The role of non-formal education as a mechanism for reducing poverty in the Ashanti Region of Ghana

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Illiteracy not only limits the full development of individuals and their participation in society, but also has repercussions throughout life, affecting a person’s family, environment, restricting access to the benefits of development, and hindering the enjoyment of other human rights. Adult illiteracy not only affects income and awareness of rights, but also leads to poor nutrition and health, due to illiterates’ lack of knowledge regarding their own health and hygiene and that of their families. Thus, the more illiterate people there are in a country, the more difficult it will be for the country to develop. In view of the above, the study assessed the role of NFE as a mechanism of reducing poverty. Specifically, it assessed the services of NFE and its benefits to learners and its impacts on poverty reduction, implementation challenges and how their services can be improved. The study used the purposive and simple random sampling techniques with focus group discussions; it selected and collected data from 120 learners, 9 facilitators, 4 supervisors and 2 municipal coordinators of the NFED of Offinso South and Ejisu-Juaben Municipalities in the Ashanti Region. It was revealed that the study districts run universal programme (NFLP) which has the following services; literacy and numeracy, IGA/Occupational skills, health/life skills and civic awareness, however, the IGA training differ from one zone to another. Literacy has improved among learners, while about 88.7 percent of them have seen improvement in their lives in areas such as literacy, numeracy, health and civic awareness. Despite the above, challenges such as inadequate funding, infrastructure and logistics, irregularity in attendance and others militate against the NFE programme in the study areas. Thus, the study recommended that the government of Ghana should ensure increased and regular flow of funds to the programme. Thus, the GET fund Act 2000 (Act 581) must have a closer look at NFE to provide adequate support to the programme. In addition, the NFED should provide learning materials and furniture for the use of the adults. Moreover, it was recommended that awards should be given to deserving learners periodically to motivate regular attendance.  ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS First and foremost, I thank the God Almighty for His guidance and protection throughout my education. I am highly indebted to my supervisor, Mrs. G. Adom-Asamoah of (Department of Planning, KNUST), who took the pain and patience to read through this work, made corrections and offered useful suggestions. I also thank all the staff of Department of Planning especially Mr. Emmanuel Otutei who contributed in many ways towards the successful completion of this work. Similarly, I wish to register my profound gratitude to Prof. E. Owusu and Dr. K. O.Agyemang all of Department of Planning, who contributed in many ways towards the successful completion of this work. To all pastors (7th days Ahodwo), Mr. Isaac Yeboah (Consar LTD),Mr. William Bekoe (GES), Mr. S.Y Donkor (former NFE Coordinator Offinso Municipal), Mr. Asiedu Bediako (OpokuWare School), Mr Acheampong Francis (USA), Group one members (DEPP, 2009- 2011), Mr.Opoku (DEPP, 2009- 2011) and, Annan Francis (DEPP, 2009- 2011) I say God bless you all for your assistance, prayers and encouragement. Finally, I render my heartfelt gratitude to all my siblings for their prayers, love and support.
A thesis submitted to the School of Graduate Studies Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology Kumasi, in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Science in Development Policy and Planning.