NGO urges gov’t to prioritise digital literacy for adult learners

As Ghana joins the rest of the world to mark this year’s International Literacy Day on September 8, Engage Now Africa (ENA), a non-governmental organisation, has asked the government to prioritise digital literacy for adult learners.

The Ghana Country Director of Engage Now Africa, Cecilia Amankwah, in an interview with The Ghana Report, indicated that it is prudent for the government to ensure that adult learners are provided with the requisite knowledge to bridge the digital learning divide.

“The role of technology during the Covid-19 induced school closure period in ensuring the continuity of literacy cannot be underemphasised. Hence, digital mediated learning should be extended to all especially, the youth and adults to enable them to keep pace with the current digitised world,” she said.

“More importantly, the government must prioritise Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET),” she encouraged.

Additionally, she asked the government to “partner with good organisations like Engage Now Africa to help implement our vocational skills in a wider range, so we can build the present and a future workforce.”

The United Nations Education, Scientific, and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) have set aside September 8, as the International Literacy Day to evaluate global literacy to ascertain the progress of young people and adults.

The world commemorates this year’s International Literacy Day with the theme, “literacy for human-centred recovery: narrowing the digital divide.”

To this end, the Country Director of ENA, said, their organisation is committed to collaborating with the government and any other like-minded institution to ensure the delivery of human-centred literacy to adult learners in the country.

She noted that it is through a collective partnership and effective delivery of human-centred adult literacy that would bridge the digital literacy divide and contribute to the successful recovery from the pandemic.

“All facet of human life has been affected in several ways and the recovery will not emerge by the flip of a switch but through fixes. Therefore, every action taken in this direction must be centred on humanity,” Ms Amankwah stated.

Ghana Country Director of Engage Now Africa, Cecilia Amankwah

Engage Now Africa’s contribution to adult literacy

The NGO has, over the years, supported the Ministry of Education in its quest to reduce illiteracy and increase literacy among the Ghanaian adult population, and deployed digital mediated teaching and learning mechanisms in this regard during the pandemic.

Despite the challenge faced last year, an estimated 1,200 adult learners were graduated, with an additional 2,000 new adult learners recruited.

They also partnered with the Ensign College of Public Health, the Non-formal Education Division of the Ministry of Education, and United Way Ghana to educate more than 10,000 people on the prevention of Covid-19.

Additionally, ENA and its partners were able to distribute Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) including handwashing basins, face masks and alcohol-based hand sanitizers to schools and other government institutions, and more than 10,000 individuals within communities across the country.

Aside from that, the organisation also embarked on a PPE vocational training series, which was an intervention of hope for most participants, leading to the enrolment of 1,724 people into various vocational skills programmes.

Going forward, the NGO has in collaboration with the United Way Ghana would provide literacy and vocational skills to about 500 learners in the Greater Accra, Ashanti, Central and Easting regions as it deepens effort to bridge the digital literacy divide.

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