The quality of human resources of a nation is easily judged by the
number of literate population living in it. Countries with large illiterate population are often confronted with developmental challenges. Literacy is a must for nations aspiring to achieving growth and development and more importantly sustaining it. This may explain the fact that rich and developed nations of the world have started impairing selective training and education programs so as to meet new technological and business demands of the 21st century.
It was in view of this that 1997 Conference of African Ministers of Education held in Lagos recommended the establishment of National Council or Boards for Non-Formal Educational structures within their Ministries of Education for the purpose of promoting Non-Formal Education (NFE) as an integral part of the national educational system. In view of this, NFE was mainstreamed into Ghana’s educational system through reforms undertaken by the Government in 1986 when the Non-Formal Education Division (NFED) was established in 1987 within the Ministry of Education by the erstwhile PNDC Government.
The NFED is responsible for coordinating literacy activities in Ghana and implementing the National Functional Literacy Programme (NFLP). The nation-wide programme aims at reducing the number of non-literate adults in the country and equipping them with developmental information and functional skills in the domains of life and occupational skills, civic awareness and health.
Co-ordinate non-formal activities and offer quality and equitable lifelong learning opportunities for youth and adults outside formal education and functional literacy and skills development programmes across Ghana.
The programme’s development objective is to increase the number of functionally literate adults in Ghana.
The following are some of the services rendered by the NFED.
- Provision of quality literacy services to new groups in reading, writing, numeracy in 15 Ghanaian Languages namely Akuapem, Twi, Asante Twi, Ga, Nzema, Dangme, Ewe, Fante, Dagbani, Buli, Gonja, Guruni, Kasem, Kusaal, Dagaare and Sisaali and in English.
- Sustaining the literacy skills of neo-literates through the creation of a literate environment.
- Improving the quality and efficiency of monitoring, evaluation and research.
- Promoting the application of acquired functional skills toward self and Community Development.
- Developing and upgrading the occupational skills of learners, particularly income generating groups, to be efficient users of financial credit.
- Using radio and print materials to compliment, support and promote literacy.
PROGRAMME COVERAGE AND SUPPORT
The NFLP is being implemented in all the 10 regions of Ghana. Regional and District Offices are manned by coordinators. Each district is divided into zones manned by zonal supervisors. These supervisors directly oversee literacy activities and the work of volunteer facilitators in communities under their jurisdiction.
In collaboration with development partners, Government has and continues to support the programme since it’s launching in 1991. The programme’s major sponsor during NFLP 1 and 11 was the World Bank. Other supporting sponsors were the British Department for International Development (DFID), the Norwegian and Japanese Government, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the Canadian Organization for Development of Education (CODE).
ACHIEVEMENTS OF NFED
1992-1997 turned out 1.2 million adult learners while phase II (2000-2006) also graduated over one million learners. Thousands of non-literates are still benefiting from the programme. Graduates were equipped with reading, writing, numeracy, life skills, good citizenship, civic awareness and income generation skills to enable them contribute effectively to the development of their communities and the nation at large.