Wednesday, September 9, 2009


Yersterday, September 8th was International Literacy Day. The Day was set aside by the UN to sensitize the world generally about the problems and challenges posed by illiteracy to personal growth; community development; national progress and global advancement.

The platform has been used every year to roll out the debilitating effects of illiteracy and its ramifications to development into the public domain Through this the public is informed about the dangerous effect of illiteracy which is subtly eating deep into the social, economic and political fibre of our society.

Illiteracy is not a respecter of persons, communities and nations. Its striking effects could be seen wherever it shows its ugly head. It is the main cause for ignorance, poverty, disease, squalor and underdevelopment. Nations that bear the brunt of illiteracy have often shown visible signs of underdevelopment. It has been established that literacy has undeniably very strong links with development. Nations with high levels of literacy are found in the top echelons of development.


Literacy is the diagnosis for addressing the problems and challenges created by illiteracy. There is certainly an invisible power in literacy that can overturn the gloomy picture created by illiteracy. It has the power to turn ignorant persons into knowledgeable people; poverty stricken families into economically sound ones and dependable economies into independent ones. The theme for the 2009-2010 biennium of the United Nations Literacy Decade is “Literacy and Empowerment”.

This year’s International Literacy Day therefore puts the spot light on the empowering role of literacy and its importance for participation, citizenship and social development.


Flowing from the above, the theme for this year’s International Literacy Day Celebration in Ghana is “Functional Literacy-Key to National Participation, Good Citizenship and Social Development” There is no doubt that the three core areas of this year’s theme are heavily dependent on functional literacy. Functional literacy is an indispensable means for ensuring sound human development which is the main tool for expressing good citizenship, national participation and social development.


The Week long celebration is being commemorated with clean-up exercises at the national, regional, district and community levels. In Accra, the clean-up exercise was undertaken at the Maamobi Polyclinic. Special Christian and Moslem Thanks Giving Services were also held to thank the Almighty God for His support for literacy work as part of the celebration. Learners from adult literacy classes, staff of the NFED and other stakeholders will participate in the exercise. There will also be radio and TV discussion programmes on the significance of the day.


It is widely accepted that literacy skills are basic necessities for informed decision- making and personal empowerment. It is an undeniable fact that the National Functional Literacy Programme (NFLP) being implemented by the Non-Formal Education Division of the Ministry of Education has contributed immensely towards ensuring good citizenship, national participation and socio-economic development.

It has provided graduates with the essential life, civic and occupational skills which are prerequisites for participation in national development programmes. Its civic awareness component has prepared learners to actively and effectively take part in governance programmes at the community levels and accept the views of others as necessary ingredients for deepening democracy and community participation.

The infusion of income generating projects as part of the overall literacy delivery of the NFLP has given thousands of adult learners the impetus for their economic liberation and that of their families. In addition, learners have also contributed towards the direct socio-economic development of their communities through the empowerment received from the discussion of the pictures in the primer. Some have led their communities to provide market sheds, wells, schools and other social facilities to improve the living conditions of their people.

The NFLP has also churned out literacy graduates into the mainstream formal educational sector and have through that opened wider opportunities for climbing to further heights in life. Some of the learners have also taken-up responsible roles in their communities such as Traditional Birth Attendants, Pastors, Deacons, Assemblymen and Women, Catechists, Businessmen and Unit Committees members.

As we celebrate International Literacy Day today, September 8th, 2009, we extend warm felicitations to all who have contributed towards the success of the NFLP, especially, facilitators, supervisors, district, regional and national staff as well as collaborating agencies, community based organizations, donors and other adult literacy providers.

We want to take the opportunity to call on all stakeholders of literacy not to relent on their oars but to continue to strive to ensure the reduction of illiteracy to single digits in the not too distant future. To achieve this vision, we want to urge each literate person to teach one adult learner.


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