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Opinions of Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Columnist: Abdulai, Alhasan

Further adult learning must be intensified

Further adult learning must be intensified throughout the nation

By Alhaji Alhasan Abdulai (Journalist) Executive Director

Eanfoworld for sustainable development Ghana

There is no End to the pursuit of knowledge. That is true . Many people have lived up to this adage to the extent that they have vowed to continue learning ” from cradle to the grave” as said in the scriptures.

While most of the continued learners do so to seek public office and to pursue their private interests persons like the 66 year old mother of 11 children, who sat for Basic School Certificate Examination BECE, for the first time in her life, in Brong Ahafo Region had a different perhaps good reason for the pursuit of education.

Mary gyabiah is a farmer who realized the need to seek knowledge to be able to improve her horizon, to be able to make progress in life. She took a decision to attend classes since 2006 at a basic school in the Brong Ahafo Region together with students as young as her daughters and granddaughters. Surprisingly this lady had to combine farming, trading and schooling

This lady’s venture is unique. Henceforth at least with knowledge acquired over a period of six years , she is expected to be able to read and write her letters and be able to read and understand prescriptions from hospitals and clinics. Indeed she could to some extent be able to interact with people intelligently.

The exceptional step taken by this lady and many like her in Ghana and abroad some of whom are up to 90yrs, shows clearly that there are a lot more people who require further education either as beginners or those seeking “top ups”. These include housewives, Domestic servants’, kayayei, farmers and fishermen and many people in public and private sectors. Recognizing this, the non formal education division of ministry of education has been charged to promote informal education for people of all ages throughout the country. The program of this outfit is similar to the mass education and night school concept inherited from the colonial days. Many people who occupied top positions in Ghana had benefited from these concepts in the past.

This non formal like the night school concept is a noble cause meant to increase the literacy levels in the country in line with acceptable practice internationally. In the same vein some churches and community schools have been providing room for evening classes for their members to study the bible and basic tenets in marriage and home management. That has increased the awareness level and general knowledge of the people concerned.

What remains to be done is to extend this knowledge to include examinable basic education in reading writing and arithmetic.

It is our desire that the government and civil society organizations and churches would take a hard look at this proposal by opening access to education for all. The non formal education division must be funded to enlist more people to further their education as beginners and further learners.

It is our belief that the churches and schools will be willing to provide rooms for the evening and week end classes for adults and young learners who would include housewives, domestic servants and dropouts. Such learners will feel comfortable learning among their peers and not in the normal schools with children as done by Madam Mary from Brong Ahafo

We bet there are many ambitious men and women abound in all our localities. It is our belief that many Donors, Civil societies and corporate bodies and donors will give a helping hand in this venture which is likely to push Ghana up the ladder of the league of literate persons in Africa and the world.