Findings from a yet-to-be-published report by the Ghana Statistical Service (GSS) indicates that 7.9 million persons aged six years and older in Ghana are illiterates – meaning they could neither read nor write with understanding.
4.6 million of the illiterates are females whiles the remaining 3.3 million are males, indicating a female disadvantage that has been persistent over time.
A statement issued by the GSS as it shares census statistics on illiteracy in Ghana as part of the commemoration of World Literacy Day, said the report also finds that between the 2010 and 2021 Population and Housing Censuses (PHC), 1.2 million more illiterate adults, 15 years and older, were added to the population, moving the number from 4.3 million in 2010 to 5.5 million in 2021.
The report indicates that Ghana had lower levels of adult literacy compared to lower, middle income and sub-Saharan African countries after three years of the provisions on illiteracy captured in the Education Strategic Plan (ESP), 2018-2030.
“This has necessitated the production of the 2021 PHC Thematic Report Brief on illiteracy in Ghana which will be released later this month. The report provides direction for stakeholders to target hotspots and drivers of illiteracy in Ghana as it focuses on three broad areas; trends, patterns and correlates of illiteracy,” the statement said.
The statement said an earlier report on the 2021 PHC General Report on Literacy and Education which presented data on literacy in English and local languages, current school attendance, and educational attainment disaggregated by sex, region and type of locality, was available to download from www.census2021.statsghana.gov.gh.
The GSS provides comprehensive, reliable, quality, relevant, accurate and timely statistical information to guide national development as stipulated in Section 3 of the Statistical Service Act, 2019 (Act 1003).
Its vision is to be a trusted provider of statistical services for good governance and its mission, to lead the efficient production and management of quality official statistics based on international standards, using competent staff for evidence-based decision-making, in support of national development.
GSS also produces monthly and quarterly data on important economic indicators such as inflation, Consumer Price Index (CP), Producer Price Index (PPI), Gross Domestic Product (GDP) as well as population, housing, demographic and economic data at the locality, district, and national levels from routine surveys and censuses.
BY Gibril Abdul Razak