Assessment of Learning Needs of Street Vendors in Ghana: Implications for Adult Education

Assessment of Learning Needs of Street Vendors in Ghana: Implications for Adult Education

Louis Caleb Kutame, Olivia Frimpong Kwapong
Copyright: © 2019 |Pages: 13
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-8134-5.ch008
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This chapter assessed the learning needs of street vendors in Accra, the capital city of Ghana. The findings revealed that vendors in the streets of Accra were made up predominantly of young people aged between the ages of 16 and 40 years. Seventy-five percent (75%) of these street vendors had gone through basic education and about 55% of them showed interest in furthering their learning. A majority of those who wished to further their education and indicated that they wished to be assisted in acquiring technical education which they figured out would enable them to generate regular revenues with which they can support themselves and their families. It was recommended that adult educators should assist street vendors in locating opportunities for the learning they have indicated and to support them in achieving their dream for the sake of national development.
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Street Vending In Ghana

Within the context of Ghana, a hawker is also identified as street vendor. Therefore the term ‘street vendor’ is used to denote all those that use the street as vending space irrespective of the way they go about it. Consequently, an official definition of a street vendor has been adopted and published by Government. A street vendor is a person who is

engaged in selling articles, goods, ware, food items or merchandise of everyday use or offering services to the general public, in a street, lane, side walk, footpath, pavement, public park or any other public place or private area, from a temporary built up structure or by moving from place to place…. (Republic of Ghana, 2014 p.2).

As in other parts of the developing world (Bhowmilk, 2005), street vending forms the bulk of the informal sector activities. Street vending has thus become the main source of employment for many in the informal sector. The beneficiaries include mainly youths who travel from far and near to the urban centers in search of greener pastures. The street has turned out to be offices, sources of income and even places of abode for some young adults in the country. This exposes them to a lot of health, economic, sexual and social hazards. As stated earlier numerous factors account for the growth of street vending. However, the main factor fuelling street vending in Ghana has been the high rate of school dropout across formal school levels. For example, barely 50% of primary school students population transit to junior secondary school (United Nations, 2015). As in other parts of Sub-Saharan Africa, the universities have space for barely 7% of those qualified to receive university education (Teferra, 2014). The largest percentage of those who do not make it to either the secondary or university levels of education end up in the street vending business in large urban settlements of the country.

In an effort to rehabilitate the Ghanaian informal sector generally but particularly, the street vending sub-sector, the National Development Planning Commission of Ghana developed a Poverty Reduction Strategy (GPRS) blueprint in 2006 with a view to equipping with twenty first century strategic skills, all youth that could not continue through the formal school. The aim of the GPRS was for Ghana to become a middle income country by 2015 through the promotion of a vigorous national human resource development (National Development Planning Commission, 2006). Within this context, the GPRS I & II have highlighted the need for skills and entrepreneurial development. However, GPRS I & II have hardly taken off. Before the advent of GPRS, all trainings in Ghana, were designed to service the formal economy. Consequently, all formal and non-formal educational curricula have been designed to train for the formal economy. Little attention has before now been paid to apprenticeship, entrepreneurial training and skills development of youth and school dropouts (GSS, 2016). It is suspected that the country is still suffering from a hangover from this kind of past practice that has for a long time discouraged the promotion of apprenticeship and entrepreneurial trainings.

Yet, the time is ripe now for such trainings as every day that passes turns into the streets of major cities of the country, teeming populations of unskilled youth who need to be recuperated before they become a social menace and threat. It was within this context and for the purpose of discovering ways of refining the street vending sub-sector of the informal economy that the following study was conducted.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Ghana: An English-speaking West African country who is bordered in its eastern side by Togo, in its western side by C?te d’Ivoire, in the north by Burkina Faso and in the south by the Gulf of Guinea.

Technical Education: A kind of education which equips with skills that involve the use of practical approaches and other physical instruments in executing projects.

Street Vendor: A person who carries out economic activities in the street.

Profiling the Street Vendor: Describing the street vendor in sociological, psychological, and economic terms.

Adult Education: A type of education that takes place outside the school system or one that takes place within the school system but in a flexible and collaborative manner.

Educational Policy: An official statement concerning a type of learning that government or a non-government agency wishes to sponsor and support with both human and financial resources.

Learning Needs: A kind of education that must be undertaken in order to prevent a dire situation.

Liberal Education: A type of education designed to broaden the mental horizon of an individual by making available to the latter a vast array of information.

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