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Cabinet approves rebranding of Non-Formal Education; It will cater for all dropouts

BY: Severious Kale Dery

The Cabinet has approved the rebranding of non-formal education to cater for dropouts at all levels of the educational sector.

Known as the Complementary Education Agency, the entity will now focus on the provision of education for street children who never had the opportunity to enter the classroom and those who dropped out after the Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE) and the West Africa Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE).

Visit to newsroom

In an interview after interacting with the staff of the Graphic Newsroom in Accra, a Deputy Minister of Education, Dr Yaw Osei Adutwum, said the bill to give legal effect to the agency was now before Parliament for consideration and approval.

He was in the newsroom to learn at firsthand how the editorial team operated and how stories were selected for publication.

Non-formal education is primarily meant for adults who have never been to school to become literate.

Need for agency

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Dr Adutwum was of the view that the country’s educational situation had changed and that there was the need for an agency that would deal with the issue of dropouts and help them go back to school.

“So the agency’s efforts complement the regular Ghana Education Service work to show that it is never too late for anyone to go to school and get a high school certificate,” he explained.

Mandate of agency

Speaking on the mandate of the agency, he said: “Its mandate is providing education for street children and those who went to school and dropped out before the BECE, so that they could be mainstreamed in school again.”

Such school dropouts, he said, could also undergo short courses in technical and vocational education such as carpentry, tiling or any of the hands-on programmes so that they could put themselves back together or “they can actually do their WASSCE remedial as mature candidates so they can enter the university”.

Last resort

Describing the agency as an important entity, the deputy minister said it could be seen as the place of last resort where students could turn around their lives.

Dr Adutwum explained that because there was a change of name from Non-Formal Education to the Complementary Education Agency, it had to go to the Attorney-General’s Office and then to Parliament.

He said there was no public facility in the country dedicated to addressing the needs of such dropouts and was hopeful that the agency would address that gap.