GNECC?s philosophy is premised on the fact that education is a fundamental?human right and improved literacy level is crucial to achieving Education For All?(EFA). Being an advocate for the attainment of the EFA goals the Coalition, with?pleasure joins the world and Ghana to celebrate this year?s World Literacy Day?under the theme ?Literacy and Peace?. Literacy is a right. It is implicit in the right?to education. It is recognized as a right, explicitly for both children and adults, in?most international conventions and declarations.
The Education For All (goal 4) is clear and it states that ?Achieving a 50 per cent?improvement in levels of adult literacy by 2015, especially for women, and?equitable access to basic and continuing education for all adults?. This means?that all adults have a right to basic education, beginning with literacy, which?allows them to engage actively in, and to transform, the world in which they live.?Interestingly, literacy still remains a global challenge with most societies having?high levels of illiteracy in its adult population. There are still some 880 million?people who cannot read or write in the world; two-thirds are women. The fragile?levels of literacy acquired by many new literates compound the problem. Yet?the education of adults remains isolated, often at the periphery of national?education systems and budgets.
By conventional measurement methods, some 771 million adults are illiterate,?two-thirds of them women. This represents a serious violation of human rights for?nearly a fifth of the world?s adult population. Literacy strengthens the?capabilities of individuals, families and communities to take advantage of ?health, educational, political, economic and cultural opportunities. Women?s?literacy is of crucial importance in addressing gender inequality. As the United?Nations Literacy Decade (2003?2012) resolution indicates that literacy is at the?heart of basic education for all and creating literate environments and societies?is essential for achieving the goals of eradicating poverty, reducing child?mortality, curbing population growth, achieving gender equality, and ensuring?sustainable development, peace and democracy.
In Ghana 67 percent of adults are literate, with more male?s literate than?females. Despite the attainment of near universal enrolments at the basic?level of our educational system, proficiency levels in literacy, especially in?English is still low, with less than 70 percent of pupils of primary 3 and 6 able?to attain proficiency in reading.
These are pointers that as a country there is the urgent need to improve the?quality of learning in our basic schools and ensure that our youth and adult?populations who have either dropped out of school or not had the?opportunity to participate in formal education are provided with functional?literacy. It is only when we look at literacy within a rights-based approach?and the principles of inclusion for human development that we can have the desired peace and tranquillity.
GNECC therefore calls on government to fulfil its international obligation of increasing the proportion of education sector budgetary allocation for adult and functional literacy to 3% from the current merge allocation of less than 1 percent. This should be done without compromising on efforts to improve the quality of learning and outcomes of basic education to produce not only literate pupils, but outcomes that can compete favourably in any part of the world.
We also wish to call for a national effort with collaboration of Government, the private sector and local communities to promote reading across the country for both children and adults. This effort should consider promoting reading clubs in schools and communities, providing signposts on all local government and community edifices.
It is our firm believe that as we endeavour to build a democratic and peaceful country with opportunities for all, our commitments to providing quality education for all, without discrimination on grounds of gender, race or religion, our success will be hinged on ensuring that we create a literate society.
Finally, inspired by the theme of the World Literacy Day, 2012 (?Literacy and Peace?) and especially as Ghana gears up for national elections in a few months. The Coalition wishes to use this platform to urge all Ghanaians, especially members and leaders of Political Parties, young people and indeed all Ghanaians to cultivate and work towards a peaceful election in December.


Long Live Ghana.


Leslie Tettey
National Coordinator


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