Regional News Fri, 22 May 2009

Government urged to adopt lifelong education policy

Accra, May 22, GNA - Professor Emmanuel James Flolu, Dean of the School of Creative Arts, University of Education, Winneba, has urged government to adopt a national policy on lifelong education in order to integrate existing formal and non-formal educational systems into a unified system.

"The lifelong learning education programme seeks to adopt a holistic approach whereby the various components of the educational system such as school education, post school education, formal, non formal and adult education can be brought under one umbrella for more effective and efficient administration and for the production of all round personalities," he said.

Prof Flolu was delivering the 9th Ephraim Amu Lecture series organized by the Ghana Academy of Arts and Sciences (GAAS) as part of activities marking its 50th anniversary celebrations. The lecture was on the topic: "In search of a lifelong learning education programme for Ghana: Lessons from the life work of a farmer, artist and teacher".

Prof Flolu urged government to constitute a team of experts and stakeholders to begin the process of enacting a lifelong education policy.

In formulating such a policy, there is the need to examine how the various tracks such as Technical and Vocational Education Training, grammar and apprenticeships can be merged, he suggested. "The policy should also include the vision, principles, areas of learning, assessment, certification and financing." Prof Flolu said only a lifelong educational system could meet the challenges of the changing world order.

"Ghana's education cannot continue to be time and space bound otherwise when situations change, education becomes irrelevant and we are witnessing this already. An education system whereby age is no more a barrier to people's academic and professional development is now needed."

He said through a lifelong learning system, learners would be shown how to teach themselves using media outside the school as well as the creation of opportunities for people to change programmes where necessary.

He added that teachers would also be trained to desist from imparting facts to learners and rather guide them in their studies. He said the poor quality of education, failure to link all the dimensions and tracks of education into a single band, lack of flexibility as well as limited opportunities for adult and continuous learning are the major deficiencies in the country's educational reform initiatives.

Prof Flolu said Ghana's industrialization efforts had failed due to lack of adequate attention to the agricultural sector. He called for a non-partisan debate on national issues and urged intellectuals, educationists, researchers, politicians, civil society, traditional and religious leaders to take decisions that would be acceptable to the majority of people.

Prof Flolu urged Ghanaians to emulate the imaginative, creative and adventurous lifestyle of Dr. Ephraim Amu, who engaged in farming, teaching, as well as music composition, and epitomized the past, present, and future of African arts and culture. 22 May 09

Source: GNA