Relevance of Education in Ghana


By Patrick Twumasi, Head of Public Relations, Complementary Education Agency, Ministry Of Education

Education is social insurance against poverty and for an assured future.

Education also remains a liberator that is often taken for granted. The ability to read and write are essential in the current dispensation, as the world has become highly digitized. Consequently, the inability to demonstrate basic literacy skills is not only a challenge to experience varied opportunities in the area of work, but a blockade to navigating the current digitally invaded world.

Therefore, proper social human development depends on purposeful, inclusive and quality education. Education does not only build and develop but creates critical thinkers that contribute to national development and quality public discourse, as well as transform the individual, with a direct impact on communities. Fortunately, education leads among the many factors that develop a nation. The uttermost important element in national development is the citizen and education provides that springboard.

Education is therefore relevant for human dignity and rights. It is never a largesse. Education should be a right and not a privilege. This goes to indicate that education as a human right is non-negotiable. Illiteracy is not a crisis that causes physical devastation. However, the impact is distractive to individual and national development and affects us all. Decisions on transformative education should be decisive because it allows the citizens to access quality education that helps to alleviate poverty, infectious diseases and preventable deaths. The developmental future of Ghana is wholly dependent on holistic education, as education is an absolute game changer, which equips the vulnerable, disadvantaged and marginalized in society, with skills and the ability to access opportunities now and in the future. Again, education can transform many challenges in the world, such as climate change.

The COVID-19 outbreak has disrupted economies around the world, further shrinking educational budgets. Before the pandemic, governments worldwide were spending half the budget needed on education. International donor partners have equally cutback funding, which has an overarching impact on learning outcomes. Hence to ensure learners of all categories recover lost knowledge resulting from the pandemic and have their rights to education spelt out in Article 26 of the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights, there must be crowdfunding.

It is definitive that investment into accessible, inclusive and quality education has an overarching impact on all the seventeen Sustainable Development Goals. Hence, the critical monitoring and evaluation of the impact and returns on investment in education will prove that the growth of our economy is indicative of literacy levels. Hence, education can transform and empower nations to take their destiny into their own hands and do away with abject poverty and conflict. Fortunately, the European Union has pledged 10 per cent of the bloc’s international partnerships budget, representing six billion euros to global education. It is an urgent invitation to other donor partners, governments, and non-state actors in the education space to diligently crowd in funding to restructure and reposition global education after the ravages of the pandemic. The time to get world education back to where it used to be is now. It will ensure that no one is left behind and that making the illiterate literate is the responsibility of all stakeholders.

This year’s International Literacy Day celebration called for the diversification of literacy spaces. It demands resilience, resolute, robust and time-tested strategies to withstand future eventualities. The sudden switch and shift to digital learning to save decades of knowledge gained have presented an opportunity for innovation. In addition, literacy remains one of the transformative tools which empowers humanity to take advantage of opportunities and prevent people from walking with a lowered brim. Where literacy is not prioritized, communities and nations lag in development. On the contrary, if education passes as a common denominator of change, the multiplying effect on the individual is immeasurable and on the community and nation incalculable. We need a strategic plan to help open up opportunities and the learning spaces that the COVID-19 outbreak shut. The strategies should help to continue with teaching and learning programmes, irrespective of the challenges posed by the pandemic. It raises the relevance and sharply brings to the fore the need and urgency required to build Community Learning Centres in all sixteen (16) regions of the country. The construction of these Centres will shore up the literacy learning spaces. The community learning facility will house a state-of-the-art multipurpose infrastructure for Information Communication Technology literacy programmes. We need to bend our backs to construct these edifices, which will bring limitless space to teaching and learning.

Additionally, it is critical to assess the policies that underpin the educational structures of the country. The implementation of harmonized policies can ensure the achievement of the desired outcomes. The intended development of our educational architecture to produce twenty-first-century relevant educated Ghanaians for the total transformation of the country hangs on the actualization and implementation of educational policies. As a nation, we stand to benefit from investment in education, which is the surest way to national development. However, we stand to lose as a nation, if Ghana does not prioritize education through literacy learning spaces.

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