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25.08.2011 Education

Adult Literacy Education Centres Reduced

25.08.2011 LISTEN
By Rebecca Quaicoe-Duho - Daily Graphic

Centres for Ghana’s adult literacy education in Ghana have reduced from 8,000 to 2,000 since 2008, due to lack of funding.

Hitherto, the Non-Formal Education Division (NFED) of the Ghana Education Service (GES) provided classes for people between the ages of 15 and 45 who needed adult education across the country with 25 persons in a class when it was being funded with donor support.

The acting Director of the NFED of the GES, Mr Charles Afari who made this known in Accra at the launch of this year’s International Literacy Day which falls on September 8 every year, said the programme had so far made 2.7 million people literate of which 80 per cent were women with 60 per cent based in rural communities across the country.

The day which would be marked in Kumasi with blood donation, a clean-up, a float, exhibition and a grand durbar would be on the theme “Literacy- Our peace, our strength for sustainable development”.

According to Mr Afari, the programme which started in 1992 with funding from donor partners, spanned over a duration of 21 months per session where participants were trained in formal edutaion and also given other technical and skills training.

He said since the donor support was withdrawn in 1997 and the government took over, the NFED could hardly survive due to lack of funding.

Available statistics he said had revealed that less than 50 per cent of the country’s population were literates saying that “if we are to achieve any form of a better living conditions for all Ghanaians, education and learning in peaceful environment should be the prime mover”.

He said among the several means of attaining sustainable development for a country, the most crucial approach for any people was to facilitate a process that would promote and increase the literacy level of the population by ensuring that education for all was seen as a right and basic tool for empowering people.

He said the Non-formal Education Division of the MoE was well positioned to promote an increased literacy in the country saying that it had the necessary injectors to impact positively on the lives of the high number of non-literates in the society.

Mr Afari appealed to the international donor community and local sponsors to partner the division to carry out its mandate of increasing the literacy levels of non-literate Ghanaians especially women and the youth, majority of whom dwell in the rural areas and who constitute the work force of the national economy.

The Deputy Minister for Education, in charge of pre-Tertiary Education, Ms Elizabeth Amoah-Tetteh, who launched the 2011 International Literacy day, said the country could only tap the huge human resource potential from its non-literate populace if they were given literacy saying that functional literacy did not only address the vertical needs of the country but also played an important role of enhancing corporate existence and ensuring peace and stability at all times.

She said literacy was key to accelerating peace and stability saying that literacy and peace could only be essential if they were translated into sustainable development.

The UNICEF country Representative, Dr Iyabode Olusanmi who was a special guest at the launch, said it was the belief of UNICEF that “knowledge is power” and was therefore convinced that it was mainly through education that the rights of citizens, especially the vulnerable groups like women and children could be promoted.

She commended the country for its track record of good governance and peaceful transition of power saying that literacy, peace and sustainable development worked hand-in-hand.

The Director of Statistic, Research, Information Management and Public Relations, MoE, Dr Dominic Pealore who chaired the programme said literacy was crucial for the country to achieve economic development saying that literacy could led the country to attain the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

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