Tamale, Feb 7, GNA – The Harmattan School, a platform which deliberates on development issues affecting northern Ghana and suggests solutions to them, opened in Tamale on Monday.
This year’s event, which is the sixth since its inception, is being organized by the Centre for Continuing Education and Interdisciplinary Research (CCEIR) of the University for Development Studies (UDS), in conjunction with the Ghana Institute of Linguistics, Literacy and Bible Translation (GILLBT).
The three-day event themed: Literacy, Education and Development – Key Strategies to Attaining the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), is being attended by think tanks from northern Ghana, civil society organizations, government officials, non-governmental organizations, academia and other interest groups.
Some of the issues to be discussed include “Literacy, Education and Development: The National Challenge”, “Moving beyond the Rhetoric; Institutional and Policy Support for Literacy.”.
In a speech read for him, Mr Moses Bukari Mabengba, the Northern Regional Minister, said literacy plays an important role in development and that it was a significant prerequisite for achieving the MDGs, which had become the measures of development.
Mr Mabengba said there are plans by the Ministry of Education to establish Information Communication Technology (ICT) centres across the country to ensure that graduates of functional literacy programmes also turn out as ICT literates.
He said this was to ensure that more non-literates and school drop-outs got enlightened to be innovative in their areas of trade and vocation.
Mrs Elizabeth Deo-Souza, Northern Regional Director of Education, challenged the Harmattan School to come out with strategies that would bring about a radical transformation in the development path of the country.
She said this would ignite passionate discussions on finding the necessary ingredients in the linkages between literacy, education and development.
Professor David Millah, Pro-Vice Chancellor of UDS, said UDS was working to transform the Harmattan School into an accountability platform on projects being undertaken in northern Ghana including the Savanna Accelerated Development Authority.
Dr Paul Opoku-Mensah, Executive Director of GILLBT, said GILLBT’s partnering with UDS to organize the Harmattan School was to give it a national appeal.
Dr Opoku-Mensah said the partnership also formed part of activities to mark GILLBT’s Golden Jubilee celebrations.
GILLBT, a Christian NGO, was set up in 1962 primarily to provide reading materials amongst others in Ghanaian languages and also promote the use of vernacular in local communities.