This study investigated the comparative study of the
implementation of adult literacy programmes in Ghana and Nigeria. A descriptive
survey research design was adopted for the study. Five research questions were
posed for the study. Five research hypotheses were also posed for the study.
Using the random sampling technique a total of 300 instructors were used for
the study. A structural questionnaire was used for data collection. The
reliability coefficient of 0.86, 0.85, 0.87, 0.90 and 0.92 with a grand mean of
0.97 were obtained using cronbach alpha method of determining internal
consistency of the instrument while one expert in Adult Education, one in
measurement and evaluation and one expert in comparative and international
education carried out face validation of the instrument. Five research
questions were answered using mean and standard deviation while the five
hypotheses which guided the study were tested at 0.05 level of significance
using the t-test statistics. It was found that the planning of adult literacy
programme is slightly higher in Nigeria than in Ghana, that physical resources
employed in the implementation of adult literacy programme is higher in Nigeria
than in Ghana, that there is more financing of adult literacy programme
in Ghana than in Nigeria, that the involvement of human resources in the implementation
of adult literacy programme is higher or greater in Nigeria than in Ghana and
that the level of political-will is higher in Nigeria than in Ghana. It was
however recommended that the planning subsystem should be intensified, more
physical resources should be utilized, financing should be increased, provision
of capacity building should be encouraged and government political-will should
Background of the Study
history of reading and writing could be traced to ancient Egyptians who
discovered the art of writing. This art of writing spread to other parts of the
world. Today, it has become part of man’s civilization. In this present era of
globalization, literacy is the key to progress. The ability to read, write and
do computation makes one a modern man in the sense that he can communicate.
ability to communicate in any language makes a person to be regarded as being
literate. In many countries of the world, many people miss formal education at
the early stage of their lives. The category of those who cannot read, write
and compute is regarded as the state of being illiterate. An illiterate
according to Ezema (2008) is “the state of lack of skills of reading, writing
and arithmetic” (p.2). Therefore, it means that anybody who cannot read, write
and do computation in any language is regarded as being a stark illiterate.
Illiteracy, ill-health and powerlessness make individuals passive observers
even in issues that concern them (Obi, 2006:5). Obi (2006) went further
to point out that the emphasizes on basic education for children and functional
literacy for adults is based on, the fact that education and training are the
major means of self development and empowerment” (p.3). Louis (1968) in Obi
(2006) states that “education is the single most vital force in combating
poverty, powerlessness, abuse of human rights, dictatorship as well as the
degradation of the environment” (p.3).
education which has literacy and numeracy as core components is a fundamental
right of every individual. Literacy and numeracy skills are essential in any
strategy for poverty reduction as these skills help the poor to extricate
themselves from the conditions that cause poverty (Lauglo, 2009:4).
Furthermore, literacy is a vital starting point in the long process of
education and training. Hence Article 26 of Universal Declaration of Rights
1948 stipulates that education shall be directed to the full development of the
for adults should not be sought after, just to enable them acquire certificates
for paid jobs. It should be acquired so that the adults become fully developed,
empowered and active citizens (Obi, 2006:10). Literacy for adults should be
pursued for its intrinsic value. Lack of literacy and numeracy skills by adults
constitutes for them barriers to entrepreneurship and market transactions.
literacy overlaps with the field of adult education. Literacy is defined as the
ability to read and write in any language with understanding and comprehension.
Literacy is also about the acquisition and use of reading, writing and numeracy
skills, and thereby the development of active citizenship, improved health and
livelihoods, and gender equality (Aitchison & Alidou, 2009). The adult
literacy rate for Nigeria is 71.6% and 79.3% for Ghana as at the year 2010.
programs have been conducted in Ghana and Nigeria based on twelve international
adult literacy benchmarks. These benchmarks are the use of reading, writing and
numeracy skills, a ratio of at least one facilitator to thirty learners and one
trainer/supervisor to fifteen learner groups, active choice about the language
in which they learn, use of a wide range of participatory methods, governments
responsibility of a wide variety of materials suitable for new readers, and 3%
of annual total budget of the countries for literacy programmes and 3% of their
national educational sector budgets to adult literacy programmes.
the main aims of UNESCO is ensuring that everyone in the world has free access
to education and must be able to read and write especially in the language of
his or her environment. This study is premised on the fact that the rate of
adult illiteracy is still very high despite the efforts of UNESCO and the
federal governments of Ghana and Nigeria. UNESCO has, since 1946, started adult
literacy programmes which specifically focused on the development of adult
education and adult literacy as influenced and inspired by the historican
contexts of each country (Hinzen, 2000).
literacy campaigns were done in Ghana and Nigeria not only to sensitize the
stark illiterate people towards becoming literate but to wipe out illiteracy in
the countries as a policy. Literacy began and continued to be a major
international issue recognized as a crucial element for the economic and
political viability of both developing and industrialized nations. Literacy is
one of the fundamental requirements of modern civilization because the
functional significance of a people’s ability to read and write depends on it.
There is no doubting the fact that a nation needs about 40% literacy level
among its citizens for sustained economic growth as well as social-political
benefits and sustainable democracy. In colonial Ghana and Nigeria, more than
half the population were not prepared for productive existence. This was one of
the factors why the colonial office decided to launch Mass Literacy Campaigns
in the two countries. Although, between 1949, and 1960, UNESCO has put in place
strategies to promote adult education for all nations, the impact was never
seriously felt at this period in Ghana and Nigeria.
a consistent increase in adult illiteracy because there was no follow-up by the
colonial governments to re-launch mass literacy campaigns in the two countries.
The struggle of individual African states to wipe out illiteracy received an
external boost with the holding of the first regional conferences on policy and
co-operation in 1961 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The Addis Ababa conference was
followed closely by a second one in Abidjan, Coted’Ivoire in 1964, a third one
in Nairobi, Kenya in 1968, a fourth one in Lagos, Nigeria in 1976 and a fifth
one in Harare, Zimbabwe in 1983 (Omagbemi, 1985). All these UNESCO organized
conferences had serious impacts on the literacy situation of the countries in
the sub-region. In Ghana and Nigeria, and in the light of the experiments
conducted over the past 39 years, on literacy and activities related to it, the
high institutions began purposeful researches into, and pilot projects training
instructors for adult basic and functional literacy programmes in Ghana and
Nigeria, thus, the need for a comparative study on the implementation of adult
literacy programmes in Ghana and Nigeria.
Nigeria have a large army of stark illiterates and out-of-school population
whose productive activities and lives are severely limited by their state of
illiteracy (Obi, 2006:72). This is why Nigeria is rated among the ten most
illiterate nations in the world (Ramante, 2000:4). Ramante states that
illiteracy in Nigeria is much higher now than it was on the eve of independence
in 1960. This assertion was supported by Ibrahim (2003) when he said that
“Nigeria accepted the offer of World Bank Analytical Fast Track Initiative
because she was considered as one of the nine countries with the largest number
of out-of-school population (p.6).
Furthermore, Achers (2004) states that “the 2003 Federal Ministry of Education
and UNESCO baseline study put the population of out-of-school children in
Nigeria at 7.3 million” (p. 6). In this third millennium, it is right and
proper that every citizen should be enabled to acquire functional literacy
effective functional literacy education for adults in Ghana and Nigeria is an
ideal whose time has come. Nigeria established the National Agency for Mass
Education (NMEC) with Decree No.26 of 1990 with State Mass Education Agency in
all the 36 states of the Federation and Abuja. Hence, every adult living in
Nigeria should be encouraged to learn to read and write. The National
Functional Literacy Programme (FLP) in Ghana was established to provide
literacy education (National Report of Ghana, 2006).
literacy programmes began in Ghana and Nigeria in 1940 by the Departments of
Education often in collaboration with the District officers, school teachers,
various Christian and Muslim denominational leaders and traditional rulers.
Planning committees on every centre often consisted of the Ministry of
Education Official, the traditional rulers, the Travelling Teacher, the mass
education officer, sometimes, the Agricultural officer, and as a rule officials
of the Native Administration (Omolewa, 1981). The committee decision on the
number of centres to be established initially, the number of instructors to be
employed, their remuneration, the time table and facilities available.
Furthermore, usually, the Mass Education Officer prepared a scheme with the
budget and forwarded this to the provincial secretariats. These schemes were
usually sent to the Mass Education Officer in Lagos who in turn presented them
for consideration by the Director of Education (Omolewa, 1981). Teachers
were recruited from the village and city schools, District and Native
Administration and from 1955 the board of ex-servicemen.
choice of Ghana and Nigeria as the area of study is predicated on the fact that
they share similar characteristics. For instance, the two countries have the
greatest number of adult literacy programme study centres when compared with
other countries in the West African Sub-region. Expectedly, the two countries
are supposed to have reasonably higher students enrolment relative to other
countries in the sub-region. Unfortunately, available evidence shows that the
population of adult literacy learners in the two countries is not commensurate
with the number of centres existing in the two countries (Omolewa, 1981).
Statement of the Problem
history of adult literacy as portrayed in the two countries indicates that
various attempts made to eradicate the illiteracy have not been successful. The
failure of adult literacy programmes in Ghana and Nigeria have been attributed
to many factors, such as poor planning, physical resources, financing, human
resources and political-will. This is why in recent times, international
workshops and seminars have been organized on problems of planning, physical
resources, financing, human resources and political-will of literacy
programmes. The Ghana and Nigeria governments at various levels, the Non
Governmental Organizations (NGOs), the Churches and Civil Society Organizations
have been engaged in the provision of adult literacy programmes in Ghana and
Nigeria (UNICEF, 2000).
Consequently, not much information on the activities of the governments of
Ghana and Nigeria, Non-Governmental Organization (NGOs), Civil Society
Organizations (CSOs), the mosques, Churches and International Non-Governmental
Organizations are available on the extent of implementation on adult literacy
programmes in Ghana and Nigeria (Okeem, 1982). On the other hand, the
governments of Ghana and Nigeria lay claims on the successes achieved in the
areas of adult literacy programmes.
this background, the problem of this study was to find out the implementation
of adult literacy programmes in Ghana and Nigeria.
Purpose of the Study
general purpose of the study was to compare the planning and implementation of
adult literacy programmes in Ghana and Nigeria. Specifically, the study was
the extent of planning in adult literacy programme in Ghana and Nigeria.
the financing of adult literacy programmes in Ghana and Nigeria;
the human resources involved in adult literacy programmes in Ghana and Nigeria;
the physical resources used in the implementation of adult literacy programmes
in Ghana and Nigeria; and
out the level of political-will deployed for the success of adult literacy
programmes in Ghana and Nigeria.