Major Albert Don-Chebe (Rtd), Director-General of Ghana Broadcasting Corporation has attributed the nation’s under-development to the high illiteracy rate and failure of policy makers to apply pragmatic steps to deal with the situation.
He said for Ghana to progress beyond the lower middle-income then steps ought to be taken to cure what he termed as the “unnecessary disease of illiteracy”.
The Director-General made the comment at the 5th Congregation of the University of Professional Studies in Accra, over the weekend.
He said, in the light of technological advancement and learning innovations, it is unnecessary to have millions of the citizens consigning their productive lives in illiteracy and ignorance.
He observed that illiteracy is the acknowledged saboteur of all the grand development programmes announced with great fanfares by government after government, which have all failed spectacularly.
Major Don-Chebe cited India, Malaysia, Korea, Singapore and China as nations that used education to lay foundations of new economic power houses of South Asia and the Far East.
According to him while less than five per cent of Ghana’s population have acquired higher education, many Asian tigers have the percentage around 25 to 30.
Development analysts are of the view that if a society does not have more than 95 per cent literacy with at least 20 per cent of the population accessing higher education that society can never ascend to the ranks of upper middle-income nation, he said.
In spite of proliferation of tertiary institutions, the Director-General said “large sections of our population are still illiterate and many others are only barely literate.
He said: “I look forward to the day that someone will roll out a bold and practicable policy aimed at eradicating illiteracy from Ghana.”
“A policy with specific timelines, definite mile posts and strict deadlines; a policy which will charge specific persons and Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies with precise targets aimed at removing illiteracy.”