First lady Laura Bush and the presidents of six historically black universities visited Ghana last week to promote a U.S. program that provides school textbooks and other instructional materials to African countries.
“Students who live in poverty have few opportunities for schooling because their parents cannot afford the school fees or buy uniforms or books,” Mrs. Bush said in a gathering at the Accra Teacher Training Institute in Accra, Ghana, on Jan. 17. “These textbooks will be created in Africa so they will represent the unique experiences of African students.”
The universities—Chicago State University, Elizabeth City State University in North Carolina, South Carolina State University, the University of Texas at San Antonio, Tougaloo College in Mississippi, and Alabama Agricultural & Mechanical University—will each work with an African country to create, publish, and distribute as many as 15 million textbooks in reading, mathematics, science, and language arts.
The project is part of President Bush’s African Education Initiative, which provides some $200 million in federal funds a year for teacher training, school uniforms, scholarships, and library books in an effort to increase attendance and improve the quality of schools across the continent.
A version of this article appeared in the January 25, 2006 edition of Education Week