Shermaine Barrett comments on the article “The keys to a peaceful and prosperous Africa”
Shermaine Barrett (PhD) is a Senior -Lecturer at the University of Technology, Jamaica. She currently serves as Vice President for the Caribbean Region of the International Council for Adult Education (ICAE) and President of the Jamaican Council for Adult Education (JACAE).
Having read the column by Samuel Asnake Wollie two things challenge my mind. The first relates to Samuel’s argument that only “functional literacy and a continuum of education” can successfully address the issue of transforming continental liabilities into assets. My challenges lies in the fact that the column is pitched at the continental level and so I question what Samuel meant when he spoke of literacy. Within a context in which hundreds of languages exists what is the language that would be taught and learned in order to say people are now literate? Who decides on that language, if at all? Is this going to be a decision made at the country level or continent level?Secondly, I agree that schooling is not the only form of education and I would go further to say that it is often not very effective for too many “learners”. The challenge is though that whatever form and whatever the space within which learning takes place for it to really impact nation building and development that learning must be recognized and valued by the society. By valued I mean that such learning would be rewarded and validated through some form of “certification” that is transportable. Such recognition and corporate valuing to my mind is what enhances the usefulness of education and learning beyond its own intrinsic value and releases the transforming potential of education to the point where it would indeed stimulate prosperity both for the individual and the society.
Links to the AED 85/2018 publication in three languages: English, French, Spanish
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