International Forum of Teaching and Studies Vol. 6 No. 1 2010
A Look at the Trend of Distance and Adult Education in Ghana
The University of South Florida, Tempa, FL. USA
[Abstract] Distance learning in sub-Saharan Africa is very limited and inefficient. Information,
communication, and technology seem to be struggling in the third world as result of inadequate
infrastructure, financial constraints, and social or cultural barriers, as well as minimal government
policies as compared to successful programs in the developed world. Not much has been researched
on the contribution of distance learning and adult education in Ghana. There has been successful
distance learning programs in Ghana that need much recognition in the outside world. Adult
educators and researchers in the field of open and distance learning must know the contributions of
adult and distance learning in sub-Saharan Africa, especially in the case in Ghana.
[Keywords] Distance education for adults; adult education; Ghana; sub-Saharan Africa; distance
learning programs; education trends.
In sub-Saharan Africa, adult education is utilized to educate and empower the general population on
the most pressing issues in society. Examples include: the use of technology, social awareness, and
staff development. With the emergence of technology and e-learning, adult education has taken a
different paradigm in Africa. Adult learners are now provided with the most recent technological
tools for learning, such as computers, podcasts, radios, laptops, and other accessories. Most public and
private universities have started distance education programs for adult workers to create an
opportunity for them to advance their skills. So far, there is little research on the impact of distance
learning and adult education in any of the sub-Saharan African countries. In most conferences and
peer-reviewed journals, the trends and contribution of distance education are not highly considered.
However, at the major universities in sub-Saharan Africa, particularly in Ghana, there have been
many successful distance education programs using recent technology to help reduce problems in
education, such as teacher education, women empowerment, democracy, financial, health education,
and human resource development, in continuing education centers at the major universities in Ghana.
It is important for adult educators to recognize how technology has influenced distance and adult
education in sub-Saharan Africa, particularly in Ghana. Therefore, this article will address the trend of
distance and adult education in Ghana and highlight the role distance education has played to promote
adult education in both formal and informal sectors in Ghana. It will look at the future trends of adult
and distance education in Ghana.
In Ghana, adult education is primarily focused on providing education and human resources training to
individuals at all levels so they can solve the most pressing issues adults face in their quest to make a
better living. Adult education in Ghana also provides functional literacy programs for individuals
above 15 years of age outside the formal school system, thereby offering a second chance for learn