Engage Now Africa (ENA) has graduated 87 elderlies that completed a 12-month Adult Literacy programme in Wute, a community in Akatsi in the Volta Region.
ENA for many years has sustained its commitment to spearhead efforts to strengthen individuals, families, and communities to end poverty through adult education, provision of microloans, self-support assistance, provision of clean water and sanitation, medical services, orphan support, and eradication of modern forms of slavery.
The graduation ceremony held last Friday (June 15, 2018) at Wute is, therefore, another milestone for the NGO as it strives to use education to tackle societal problems, especially poverty.
Apart from reading and writing lessons, the 87 graduates also received training in basic arithmetic and profit-and-loss calculation to assist the new graduates of the adult literacy programme, many of whom are petty traders.
ENA’s Jeff Nyarko says because of the fast-changing rural environment, reading and writing lessons were complemented with essential skills like budgeting to facilitate the application of the lessons the adult learners received to their daily lives.
“They are usually petty traders and they do not record their sales or their stock effectively. There have been instances where some of them set up provision shops and at the end of the day, they ran into losses. So in their manuals, they have simple budgeting, calculating profit-and-loss…so that they will be able to manage the little businesses that they have.
“We just don’t teach them to speak English, we teach them important additions and how to use the smartphones to do transactions like mobile money,” said Jeff Nyarko, who stood in for ENA country director, Cecilia Amankwah, at the graduation ceremony.
Chairman for the colourful graduation ceremony, Torgbui Agbakpe IV, who is also the overlord of Wute, lauded ENA's efforts in improving the lives of individuals in deprived communities.
He urged the NGO to intensify lessons in Information and Communications Technology (ICT) in the curriculum for the adult learners.
Commenting on the suggestion to include ICT to the curriculum, Jeff Nyarko said there is a long-standing partnership with government in that regard, albeit a dearth of support from state officials.
“Actually, we are partnering with the government [on the inclusion of ICT lessons]. it was an invitation they gave us so that we will see how we will roll out ICT programmes but the whole thing is that they are developing a curriculum for the ICT, although I admit it has taken very long because it started since last year,” he said, revealing that a pilot programme started briefly, but hit a snag after government support stopped.
“The cost of including ICT is quite expensive. Look at the number of communities that we have; to put computers there will be demand a lot of support,” he said.
He said the training in the use of smartphones is meant to partially fulfil the need for the inclusion of computer literacy for the adult learners.
“Assistance from the government is very slow…we’ve been doing our thing the best way we can. Even though they are slow, we don’t want to also slack. So at least we are trying to move forward as much as we can,” he said.
He has appealed for more support from organisations and individuals in order to break further into more communities with ENA’s mandate to improve lives through education, provision of microloans, self-support assistance among others.
More photos below.