in the programs as and when they are organize. I concluded my welcome address by calling on all gathered that day to continue to read at all times as books have the power to transform lives.
The Upper East Regional Librarian addressing the gathering thanked all the schools for honouring the invitation and lauded the organizers of the competition for such a great initiative, he was particularly happy about the efforts being carried out to get students/pupils to read at all time. He stated that a ‘Reading Nation is a Winning Nation’, ‘Reading Makes a Man’ among others. He mentioned that the Ghana Library Authority have declared this year as a year of reading, and that the GhLA is doing all it can to support all branch and community libraries across the country with the needed support.
To the reading competition, each school presented three contestants for the contest. Below is a breakdown of the names of the contestants per each school, M in bracket stands for Male and F for Female.
From Sumbrungu-Kolgo Junior High School;
1. Adaleme Joseph (M)
2. Atubuliko Selina (F)
3. Akanvalka Maxwell (M)
From Ata’ampuurum A’ Junior High School;
1. Ayine Sunday (M)
2. Apampika Portia (F)
3. Asore Evert (F)
From Sumbrun Junior High School;
1. Abila Martha Ayembuno (F)
2. Azuure Hannah Nmabila (F)
3. Akolgo Joyce Nmabila (F)
St. Charles Lwanga Junior High School;
1. Yibozie Nancy (F)
2. Atia Rachel (F)
3. Amoah Vincent (M)
Nyariga M/A Junior High School;
1. Akaba Ismael (M)
2. Abane Claudia (F)
3. Agana Godwin (M)
The competition were in three parts or rounds, round one was for reading and round two was almost the same but more detailed reading than the first round and round three was for dictations.For round one, they had first readers from each school, second readers and third readers climaxing that round, round two was almost the same but more detailed than the first round as mentioned. The first readers were asked by the judges normally to read any page or part of a chapter of the book that was selected for the reading that day. As the contestants read, the judges were looked at the grammar, respect for punctuation marks, and confidence level of the readers, fluency, omissions and time taken to read. These were the criteria the judges used in awarding the marks. All readers were given same time of three minutes to read, some readers finished reading their given page or chapter before the time given. Each of the three contestants per school was given two copies of the book to follow as their contesting mates and co-contestant as they read. The Panel of Judges of the competition had a copy of the book each, teachers of each participating schools were given a copy of the book to also follow as the contestants reads. This was done to ensure that no one complain of bias judgement or awards of marks to some contestants. At the close of the competition everyone was satisfy with the judges verdicts. The selected book was titled “Awkward Annie” by Julia Williams and Tim Archbold. On the third and last round of the competition, ten words were selected from the book used for the competition, these words were used for the dictation and I am sure the judges wanted to find out whether contestants took note of certain words and how they are spell as they read or not. At the end of this round, the sheets given contestants for the dictation were taken from them and mark. Some per the score got 6 out of 10, others 8 out of 10, some 7 out of 10, 9 out of 10 and some score all 10. These marks were added to the first two round score in arriving at the overall score per school.