Non-formal education as a means to poverty reduction and community development? : a comparative study of adult literacy in four communitiesin the Ho municipality, Ghana
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This research work examines the impacts of the literacy programme on the improvement of literacy, education, reduction of poverty and community development, especially in the rural and poor communities. The work sets out to put across a measure of knowledge on how literacy could assist in making non-literates and the poor in society functionally literate, at the same time provide them with livelihood skills towards improved living standards and the development of their various communities. Non-formal education, that is the functional literacy programme, was set up in communities with the aim of providing literacy and life skills to the poor, illiterate and marginalised in the community. It makes the above population to be able to read and interact favourably with the environment. By implication, the literacy programme ultimately helps to achieve the UN’s Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) of universal basic education by mopping up those who could not get access to formal education; reducing extreme poverty through training of the poor population in life skills and income generating activities; and reducing mother and child mortality, diseases and deepening democracy through the teaching of the above related topics in the adult literacy class. Findings from the research show that most of the adult learners in the four communities (Kpedze, Akome, Mawuli Estates and Beh) have acquired reading, writing and calculation skills through the literacy class organised under the National Functional Literacy Programme (NFLP). These skills were exhibited by the learners in their everyday life activities including writing down their income and expenses, creditors and debtors, reading the Bible, singing from the church hymnal, writing and reading simple letters and notes, etc. These are educational achievements made by the adult learners. Through the NFLP classes, quite a number of the learners have also acquired income generating skills and entered into gainful employment, raising their income levels, thereby contributing to the reduction of poverty in the local communities. The learners also gradually became active members of their communities, initiating and executing community development programmes that they have been learning from the NFLP activities which are indications of development efforts. However, the adult learners faced challenges such as poor infrastructure, non-availability and late delivery of teaching and learning materials, poor remuneration of their facilitators, poor monitoring and evaluation systems, difficulties in time management and health constraints on the part of the learners, and political interference in the NFLP and the NFED. What the adult learners have not fully achieved is sustainability that is easily forgetting what they have learnt due to lack of continuity in the NFLP, among other things.
Masteroppgave development management- Universitetet i Agder 2010