Non-Formal Education transforms into Alternative Education Agency

Kodjo Adams, GNA

Accra, Sept. 8, GNA –
Government is transforming the Non-Formal Education Division, under the
Ministry of Education, into Alternative Education Agency to address the
country’s 21st century literacy concerns.

The Agency will be
responsible for implementing a national alternative education strategy to
handle the educational needs of Ghanaians outside the formal education system
to complement the Free Senior High School(SHS) programme.

This was in a speech
read on behalf of Dr Mathew Opoku-Prempeh, the Minister of Education, to mark
the 2018 International Literacy Day in Accra, on the theme: “Empowerment
Through Literacy and Skills Development.”

The event was supported
by Ecobank and Mondelez International.

The Minister said
under the Alternative Education Framework, government would roll out a
functional basic literacy programme equivalent to primary three, targeting
youth and adult non-literates, school drop-outs and neo-literates.

“The framework will
have an occupational skills development programme for jobless adults, where
target groups would have the opportunity to acquire a Diploma Certificate in
Entrepreneurship, and a complementary basic education focusing on out-of-school
children between six and 14 years,” he added.

Dr Opoku-Prempeh added
that the framework would include remedial classes for junior and senior high
school graduates unsuccessful in their respective examinations, offering them
opportunity to re-sit and continue with their educational aspirations.

He said the framework
would encapsulate Ghana General Education Diploma for mature entrants of
universities, where the Agency would collaborate with the West African
Examinations Council and the Universities to conduct a standardized diploma
certificate to be accepted for entry to all the universities.

He said UNESCO records
showed that 260 million children and adolescents world-wide are not in school,
617 million children do not have the minimum skills in literacy and numeracy
while 750 million young people and adults cannot read and write.

Dr Opoku-Prempeh said
it was imperative to revitalise functional literacy and alternative education
to deliver the thousands of people around the world who lagged behind due to

The Minister said it
was prudent to align literacy to the prevailing lifetime needs of
non-literates, semi-literates and the functional literate in a particular
location to close the literacy gap and increase learners’ ability to contribute
effectively in the globalised world.

Mr Francis Asumadu,
the Acting Director of Non-Formal Education Division, Ministry of Education,
said there were 45,800 learners in 1,832 classes in the English programme, with
19,750 learners in 790 classes for the local languages.

He called for
collective efforts in programme design and implementation to seek a perfect
tailoring of literacy and skills development to create knowledge and
competencies in industry and career development.

Mr Asumadu said the
Division would continue to execute its mandate of offering quality functional
literacy and skills development services to the Ghanaian youth and adults in 15
Ghanaian Languages and in English.

Dr Edward Botchwey,
the Acting Managing Director, Ecobank Ghana, said the Bank recognised the
importance of non-formal education because of its contribution to ensuring
equal access to education and eradicating illiteracy among adults.

He said Ecobank had
invested 1.8 million cedis on various activities in the country including
education and would continue to support non-formal programmes for quality
teaching and learning.

“Ecobank is an
advocate for quality education because non-formal education establishes
strategies that are easily compatible with reality. Our partnership is to
enrich the educational content in the area of financial literacy,” he said.


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