PROMOTING LITERACY FOR SUSTAINABLE AND PEACEFUL SOCIETIES
The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) initiated 8th September every year as International Literacy Day in 1966. Its first celebration took place in 1967. The annual commemoration raises awareness about the relevance of literacy to the development of individuals, communities and nations. Again, the celebration reminds institutions, societies and governments that literacy is a human right and a matter of dignity.
This year, we celebrate on the theme “Promoting Literacy for a World in Transition: Building the Foundation for Sustainable and Peaceful Societies”. The celebration reminds us of the centrality of the people in giving meaning to things and value to the transition process agenda. Literacy is not only the bedrock of national development. It is the ladder many vulnerable, marginalised, and disadvantaged have used to climb out of poverty.
Unfortunately, in 2020, at least one out of seven youth and adults aged 15 and above worldwide representing 763 million, lacked basic literacy and numeracy skills. Additionally, several children are not acquiring literacy and numeracy skills. Shockingly, 244 million children and young people between the ages of 6 and 18 are out of school. In addition, 57 per cent of ten-year-olds who could not read a simple text in 2019 have increased to 70 per cent in 2020.
Furthermore, an assessment of the Sustainable Development Goals indicates that the agenda is in trouble. The SDGs have 140 targets. However, only 12 per cent are on track, with approximately half showing progression but are moderately or severely off track. Sustainable Development Goal 4 is not an exemption. However, goal 4 remains critical in attaining the rest of the goals. The outcome of the assessment calls on nations, institutions and communities to get down to work to change the narrative and bring the goals back on track.
Factually, the building of sustainable, peaceful, inclusive and just societies is facing the escalation of the challenges spilling from COVID-19, climate change and conflict. The pandemic threatened the very foundation of educational systems and structures. The world has not fully recovered from the shadows and devastating impact of COVID-19. Many countries and institutions are still struggling to turn the tide against the impact of the pandemic.
According to UNESCO, the learning loss from COVID-19 globally stands to possibly cost the present generation of students approximately 21 trillion dollars in lifetime earnings. It presents a deep insight into the impact of COVID-19 on literacy. This calls for a consented effort to restore the erased knowledge lost to the ravages of the pandemic and climate change. However, in Ghana, the story is different. The Complementary Education Agency is running the Complementary Basic Education for 5,000 out-of-school children in six Districts of four Regions in Ghana. In addition, the Ghana Education Outcome Project (GEOP) is operating a similar project for 70,000 out-of-school children.
Throughout history, education has proved to be a powerful weapon for transformation. Education remains the illuminator that has led generations from underdevelopment to development. Many great nations, men and women, have positively impacted their generations through education. Hence, literacy promotion is the medium through which sustainable societies can be built.
Additionally, the escalation of technology is a backdrop to the incessant call for literacy promotion. The world is in a deep dive of transitioning into the fourth industrial revolution. Given this, literacy should receive critical attention and investment required to build the needed skill set. Presently, Artificial Intelligence has invaded the world and competing with humans for jobs. There is no time in the life of humanity that technology has become so potent that ignoring it is to one’s peril. At the pinnacle of the pandemic, literacy rode on the back of technology. Individuals, communities and nations that lacked the infrastructure and the know-how were left behind. The failure to flow with the current at the height of the pandemic took the steam of development out of the sail of many nations.
We should not retire from projecting literacy in the face of challenges. On the other hand, our unrelenting united resolve remains the battering ram for change and transformation.
To all literacy providers, Ayekoo.
Forty Out-Of-School Children Receive Basic Training in ICT
As part of the activities marking the year-long Accra World Book Capital (AWBC) 2023, the United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), Complementary Education Agency, Centre for National Distance Learning and Open School (CENDLOS) and Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA) organized a day’s training workshop for forty (40) out-of-school children in Information and Communications Technology (ICT).
The training was part of the process of transitioning the children to formal school. Nana Gyamfi Adwabour, the Executive Director of CENDLOS, indicated the relevance of ICT in the current dispensation. He stressed that children are at the centre of the programmes of the Ministry of Education. Therefore, there are efforts to ensure no child is left behind. Nana Adwabour expressed that there is every reason to acquire ICT skills to function in the tech economy.
In a speech read on behalf of the Mayor of the Accra Metropolitan Assembly, Hon. Mrs. Elizabeth Naa Kwatsoe Tawiah Sackey, stated that it would be suicidal for the youth to be deficient in ICT. She shed light on the influence of ICT tools in our daily lives, hence, the urgent need for the youth to acquire the skills set.
Mr. Apollonius Asare of UNESCO used the occasion to outline the programmes that have taken place since the year-long celebration began, including the President of the Republic taken turn to read a story with some selected school children as well as a special school pupil at the Accra International Conference Centre. Mr. Asare highlighted the impact of ICT in the current space. He added that ICT training is an opportunity to learn critical thinking skills. The acquisition of ICT competencies creates a pathway to a brighter future. He advised the children not to relent on learning because it starts from the cradle to the grave. Therefore, children should not be passive about ICT.
Ms. Barbara Okine, the Acting Director, Curriculum Development and Assessment, read a speech on behalf of the Acting Executive Director of the Complementary Education Agency (CEA), Mr. Emmanuel Ntim, who expressed the Agency’s desire for out-of-school children to acquire literacy in ICT. He stressed that the Agency is aware of the impact of the fourth industrial revolution, which has increased interconnectivity, making ICT indispensable. Hence, as an organization responsible for foundational learning in Complementary Basic Education (CBE), the desire is for every CBE participant to receive basic ICT training.
CEA Collaborating with Luminos on Out-Of-School Children
The subject of out-of-school children remains the mandate and preoccupation of the Complementary Education Agency (CEA). The narrative of the phenomenon can change through collaborative efforts, a fact the Agency is not oblivious of. Hence, collaborating with Ghanaian and foreign partners to change the account is the adopted hallmark of the Agency. Luminos is an organization that offers an alternative learning pathway for out-of-school children and has teamed up with the Complementary Education Agency to run an out-of-school programme dubbed Community of Excellence in Ghana.
Mrs. Kristy Newman, the Vice President, Programmes at Luminos led a team to interact with Management on the state of Community of Excellence programme in Ghana and the supervision role of the Agency. Other members of the team were Ms. Ernesta Orloraite, Director Impact and Mr. Justice Agyei-Quartey, the Advisor Luminos. Ms. Suwaida Abdul Aziz, the Ashanti Regional Luminos Programme Manager, who was with the team, commended the Acting Ashanti Regional Director of CEA and the staff of the Sekyere Afram Plains for their commitment and dedication.
In 2022 Luminos enrolled 1,500 out-of-school children. However, in 2023 the enrollment increased by 500 more to 2,000 out-of-school children. The implementation is by Independent Partners (IPs), Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) and the Complementary Education Agency. The Agency is offering maximum supervision considering the leverage of reachability for the effective implementation of the programme. In the Ashanti Region, Luminos is present in Sekyere Afram Plains, Sekyere Central and Sekyere-Ejura-Odumase Districts.
Mrs. Newman indicated the commitment of Luminos to the effective implementation of the programme for a successful outcome. Mr. Emmanuel Ntim, the Ag. Executive Director, CEA assured the Luminos Team of the Agency’s support and active participation in the programme for a better outcome.
FCDO Offer more Support to the CEA
The Foreign Commonwealth Development Office (FCDO) has donated logistics to the Complementary Education Agency of the Ministry of Education. The items include office tables, conference tables, and swivel chairs. Additionally, a Pickup vehicle and computers were also promised as part of the generous donation by the FCDO.
Mrs. Rita Tetteh, Risk, Procurement and Finance Manager of the Foreign, Commonwealth Development Office, indicated that passion moves them to work behind the scenes to support education. She added that it is proper for the Agency to work after the support to draft the CE Policy, Legislative Instrument and Resource Mobilization Strategy documents. Mrs. Tetteh was emphatic that such an Agency should not be without the needed support. She indicated her excitement when the Agency started Cycle 8 of Complementary Basic Education (CBE).
Mrs. Tetteh admonished the relevance of selling the Agency across the country’s length and breadth, including the local Assemblies. She was quick to add that donor support was not for eternity. Hence, we should explore. Since the work of the Agency is at the Metro, Municipal and District, Mrs. Tetteh recommended that all the items should not remain in Accra. She made the call on the Agency to keep the relationship with the Foreign, Commonwealth Development Office, whether they are putting in money or not.
Mr. Emmanuel Ntim, the Ag. Executive Director, Complementary Education Agency, was grateful to the FCDO for the support all these years. He expressed special appreciation to Mrs. Tetteh for haven faith in the Agency and buying into our activities. Mr. Ntim referred to the assistance in drafting the CE Policy, LI and RMS documents. He also recalled the earlier donation of a Toyota Hilux and Nissan Navara Pickups. He congratulated Mrs. Tetteh on her new appointment.
Mrs. Rita Tetteh handed over documents covering the items to Mr. Emmanuel Ntim at the forecourt of the Complementary Education Agency’ Headquarters. Mr. Ntim asked for more support to enable the Agency to deliver on her mandate.
Ghana Host World Book Capital 2023
Ghana has won the World Book Capital for 2023, dubbed the Accra World Book Capital 2023. It is a programme that encourages reading a book. The year-long programme is themed: “Reading to Connect Minds for Social Transformation”. The event brought together dignities from Ghana and around the world.
The President, His Excellency Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, officially launched the Accra World Book Capital 2023 at the Accra International Conference Center. The President highlighted reading, lifelong learning and literacy. Nana Akufo-Addo read with some selected students from Eastern and Greater Accra Regions. The President entreated the children to let reading be the last thing before retiring to bed.
Further, he emphasized that reading contributes to cultural development. He added that the year-long programme offers the Government the edge to leverage diverse cultures. He stressed that the power of books and reading must be the
cornerstone to achieve a more inclusive, peaceful and equitable society. He also sees the programme as an opportunity for investment in the Ghanaian creative industry and cultural sector to provide jobs for young people.
Her Excellency Audrey Azoulay, the Director-General of the United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO), congratulated Ghana for winning the World Book Capital 2023. She indicated that books help connect with the world. She shared that reading is a treasure which should be encouraged. In addition, reading leads to learning diversity and holding together the book industry.
Rev. Ntim Fordjour, the Hon. Deputy Minister of Education, held the fort for the Minister of Education, Hon. Dr Yaw Osei Adutwum. Rev. Ntim encouraged reading among students to enhance their knowledge. He indicated that Ghana was happy to have won the prestigious right to host the World Book Capital 2023. He added that it would resonate in the country and with all shades of people worldwide.
The Accra World Book Capital 2023 encourages everyone to read a book to educate and entertain themselves. The knowledge acquired from books helps address plaguing social challenges. These include teenage pregnancy, youth unemployment, truancy and substance abuse. Mr Francis Asumadu, Executive Director of CEA and some selected staff represented the Agency. Her Excellency Ms Anna Bossman, Ghana’s Ambassador to France and permanent member of UNESCO, chaired the event.
5,000 OUT-OF-SCHOOL CHILDREN TO RECEIVE COMPLEMENTARY BASIC EDUCATION
The Complementary Education Agency (CEA) has organized a Trainer of Trainers (ToT) workshop for onward training of the Complementary Basic Education (CBE) Facilitators for Out-Of-School Children (OOSC).
AJ Plaza Hotel, Techiman, the Bono East Regional Capital, hosted the six-day trainers’ workshop.
The Complementary Education Agency is mandated to deliver Complementary Basic Education in Ghana. The CEA is in partnership with the Ghana Education Service (GES) to reach out to five thousand (5,000) out-of-school children in six districts of three Regions. These regions are Upper West, Bono East and Savanna.
The Executive Director of CEA, Mr. Francis Asumadu, emphasized that the Agency was collaborating with GES to run CBE. He insisted that collaboration was paramount in this area of education. Therefore, the experience acquired by GES over the years can be tapped into for success.
Mr. Asumadu was full of praise for the participants for their commitment. He reminded participants that the CBE programme was the Government of Ghana funded. He believed that there would be a successful Initial Facilitators Training Workshop.
Mr. Francis Adei and Ms. Grace Agyeiman-Duah and the lead, Alhaji Karim, were the three Resource Persons from the National Teaching Council (NTC) and School for Life respectively.
The lead of the Resource Persons, Alhaji Karim, requested the review of the Primers. He suggested the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Foreign Commonwealth Development Office (FCDO) as organizations which can support the review process. Alhaji Karim indicated that after six to eight years, it was relevant to review the Primers.
He mentioned the Ghana Education Service as an Agency that should be involved in reviewing the Primers. However, he admitted, it’s capital-intensive.
Mr. Emmanuel Ntim, Deputy Executive Director of Support Services, CEA, addressed participants at the closing ceremony. He profoundly expressed gratitude to the Resource Persons for their dedication. He also praised Master Trainers for committing their time to support the programme.
Ms. Gloria Ameh Mensah, Deputy Executive Director of Operations, encouraged the Master Trainers to give up their best. Primers and Manuals were distributed to aid the Initial Facilitator’s training workshop.
CEA TO BECOME THIRD FORCE OF EDUCATION PROVISION IN GHANA
The Complementary Education Agency (CEA) has held a National Stakeholders Consultative Workshop at Capital View Hotel, Koforidua the Eastern Region. The workshop aimed at soliciting the input of stakeholders towards drafting three documents: the Legislative Instrument, Complementary Education Policy and Resource Mobilization Strategy.
It was the third in a three-part series of workshops, which saw different stakeholders meet earlier at the Northern and Southern Zones.
The Eastern Regional Minister, Hon. Seth Acheampong, opened the workshop. He expressed his delight to associate with the Complementary Education Agency’s efforts to bring the out-of-school back to the classroom. However, he advised the management of the CEA to consult the Parliamentary Committee on Legal Affairs to prevent any stalemate in laying the Legislative Instrument (LI) before the Parliament.
The Executive Director of CEA, Mr. Francis Asumadu, expressed his gratitude to the stakeholders for the show of commitment to the Agency’s course. He was highly appreciative of the response given to the invitation by stakeholders.
The Stakeholder representatives present were the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment (NaCCA), Ghana Education Outcome Project (GEOP), Ghana Education Service (GES), UNFPA, UNICEF and UNESCO. Others were Afrikids, the National Development Planning Commission (NDPC), the Planning, Budgeting, Monitoring and Evaluation (PBME) of the Ministry of Education and the host Agency.
During the three-day workshop, stakeholders demonstrated a commitment to see the Agency succeed in developing the three documents.
In a swung song, many of the stakeholders admonished the Agency. Some advised that positioning the Agency as an institution taking charge of out-of-school programmes would ensure it stays relevant. Others called for recruitment, capacity building and a change of mindset of staff.
The La Municipal Coordinating Director emphasized the need for the Agency to partner with fundraisers who have been winning grants for organizations. He indicated that this would aid the resource mobilization drive of the Agency.
In addition, the Deputy Director-General of the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment (NaCCA) gave a firm indication of the readiness of the Council to support the Agency in the implementation of programmes.
Additionally, the Deputy Director-General of the National School Inspectorate Authority (NaSIA) stated that the Authority has captured some CEA programmes to support. Adding their voice, the Ghana National Education Campaign Coalition (GNECC) promised to advocate for adjustment of the one per cent Basic education budget support to 5 per cent.
Dr. Ghartey, the Lead of the Technical Assistants Team of Consultants, indicated that a draft of the documents would be ready in April, 2023 for the validation workshop in May, 2023. He called for the commitment of all stakeholders to the realization of the set target. He concluded by admonishing that there is the need to “Empty yourself to be filled, again”.
In a closing remark, the Executive Director, Mr Asumadu, acknowledged the response of stakeholders to the workshop despite the short notice. He stated that the CEA would become the third force of education provision in Ghana after GES and TVET Service.
Ultimately, Mr Asumadu called on the stakeholders to assume an ambassadorial position for the Agency.
FCDO HELPING TO POSITION COMPLEMENTARY EDUCATION IN GHANA
The first of three-part series of stakeholder’s consultative workshops for the development of the Complementary Education Agency Act 2020 (Act 1055) Legislative Instrument (LI), Complementary Education Policy (CEP) and Resource Mobilization Strategy documents took place at NODA Hotel Fumesua in the Ashanti Region.
The five-day programme brought together stakeholders from Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs), and the District Assemblies. The rest were the Department of Social Welfare, the Ghana Society for the Blind and the Ghana Education Service (GES).
The Executive Director of the Complementary Education Agency (CEA), Mr. Francis Asumadu, expressed profound gratitude to the institutions that responded to the invitation. He decried literacy levels in the country.
Further, Mr. Asumadu indicated that the Agency was financially constrained. He was of the view that the situation could
change through a well-structured resource mobilization strategy. He referred to other institutions within the complementary education space, which require a policy to regulate the ecosystem.
The Executive Director implored participants to be allies of the Agency.
The Consultants carried along the participants throughout the entire period of workshop. The Foreign Commonwealth Development Office sponsored Consultants brought their best to the programme. The Technical Assistants Team of Mr. Emmanuel Ofori-Bah, Mr. Justice Agyei-Quatery, and Mr. Ferdinand D. Adadzi, led by Dr. Adom B. Ghartey, presented each session with finesse and were down to earth. The presentations brought the participants up to scratch with the Agency and its mandate.
The Foreign Commonwealth Development Office (FCDO) came up for mention for sponsoring the workshop. The Office has become a worthy partner that is ensuring the total operationalization of the Agency. The financial support offered by
the FCDO is proving to be a game changer.
The second phase of the Stakeholder Consultative workshop will host participants from the Southern sector at Capital View Hotel, Koforidua from Sunday the 19th to Thursday the 23rd March, 2023.
MY FIRST DAY AT LITERACY CLASS, 2023
As part of measures to deepen and entrench the morale of Learners in the Functional Literacy Programme, the Management of the Complementary Education Agency (CEA) has initiated a programme dubbed “MY FIRST DAY AT LITERACY CLASS”
The Day is observed every year on the first Tuesday of February. It is an open day of interaction between Learners and CEA Management in all our Literacy Classes across the country. The occasion allows the Learners to express and discuss their challenges with the Management. Efforts are made to address and remove every hurdle that impedes facilitation and learning.
This year, the Executive Director, Mr. Francis Asumadu, the Deputy Executive Directors, Support Services, Mr. Emmanuel Ntim and Operations Ms. Gloria Ameh Mensah and the Greater Accra Regional Director, Ms. Rita Asumbala led a team of two each to visit four centers. These venues were Ashiaman, Ga West, East and Madina.
The interactions with the Learners and Facilitators brought some pertinent issues that were disturbing the smooth running of the Literacy Classes to the fore. Management, upon expansive discussions, assured the Learners of their support to ensure that learning improves and stays effective.
Despite the challenges the learners shared, they appreciated the initiative to bring learning to their doorstep. They see the opportunity to learn as a second chance to enable them to participate in the current technological world. The Learners were encouraged not to give up but pursue education to make their lives better.
Functional Literacy is also one of the mandates of the Agency, which offers opportunities to adults who wish to receive alternative education to enhance their lives. There is a need to activate the levers of interest among the Learners.
Management gave each Learner and Facilitator a package of learning materials to boost their morale. It was a moment of joy when the items partly sponsored by UNICEF were handed to them.
Nonetheless, Management assured the Learners of their support to see them through the period of learning. The day accordingly has been institutionalized.
YENDI YOUTH OFFERED A SECOND CHANCE
According to the Complementary Education Agency Act 2020 (Act 1055) there are four major mandates charged to the organization to deliver on. One of them is Remedial classes for both Junior and Senior High School graduates, who could not make good grades that will see them transition to the next level of their education. This mandate offers a second chance to students to realize their dreams.
Mr. Abukari Salawudeen the Northern Regional Director of, Complementary Education Agency (CEA) launched the Remedial programme at Yendi Community Center on the 7th of January, 2023. It was a step further to extend opportunities to the youth within the municipality who desire to go back to school. The launch attracted a lot of dignitaries and residents of the area.
Mr. Salawudeen, in a speech, encouraged the youth who need to re-sit at any of the levels to take advantage of the programme, which comes at no cost.
Alhaji Mohammed A. Kpermsin, the Yendi Municipal Director, CEA was grateful for the show of interest in education by the residents, especially the youth.
The Yendi Municipal Chief Executive, Hon. Ahmed Abubakari Ussif appealed to the youth who dropped out of school or will to rewrite exams to avail themselves and seize the opportunity to school. He shed light on the relevance of education to individual and national development.
The Complementary Education Agency is determined to bring education to all Ghanaians. What took place at Yendi is part of the efforts of the Agency to help create an alternative pathway.
Dignitaries who graced the launch included the representative of Yaa Naa, Naa Mahama Alhassan Chief of Timali: Mr. Alhassan Mahama GES, CBE Desk officer; Mr. Danladi Abdul-Hafiz, NYEA Municipal Director and Mr. Mohammed Ibrahim Habib, GES.
Others were Alhaji Salifu Alhassan Nassam former CEA Director, Saaboba and Kunbongu Districts CEA Directors and Tamale Metro CEA Director.
STEM EDUCATION, THE WAY FORWARD FOR GHANA
The end of every working year calls for a thorough review of organizational performance. The outcome will require strategizing for the following year, how to improve upon attained set targets and turn around shortfalls. Many institutions get together to undertake this exercise. The Ministry of Education opted to execute this end-of-year ritual through a thanksgiving service.
The well-attended thanksgiving service came off at the Ohene Konadu Auditorium of the University of Professional Studies, Accra (UPSA) on Tuesday, 10th January 2023. It was on the theme “Restructuring Education for National Transformation: Our Role”.
The Minister of Education, Hon. Dr. Yaw Osei Adutwum and the Hon. Deputy Minister in charge of General Education, Reverend John Ntim Fordjour, were present. Other dignitaries who, graced the occasion were the Chairman Church of Pentecost, Apostle Eric Nyamekye and the General Secretary. The Executive Director of Complementary Education Agency (CEA), Mr. Francis Asumadu and the Deputy Executive Director of Operations, Ms. Ameh Gloria Mensah, led the delegation from CEA. The Agency was well represented.
In a sermon delivered by the Chairman of the Church of Pentecost, Apostle Nyamekye, called on all to count our blessings, not curses. He impressed upon the Ministry to be thankful for what we have and be content with it.
The colourful event saw Pastor Nii Okai and Evangelist Diana Asamoah ministering. A host of other Ministers also blessed the service with song ministrations. The General Secretary of the Church of Pentecost led the gathering to say a prayer for Ghana.
In an address, Hon. Dr. Adutwum stressed his vision of education for Ghana. He compared Vietnam producing thousands of engineers every year to Ghana, which is turning out a few. He also referred to South Korea and Ghana’s per capita income, which the latter was well ahead in 196o. He staunchly believes that Ghana can attain the heights of the South Koreans through Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education. Accordingly, he was motivated to build STEM facilities across the country. He requested support from the Heads of Agencies and Departments to achieve this vision. He indicated his commitment to pursuing this agenda.
The impact of the thanksgiving service prompted patrons to call the Ministry to institutionalize it.
COMPLEMENTARY EDUCATION AGENCY AND ECOBANK GHANA LTD COLLABORATED TO DELIVER FINANCIAL LITERACY EDUCATION TO LEARNERS, ESPECIALLY WOMEN IN TRADING AND OCCUPATIONAL SKILL DEVELOPMENT.
The Complementary Education Agency (CEA) in collaboration with the Ecobank Ghana Ltd, organized a Financial Literacy Education (FLE) Module 1, 2 and 3, under the theme “FINANCIAL INCLUSION FOR ALL, LEAVE NO ONE BEHIND” to mark the ECOBANK DAY CELEBRATION in Accra on the 12th November, 2022.
The event was held at the University of Professional Studies, Accra (UPSA) Campus in the Greater Accra Region of Ghana. In attendance were about 250 CEA learners and 25 Staff Facilitators, drawn from five Districts of the Region, the staff of Ecobank Ghana Ltd as well as the UPSA staff came in their numbers.
On behalf of the Vice Chancellor of UPSA, the Dean of the Faulty of Accounting and Finance, delivered the welcome address. Mr. Daniel Nii Kwei-Kumah Sackey, the Managing Director of Ecobank Ghana Ltd, presented an opening remarks and promised to donate 50 pieces of sawing machines to CEA dress making classes. He pledged to engage CEA to produce a Video on Financial Literacy which will be used to educate the public.
The topics covered at the training included; Bookkeeping, Basic Accounting, Budgeting, Ecobank Financial Literacy Manuals and Basic tools for financial Inclusion.
Ivy Eklemet and Mustapha Iddrisu of UPSA indicated in their facilitation that financial literacy evaluates habits, changes mindset and attitudes to create a long-term financial plan. They defined what finances are, how and where to spend money. The media of facilitation are a blend of English, Twi, GA and Hausa.
They emphasized that, lack of financial literacy will always hinder our progress as business people, for example, at what time one would determine whether the interest rate for borrowing is high or low for businesses? It is only financial literacy skills that can aid you to take an informed decision.
As part of the Ecobank Day Celebration, the bank collaborated with the Agency to send down the information of Financial Inclusion to the general public, since the Agency is in every locality of our society.
The programme was aimed at providing market women and the artisans, mostly in marginalized communities with basic financial skills to sustain and grow their businesses. The culture of savings was also highlighted among participants especially the learners since most of them are predominantly occupational learners, to cultivate the habits of savings towards the future.
In his closing remarks, the Deputy Executive Director, Mr. Emmanuel Ntim, on behalf of the CEA Executive Director, Mr. Francis Asumadu, indicated that, as an Agency, we are committed to literacy in all forms. Over the years we have tried our best to bring literacy to the door step of the vulnerable, disadvantaged and marginalized. Though, this remains one of our core mandates, we also give considerable admission and consideration to income generation activities.
He said, Financial Literacy seems to be an area a lot of us take for granted or overlook. How to manage and generate funds is an art that one needs to learn deliberately and consciously. Collaborations all over the world remain the overarching medium which has yielded great results.
He reminded participants of the joint celebration of the International Literacy Day in 2018 at Ecobank Headquarters in Accra.
He highlighted that, as an Agency established by an Act of Parliament Act 2020 (1055), one of the main focus of our mandate is to collaborate and coordinate activities within the non-formal education space.
He added that, within the literacy ecosystem, finance reigns supreme and he expected participants to go out and share with friends and families what Ecobank Ghana has impacted to us.
He acknowledged the media for responding to be part of this programme and implored them to use their platforms to propagate the good news on the financial literacy. He appreciated and acknowledged the presence of the Dean of UPSA and the Managing Director and staff of the Ecobank Ghana for their commitment to the programme.
He thanked the Greater Accra Regional and District Directors, facilitators as well as the learners for a successful event even though the notice was very short.
LAUNCHING OF COMPLEMENTARY EDUCATION AGENCY OF THE MINISTRY OF EDUCATION.
The Complementary Education Agency, a sector under the Ministry of Education, out doored its educational programme dubbed “Complementary Education,” on Friday, March 11, 2022.
The ceremony was honoured by the sector Minister, Dr Yaw Adutwum was held at the GNAT Hall in Accra.
Complementary Education is a remodel of what was formally called Non-formal Education.
The programme has been in existence since the inception of the First Republic but was officially incorporated into the Ministry’s functions in 1987 when the government at the time under the leadership of Jerry John Rawlings who saw the need to reform the sector.
The programme has been providing education in various areas to people, particularly adults. This was at the time when the literacy rate among the adult demography was very low in the country.
Adults undertaking an educational course
The programme was therefore supported by the World Bank to provide education to the adult groups to raise the literacy rate of the country.
However, since the World Bank’s withdrawal of its support to the government, the programme has been dwindling until the Akufo-Addo government took the initiative to revitalise it, taking into consideration the need for all to have some form of education to improve upon the quality of their lives.
A bill, Complementary Education Bill 2019, was in effect passed by the 7th Parliament on October 16, 2020.
The bill was to establish the Complementary Education Agency to see to the provision of educational programmes outside the formal education system in the country.
Per clause 3 of the bill, the agency will formulate policies and guidelines to advance complementary education, it will monitor and evaluate the implementation of approved learning activities in the complementary education sector and develop partnerships to enhance complementary education and occupational skill development.
Speaking on the Anopa Bofoↄ show hosted by Kofi Adoma Nwanwani, the Acting Head of Public Relations of the
Agency, Patrick Twumasi, said the programme to be implemented for children at the basic Junior High School levels and adults, would include skill development and professional training to complement the formal education.
According to him, though the programme is to serve as a complement for formal education and would provide the mentioned services, it is not independent of formal education. Thus, a student undertaking formal education cannot quit and join the non-formal education because he probably is not performing well.
“There will be restrictions laid on the non-formal education which will make it complementary but not independent to compete with the formal education which is structured,” he stated in Twi on the show.
The Executive Director, Francis Asumadu, stressed that the programme is to serve as an alternative means to pursue higher learning without going through structured stages as is typical of the formal educational system.
“The formal education is so structured such that it takes few people to jump from say like six to JHS; it is difficult to make it into SHS when you haven’t been through the primary education.
“The new system comes to provide an alternative system where without a stage one can still pursue other levels of education to achieve the results he seeks” the Executive Director said.
Touching on the various levels of education, he noted that for the basic education, children who may not have had formal education before would be taught in their mother tongue and their performance would determine what stage they will be placed−whether class 3 or 4−to continue their basic education.
On JHS students, he mentioned that on completion of the programme they will be awarded certificates that will help them enrol in any formal education institution to retake their final examinations to help them advance into Senior High School.
About the adults, their education would cut across sectors of the economy, thus for those into business, they may take courses that are finance-oriented to educate them on finance management among others, likewise for other sectors.
The programme according to the agency would be held in three sessions: morning, afternoon and evening. This is to ensure that no person needing their services is left behind
CEA READY TO IMPLEMENT COMPLEMENTARY BASIC EDUCATION (CBE).
The Complementary Education Agency (CEA) joined the United Kingdom’s (UK) Department for International Development (DFID) and Implementing Partners (IPs) in a three day Complementary Basic Education (CBE) Progress review meeting for cycle 5 at the Coconut Grove Regency Hotel in Accra.
Complementary Basic Education (CBE) is an intervention to rope in out-of-school children (OOSC) between the ages of 8-14. These children are facilitated in their mother tongue for nine months. The graduates are then transitioned into formal education. Based on assessment some of the children start formal education at primary class three or four.
In a speech, the Hon. Minister for Education, Dr. Matthew Opoku-Prempeh lauded Civil Society and School for Life (SFL) for starting and sustaining the programme. He indicated that CBE as an intervention is not here to stay forever, but to help out-of-school children (OOSC) join their colleagues in the formal school.
Mr. Enoch Cobinna, the Chief Director of the Minister of Education also indicated that since the inspection of CBE in 2013, 248,556 out of-school children (OOSC) have transited to the formal school. He appreciated the National Steering Committee members, which he chairs for their dedication and commitment to the intervention.
Department for International Development (DFID) of the United Kingdom (UK) has through CBE been offering support to disadvantaged as well as disabled children.
CBE, hence, offer second chance to under privileged children to get enrolled into formal school.
The Private Sector and Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) came up for special commendation for their enormous contribution toward the success in the implementation of the CBE intervention.
Mr. Francis Asumadu, Ag, Executive Director of Complementary Education Agency (CEA) thanked the Crown Agents, United States of Agency for International Development (USAID) and Implementing Partners (IPs) for inviting the Division to participate in the review for cycle 5. He indicated that, the experience was engaging as the education. Mr. Asumadu, stated that the Agency was ready to continue with the implementation of the Complementary Basic Education (CBE) intervention, which process is not at much variance with the Complementary Education practise.