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 illiteracy.
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.