Ghana joined the world on Friday to mark International Literacy Day (ILD) which is part of global effort aimed at eliminating illiteracy in Ghana and in the world at large.


The event, organized by the Non-Formal Education Division of the Ministry of Education, was the theme: “A Digital World in Ghana: The Case of Functional Literacy.”


Delivering the key note address, Mrs Barbara Ayisi Acher, a Deputy Minister for Education in Charge of Pre-tertiary Education, said no nation could effectively develop if a large segment of its population remained illiterate.


“A literate society acts as a catalyst for the national progress; it fuels community development, inspires individual advancement, fosters the transformation of the mind towards positive thinking and leads to self-empowerment.” she said.


Mrs Acher, who was speaking on behalf of the Minister for Education, Dr Mathew Opoku Prempeh, noted that the inability to read or write militated against national and community development and retarded individual self-actualization.


With the boom in digital technology such as mobile phones, computers and internet, Mrs Ayisi Acher said, literacy had become one of the fundamental skills required to navigate the digital and technological terrain.


“Vast business transactions can be performed in a short space of time, whilst a wide array of information sources is readily available for all digital literate people just by the press of a button, or at the click of a mouse,” she said.


In a statement, Mr Francis Asumadu, Acting Director, NFED, noted that learners’ mastery of the 3 R’s—Reading, Writing and Numeracy—had opened up scores of opportunities for them in their communities, as their record keeping had improved while traders had better appreciation of business practices.


In addition, he said, the literacy programme had reduced negative practices such as child labour, self-medication, drug abuse and eating unbalanced diet.


He said studies had shown that literates were more likely to send their children to school, better able to access continuing educational opportunities and were better geared to meet their pressing developmental aspirations.


Represented at the event were the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), ActionAid Ghana and Engage Now Africa, both Non-Governmental Organizations, among others.


Source: ISD (Abu Mubarik)