TWO experts in education have advocated a comprehensive and integrated education and curriculum framework for the country that will guide the entire teaching and learning processes of Ghanaians.
The Dean of the School of Creative Arts of the University of Education, Winneba, Mr James Flolu, and a Senior Education Specialist, World Bank Country Office, Accra, Ms Eunice Dapaah, emphasised the need particularly for life-long learning processes to be recognised, made certifiable and funded.
They defined life-long processes as education designed to last through a person’s lifetime,
In papers presented at the 60th New Year School organised by the Institute of Adult Education (IAE) of the University of Ghana (UG), Legon, on the topic, “Life-long learning and the attainment of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)”, the two underscored the fact that education was key in achieving the goals.
Mr Flolu, in his paper, proposed, among other things, a national policy on life-long learning that would include the vision, principles, areas of learning, certification and financing.
He said the Non-Formal Education Division (NFED) of the Ministry of Education, the IAE, the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE), as well as teacher education institutions and non-governmental organisations (NGOs), had to collaborate to re-define their roles and ensure proper co-ordination.
Mr Flolu said in recognising and using life-long learning in attaining the MDGs, a three-dimensional educational structure was needed for guidance and listed compulsory basic and general education, professional and career development education and education for a fulfilling life and living.
Under compulsory basic and general education, he stressed the need to focus on the development of the individual, which involved intellectual and psychological development, not merely the memorisation of facts.
In her presentation, Ms Dapaah expressed the view that life-long education was the future of learning.
Concentrating on the MDGs on education and gender equality, that is, Goal 2 and Goal 3, she indicated that at the current rate of growth the Net Enrolment Ratio (NER) and completion rates might be achieved in the next seven years if targeted interventions were employed to address regional and district disparities.
The Northern Region had the lowest NER in 2006 of 52.4 per cent, which increased to 67.5 per cent in 2007, she said, adding that the region had a longer way to go than the other regions.
Primary Gender Parity stagnated, improved and then seemed to stagnate again between 2007 and 2008, she said.
According to her, that target should have been achieved by 2005 for the primary level. However, it currently stood at 0.92.
Ms Dapaah argued that with education as the “common denominator” for all the other MDGs, there was the need for a change in the thinking about life-long learning in the country.
She said although formal learning in Ghana had been funded principally by the government and reinforced by the 1992 Constitution, it was also known that most learning over one’s lifetime did not occur during formal education or training.
Ms Dapaah said while the country continued to forge forward on the formal education front, it also had to create an environment for lif-elong and continuing education.
“Life-long education is not just an alternative but critical to creating the literate society required for our nation’s development,” she stated.
DAILY GRAPHIC, FRIDAY JANUARY 9, 2009 PG 17