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15.04.2009 Education

GNECC to combat illiteracy

By The Statesman
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The Ghana National Education Campaign Coalition is to embark on a global action week to fight against the high rate of illiteracy in Ghana.

This action is an initiative of the Global Campaign for Education to network with other organisations worldwide to advocate for quality education and reduce the high rate of illiteracy especially in Ghana.

According to a UNESCO report, 42% of Ghana's population is illiterate. About 50% of women in Ghana were found to be illiterate as compared with 33% of men.

However, there are regional disparities across the rural and urban divide; illiteracy in Accra is estimated to be 21%, whereas in Ashanti it is 40%, 54% in Brong Ahafo and an estimated 76% + in the three Northern regions.

On the other hand, literacy rate at the basic level continues to reduce at a higher spate especially in rural areas, affecting the ability of pupils to perform well during the Basic Education Certificate Examination.

It is in light of these and other problems facing the education system in Ghana that the Global Action Week 2009 was launched yesterday in Accra, aimed at pressurising government to place literacy policies at the centre of education systems and development efforts and create awareness on the need for families to promote reading and writing in their homes.

The campaign week is being organised by the Global Campaign for Education Coalition in collaboration with the World University Services of Canada, National House of Chiefs, the Ministry of Education, GNAT, Action Aid, OXFAM NOVIB, Ghana National Association of Private Schools, PLAN Ghana, UNESCO, Institute of Adult Education, the Ghana Education Service, Non-Formal Education Department and the Media.

Speaking at the press launch yesterday in Accra, the Country Director of World University Service of Canada, Akwasi Addae-Boahene indicated that global action week on education is an annual programme set aside by the Global Campaign for Education where issues on education are discussed at all levels, resources mobilised and practical actions taken to address the challenges confronting the education sector.

The theme for this year's campaign is "Literacy for all, a challenge to national development”, with three sub themes: “Improving literacy in basic schools; sustained literacy for youth and adults; and improving continuing education and distance learning”.

These themes, among other relevant topics will be discussed throughout the week from 20th-25th April, 2009 especially on radio and TV. A national durbar will be held at the Teachers' Hall to round off the week and a resolution presented to the Minister of Education.

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