60th Annual New Year School closes
The 60th Annual New Year School held by the Institute of Adult Education (IAE) ended last night with a challenge to the organizers to go beyond media dissemination of the communiqué and practically circulate copies among all stakeholders for adoption and implementation.
According to Professor Kwesi Yankah, Pro-Vice Chancellor, University of Ghana, Legon, since this year's school was dominated by the current political climate in the country, it was better to further raise certain critical issues that were debated upon during the New Year School at the Easter School, to help create the necessary awareness for their consideration and adoption.
Addressing the closing ceremony, Prof. Yankah said adult education formed a critical component in ensuring the success of Ghana's young democracy, saying the recent electoral situation that witnessed a large quantity of spoilt ballots was a good example indicating the urgency in tackling illiteracy among the adult population.
He also expressed concern about the poor media coverage of the school's proceedings and said the need to give much attention to issues of education was paramount to Ghana's development and as such, forums that provided the necessary platform for collating important views to serve as basis for policy direction should be treated with urgency.
Prof. Yankah commended the organizers, sponsors, the media, participants as well as the Alumni of the School for their role in sustaining the programme over the years and said the University of Ghana would remain committed to ensuring a better performance of the school's activities in the years ahead.
An 18 point communiqué was issued by participants after extensively deliberating on the theme; “Lifelong Learning for Accelerated National Development”.
The communiqué recommended that a policy, through a highly consultative involvement of all stakeholders be formulated on lifelong learning, to provide a comprehensive, nationally consistent, yet flexible structure for all levels of education and training.
It insisted that avenues be created for people who drop out of formal education and others who were unable to make the transition to the next level of education to have access to alternative forms of education, and this should include more effective distance learning and continuing education for all Ghanaians.
The communiqué also requested that there should be continuing education relevant to all functionaries of Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) and Community members and as a matter of urgency to adequately resource and strengthen their structures to help make the local government system more effective and efficient for lifelong learning.
It further called for the necessary support for the National Media Commission (NMC) to enable it bring to order all advertising agencies that put out gender insensitive advertisements, and a commitment on the part of political parties and other state machineries to ensure equal participation of both men and women at all levels of decision making.
It called for the integration of peace and civic education into the school curriculum from the basic through to the tertiary levels and a regulation in place to ensure that all media houses allocate space and air time for public education on civic rights and responsibilities on regular basis as part of their corporate responsibilities.
It called for the encouragement of Public-Private partnership in holistic waste management.
The communiqué advocated for a fund for media development for the transformation of the industry. Access to the fund should be determined by professional performance assessment through a Credibility Measurement Index (CMI) and a Professional Performance Index (PPI).
Work places, homes, schools and communities should develop and implement health promotion programmes which include activities targeted at healthy dietary habits, healthy behavioural patterns such as physical activities, rest, recreation and good environmental sanitation.
It said public-private partnership should be explored in financing lifelong learning for the attainment of the Millennium Development Goals.