Tamale, March 23, GNA-Participants at the just ended Harmattan School has observed that Ghana is far from achieving the Millennium Development Goal two which deals with the issue of achieving universal education for all, by 2015.
They said the nation was facing many developmental challenges including a weak institutional frame work for the implementation of educational policies, low adult and youth literacy and language discrimination which is impeding her progress towards realizing that objective.
The Harmattan School is a platform which deliberates on development issues affecting Northern Ghana as well as the nation.
This was contained in a five page communiqué issued jointly by the organisers; Centre for Continuing Education and Interdisciplinary Research (CCEIR) of the University for Development Studies (UDS) and Ghana Institute of Linguistics, Literacy and Bible Translation (GILLBT) on Friday in Tamale.
Dr Seidu Al-Hassan, Director of CCEIR-UDS, who presented the document, said participants also observed that one of the critical challenges the nation was facing was the absence of a non-formal educational policy to set and regulate standards among service providers in the non-formal educational sector.
During the three-day discussion, he said, participants recognized that complementary forms of literacy such as e-literacy and financial literacy were important in promoting development as the ability to read and write.
He said it was identified that there were still a large number of non-literates in Ghana but non-formal education had not received adequate policy attention from government to care for those out of school.
Dr Al-hassan said the gathering recommended that government as a matter of urgency address the policy gap and problem of imposition of the designated languages for study by all non-native speakers.
The Harmattan School, he said, also suggested that government through the Ministry of Education should intensify supervision, especially in basic schools to improve the quality of teaching and learning.
“There should be a consistent language policy for the use of mother-tongue as a medium of instruction at the early stages of child education, trained teachers must be posted to these areas where they can instruct in the mother tongue and make more written materials available to schools”, he said.
The school, he said, also proposed that non-state actors including Parent Teacher Associations, School Management Committee Members must also play their role by supporting role in the establishment of library facilities for schools.
According to Dr Al-hassan, participants agreed that the UDS and GILLBT and other stakeholders partnering the Harmattan School should transform the event into an international one since it provides the platform for discussing pertinent national issues.
Mr Ibrahim K. Antwi, Chief Librarian at the UDS, said the theme for this year’s Harmattan School, “Literacy, Education and Development – Key Strategies to Attaining the MDG’s, was interrelated and could help solve the illiteracy challenge in the country when given the needed attention.
He called on the organizers to disseminate the recommendations of the meeting to enable policy makers and other stakeholders put in place pragmatic steps to address the problems