Global Illiteracy

Illiteracy is still very much prevalent throughout the world, even in the 21st century, the sad fact of the matter is that many communities around the world that suffer under the terrible strain of poverty, which is spurred on by illiteracy. This plague that poverty brings leads to a lack of access to education, and in turn results in illiteracy. In this day in age with so much technology and advancements around the world, it is ridiculous that illiteracy has managed to continue around the world. Everyone in this digital age should have access to a basic education where they gain the ability to read and write. This is why PEI offers a non formal school for illiterate adults, in order to help adults get the leg up they need to get out of poverty.

Why Does Illiteracy Still Exist?

While there is no clear-cut answer to answer the question about why illiteracy still exists, there are some common thoughts on why this still plagues many parts of the world. Illiteracy often  is caused by different, interrelated causes, which when combined, create seemingly insurmountable obstacles that stand in the way of gaining the skills required to read and write. For example, in Gbawe Ghana most of the population is born into extremely underprivileged environments where their parents had little to no formal schooling, which then causes them to be illiterate. When illiterate parents have children and are unable to provide them with the education they need, they in turn become illiterate, and the cycle continues thusly. PAAJAF is trying to combat this very cycle by providing a non formal school for illiterate adults.

What is Non Formal Education

When many of us think of education, we often only think of the kind of formal education that is received between primary school and college, but there are many forms of non formal education that greatly benefit people with the desire to learn new skills who lack access to formal training. Non-formal education can be defined as organised and beinifical educational activity that occurs outside of a formal education system. Simply put, non-formal education is when a group of people come together to learn something new without  there being a formal, traditional teacher or classroom setting. Often times non formal education is best for adults because it is flexible and the educational activity can take place anywhere that is convenient to the adult learners. PEI’s non formal school for illiterate adults is generally designed to meet the basic learning needs of disadvantaged men and women in Gbawe Ghana that have grown up illiterate due to their lack of access to an education as a child.

What Does the School for Illiterate Adults Offers

PEI offers adult literacy workshops in order to help stem the tide of illiteracy that is rampant in Gbawe Ghana. In these workshop adults are given the opportunity to learn basic skills such as reading and writing. Adult students are also taught skills such as accounting, business principles and health education. PEI teaches adults these skills 3 times a week for 4 hours a day in order to help address the adult illiteracy crisis that exists in Gbawe Ghana. The Family Centre also offers classes in English, Ghanaian, Math, and even how to open a bank account. These vital classes help the adults of Gbawe learn the skills that they need by offering a non formal school for illiterate adults.

The Importance of Adult Education

Adult education differs in many ways from childhood education, because adults gain knowledge in several different ways. Unlike in children, work experience can add up to learning experiences. In many cases adult students are more motivated to learn than children, because they have a genuine interest in learning the skill they are trying to acquire. Adults go to classes voluntarily, therefore they put more effort into the end results. Another true difference between adult education and childhood education is that it is not as essential for adults to gain knowledge by relying on others. It is in this way that PEI’s non formal school for illiterate adults is helping adults learn vital new skills on their own accord.

The Maturity of Adult Provides a Foundation for Learning

While there maybe many illiterate adults that, does not discount the dynamic life experiences that they have to draw on in order to learn more skills. Adults are more mature than children, not only because there are simply more physically and mentally developed, but also because adults have much more life experience to draw on that provides a very strong foundation for learning. In a sense the need for the adult to learn the skills is what dictates their readiness to learn and acquire and apply new experiences to their lives. This is why PEI’s non formal school for illiterate adults works so well. The illiterate adults of Gbawe know that they will be able to better their lives if they strive to learn how to read, write and gain other skills. Their need to learn is problem centred, unlike a child’s which is more subject centred.

Why Adults are Motivated to Learn

Adults are motivated to learn by the need to learn a new skill or gain knowledge. The effort needs to be worth the energy being spent, unlike with children, adults often need to see the immediate results or need in order to decide to learn a new skill. In the case of illiteracy the adults who do not know how to read or write are motivated by the desire to earn a better life for themselves and their families. In communities such as Gbawe Ghana the rate of illiteracy in adults is very high, and those without the ability to read or write or often left to take up menial, low paying jobs. Adults who want to learn how to read and write in order to find a better paying job to support their families are motivated to go to PEI’s non formal school for illiterate adults where they can gain the skills they need to succeed.