Posted by on March 5, 2019

Matthew Atinyo comments on the article “How adult education can save your life”

Matthew Atinyo is the Chairmen of Pamoja, Ghana

The author appears to have made a startling discovery that improvements in health are better achieved through adult education on lifestyle and the behaviour of citizens rather that the construction of curative health systems. He illustrates the assertion with the fact that: “Around 90% of Type 2 diabetes can be avoided through education about good food and combatting sedentary lives”.  However the World Health Organization (WHO) formalized its commitment to primary healthcare (PHC) in 1978, when it was identified as central to the achievement of the goal of “Health for All” and as a key instrument for improving health throughout the world (WHO, 1978).

The fact that Adult Education can contribute to rapid amelioration and eventual eradiation of the major problems of the world is well documented. Two quick examples.

  • The Sustainable Development Goals are the panacea to the socioeconomic challenges of the world. Although each of the goals stands alone, it is important to emphasize that Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) has crucial importance for all the other 16 SDGs. Its overall aim is to develop crosscutting sustainability competencies in learners. ESD a component of Adult Education provides an essential contribution to all efforts to achieve the SDGs. Thus Adult Education enables individuals to contribute to sustainable development by promoting societal, economic and political change as well as by transforming their own behaviour.
  • Another area in which Adult Education has proven capacity to offer solution is the Youth Migration from Africa to Europe, America and other developed countries. This challenge is attributable to the inability of governments to provide gainful employment for their people. Ironically, this same workforce could champion socioeconomic development and the African Renaissance. Yet circumstances prevailing in their countries compel the youth to take their destinies in their own hand and risk drowning in the Mediterranean Sea or dying in the scorching sands of the Sahara. Here again, Adult education could provide them with new knowledge, capacities and employable skills to stem the tide of migration. 

Two major factors contribute to perpetuate the state of affairs.

  1. Failure of leadership to apply the right policies
  2. The dwindling resources available to Adult Educators to implement their programmes.

To provide an illustration of the failure of state to implement the right policies a quote from the State of the Nation Address of the President of my country is apt.  Addressing Parliament on 8/2/2019 on the issue of Technical Vocational Training the president had this to say:

 “Young people have to have options on which career path they choose, and I am glad to announce that all is set for the construction of 10 state-of-the-art Technical and Vocational Education Training (TVET) Centres this yearFor far too long, we have preached about the importance of TVET without doing very much to demonstrate this importance. We send or urge young people to go to poorly equipped TVET centres, and we are surprised that they are not keen.The new TVET centres would be world class, and attractive to assure young people that they are not being sent to second best options”.

# This realization is occurring 62 years after independence !!

On the issue of dwindling resources, estimates by UNESCO reveal that there is an estimated financing shortfall of $5.6 billion in order to fulfil the goals of UPE and gender equality (UNESCO, 2002, pp.162-3). This is partly explained by the fact that high ODA-providing countries do not necessarily have high commitments for education. In conclusion, the author appears to believe that adult education and lifelong learning concentrate on reciting of beautiful poems and calculating advanced theorems rather than ensuring life that clearly to him is high on the hierarchy of needs. This belief is erroneous. Adult educators employ several means to keep the attention of their learners. To the casual on-looker is not surprising as with every donor-driven programme practitioners are compelled to do as partners have to comply.


Links to the AED 85/2018 publication in three languages: EnglishFrenchSpanish
Estos son los links para acceder a la publicación en tres idiomas: InglésFrancésEspañol
Voici les liens vers la publication en trois langues: Anglais FrançaisEspagnol

Para español favor usar google translator en los casos en que el artículo no está traducido al español

Veuillez utiliser google translator pour traduire les articles qui ne sont pas en français

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