This study is on an assessment of adult literacy programme in Nigeria. The total population for the study is 200 staff of Jos South LGA, Plateau state. The researcher used questionnaires as the instrument for the data collection. Descriptive Survey research design was adopted for this study. A total of 133 respondents made up heads of department, counselors, senior staff and junior staff was used for the study. The data collected were presented in tables and analyzed using simple percentages and frequencies.
- OBJECTIVE OF THE STUDY
The objectives of the study are;
- To ascertain, the effort that government has put into adult literacy programs
- To identify the response rate of populace towards adult literacy program
- To ascertain the impact of adult literacy education to the Nigeria
- To find out the strategies and innovations that government has put in place since the inception of adult literacy program
- RESEARCH HYPOTHESES
For the successful completion of the study, the following research hypotheses were formulated by the researcher;
H0: there is no impact of adult literacy education to the Nigerians
H1: there is impact of adult literacy education to the Nigerians
H02: there is no effort that government has put into adult literacy programs
H2: there is effort that government has put into adult literacy programs
REVIEW OF RELATED LITERATURE
If education is an instrument for development, adult education which is an aspect of education has the potentiality of contributing to development through the empowerment of individuals politically, socially and economically. Omolewa (1981) and Aderinoye (1997), defined adult education as an organized and sequential learning experience designed to meet the felt needs of the adults. Nzeneri (2007:7) opined that it is in adult education that emphasis is placed on lifelong learning, education as a process and agent of liberation, a tool for adjustment, for self and national development, for cultural awareness and integration, for conscientization and group dynamism. He then defined adult education as “any education given to adults based on their social, political and cultural and economic needs or problems to enable them adjust fully to changes and challenges in their lives and society.” Adult education is an empowerment strategy through which adults can uplift themselves socially and economically to enable them participate fully in the development of their communities. Adult education is concentrating on programs and strategies that will help reduce poverty and facilitate development. The role of adult education is to empower people for change and development. This is why the developmental role of adult education according to Nyerere (2006:77) incorporates anything that enlarges man’s understanding, activates them, helps them to make their own decisions and to implement those decisions for themselves. In the same vein the aim of education including adult education according to Fafunwa (1974) includes the development of practical skills, character training, teaching respect for elders, teaching the values of honest labors, inculcating a sense of belonging and community spirit and promoting cultural heritage.
2.2 THE CHARACTERISTICS OF ADULT EDUCATION PARTICIPANTS
Learning is a lifelong project it does not end with graduation from high school or college or, in fact, from any formal educational program. Learning in adulthood has no boundaries. We learn at work, both informally and in more structured ways. We learn in our families, especially when we assume new roles, like partner or spouse, parent, or caregiver of our own parents. We learn in our personal lives, through particular life experiences and through the development process that shapes adult life; and we learn from the world around us, through the media, through popular culture, through our faith communities, through hobbies and other activities, and through our friends. As adult, we are learning all the time and in all our life situations. It is this learning that is the focus of adult education, (College of Education and Human Development), Texas. Internet source 12th May, 2008. Ugwoegbu, (2003) states that in adult education program, there is need to understand the characteristics of adult learners involved in the program. This is necessary so that we can be aware of the best way to help them carry out their learning. In the past, people thought that it was difficult or impossible for adults to learn new things. But researchers on adults have proved that adults can learn as much as the child given a conducive atmosphere. Bown and Tomori, (1979) in Ugwoegbu, (2003) observed that when a suitable condition for learning is created, older persons can go on learning as long as they are not senile. The adult learners may even prove better than children especially at grasping the implications of some information. Ugwoegbu (2003:86), therefore proffered the following characteristics of adult education participants in a learning situation:
(a). As an individual grows older, there is diversification of abilities, skills, attitudes and interests.
(b). He is conditioned by his interest, prejudices and emotions and also by the attitude of those around him.
(c). He is voluntary learner and based on this, his attendance to a program does not depend upon institutional authority.
(d). As a result of changes that have taken place in adult, his roles and experiences, he therefore needs a different method of teaching in a learning situation.
(d). The adult has clearly defined goals and objectives before engaging in a learning activity.
(e). The adult is more of a part time learner.
(f). The adult is an independent learner who has a problem to be solving. He is therefore self- responsible, self-respecting and self-directing
(g). The adult has many social roles to play.
Nzeneri, (1996:36) on characteristics of adult education participants states that the characteristics of adult education participant do influence his learning. Some adult learners assume it is difficult for adult learners to learn. This group of people opines. That “you can’t teach old dog new tricks.” But this saying has no empirical binding or support in learning. Research findings reveal that given suitable conditions, old persons can do as much or even much better than the young, Nzeneri (1996:36 quoting Abiose Cole (1979. It is a common characteristic of adult participants in Adult Education to witness changes in their lives. These changes include physiological, psychological and sociological changes:
As adults advance in years and in their stages of development, they observe some impairment in sight and hearing or in physical dexterity. It is therefore important that adult educators should take these physical problems into consideration; hence they will assist adult learners in adjusting to these problems in their learning transactions. There is need for them to write boldly and clearly on the chalk board, to speak loudly and clearly; to allow adult learners to sit in front or at the back of the class to adjust to long and short sightedness as the case may be.
Nzeneri further states that psychologically some adult learners may have painful memories of the formal school system which they were denied of and this may in one way or the other affect their self-concept or self-image. Their experience of adult education may be a situation where they are considered as never do-wells or a place of disrespect where the teacher imposed on them his pre-determined objectives or knowledge to be acquired. These psychological changes may affect or influence their learning as they move to various adult stages. The adult instructors should try to ensure that adult participants in ADE are adequately motivated. Furthermore, the adult Instructor’s behavior should be accommodating, command respect, friendly and active participation of the participants encouraged through adopting a democratic and dynamic approaches to teaching and learning situations. Sociological Changes: Adulthood, to Havighurst (1961) in Nzeneri, (1996:37) has its transition and crises. It has development periods which can be divided into three phases the early adulthood, the middle age and late maturity. Having hurts identifies ten social roles of adult hood: worker, mate, parent, home maker, son or daughter of aging parents, citizen, friend, organization member, religious affiliate, and user of leisure time. Each stage of the adulthood has its requirements for performing each of these social roles. Adult educator should take into consideration of these social changes and must try to accord adult learners‟ respect according to the social roles they perform. For example, a village chief or a traditional hero etc will not like to attend any ADE program or class where he is treated like school children. Other characteristics include illiteracy, poverty, disadvantaged/undereducated individuals, ignorance, quest for new skills and knowledge. Nzeneri states that some characteristics of adult education participants constitute obstacles towards effective teaching and learning. It is therefore very important that adult educators should thoroughly understand these characteristics and design strategies to remove or modify them for teaching and learning effectiveness. Some characteristics which are likely to create obstacles in their learning include: anxiety, fear, tension, aging process, poverty and its associated ills, rigidity and resistance. Seya, (2005:97) in bringing out vividly the characteristics of adult education participants first of all defined adult education as any form of learning undertaken by or provided for mature men and women outside the formal schooling system. The main targets are specifically defined as youth (girls and boys) over fifteen years of age, but sometime younger as well, women and men, generally poor or socially disadvantaged. As adult education is seen as a transmission process of general technical or vocational knowledge as well as skills, values and attitudes, which takes place out of the formal education system, with a view to remedying early education, inadequacies of mature people or equipping them with the knowledge and cultural elements required for their self-fulfillment and active participation in the social economic and political life of their societies. Adults who had acquired some level of formal education participate in adult education programs. Persons who no longer attend school on a regular full-time bases, (unless fulltime specially designed for adults) undertake sequential and organized activities with the conscious intention of bringing about changes in information, knowledge, skill, appreciation and attitudes or for the purpose of identifying and solving personal or community problems. (International Congress on Comparative Study), 1962). Participation in ADE is voluntary. In most programs education is provided to people, but not everyone takes it up. As a result, adult education is for those who come forward, not for the masses. Based on this perspective, adult education is voluntary in nature. This is because the adult realizes his incompetence and therefore goes all out to attend a program to correct them. Participation in ADE depends on individual’s needs, choice, environment and interest. Adult Education participants in Nigeria are mainly illiterate and poor adults of which majority reside in rural communities. Their major aim is to be literate; hence literacy becomes the major program. Nevertheless, they engage in vocational training where they train on various skills.
2.3 THE CONTRIBUTIONS OF ADULT EDUCATION PROGRAMMES IN ACHIEVING SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT
Adult Education has good and important roles to play in achieving sustainable development. Seya (2005:97) defines adult education as any form of learning undertaken by or provided for mature men and women outside the formal schooling system. The main targets according to Seya are specifically defined as youths (girls and boys) over fifteen years of age, but sometimes younger as well, women and men, generally poor or socially disadvantaged. Although literacy continues to be at its heart, adult education also includes numeracy, problem solving and life skills and other knowledge which bring about sustainable development. Adult education is also seen as a transmission process of general technical or vocational knowledge as well as skills, value and attitudes, which takes place out of the formal education system with a view to remedying early education, inadequacies of mature people or equipping them with the knowledge and cultural elements required for their self-fulfillment and active participation in the social economic and political life of their societies. The concept of adult education which has wide acceptability according to International Congress on Comparative Study (1962), is a process whereby persons who no longer attend school on a regular full-time bases unless full time programs (specially designed for adults) undertake sequential and organized activities with the conscious intention of bringing about changes in information, knowledge, skill, appreciation and attitudes or for the purpose of identifying and solving personal or community problems. Adult education is meant to improve the individual and subsequently, the society in which the individual lives in. (Umezulike, 2006:27). The improvement of individual here implies acquisition of skills, values and knowledge which will sustain him in future, thereby bringing about sustainable development.
CONFINTEA V (1997:253-254) described adult education as a lifelong process. It reaffirms that only human centered development and a participatory society based on full respect of human rights will lead to sustainable and equitable development. The informed and effective participation of man and women in every sphere of life is needed if humanity is to survive and to meet the challenges of the future. The CONFINEA V states that adult education is a powerful concept for fostering ecologically sustainable development for democracy, justices, gender equity, and scientific, social and economic development, and for building a world in which violent conflicts is replaced by dialogue and culture of peace based on justice. Adult education can shape identity and give meaning to life. Adult education encompasses In achieving sustainable development, it is held by CONFINTEA V (1997:254) that the objectives of adult education are to develop the autonomy and the sense of responsibility of people and communities, to reinforce the capacity to deal with the transformations taking place in the economy, in culture and in society as a whole, and to promote co-existence, tolerance and the informed and creative participation of citizens in their communities, to take control of their destiny and society in order to face the challenges ahead. Adult education is not just a basic right for education, but it is indeed one of the building blocks of human development. It is a foundation for progress in areas such as human capital, health, nutrition and the development of institutions and democracy. Therefore the role of adult education in sustainable development can be apprehended through the complex relationship existing between all its forms and the economic, social and cultural determinant factors of African development, (Seya, 2005:104-108). Seya further states that the economic role of adult education in development is apparent in its contribution to human capital formation. Sustainable development can be enhanced through labor productivity, health-care, sanitation, and nutrition which will improve people’s standard of living and productivity. All these will reduce sickness, poverty and mortality rates. Life expectancy will thus be increased. Adult education is needed to address these submissions through people’s participation in adult education program. Seya continued to submit that adult education (formal and non-formal) education and training will help citizens to benefit from basic health care including sexual and reproductive health services, the development of new medicines and thus be in a position to free themselves from diseases that devastate poor people, such as HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria and other parasites. Nzeneri and Adekola (2006:3) state that adult education in all its ramifications accommodated all of the forms formal, non formal and informal aspects of education. It is in adult education that emphasis is placed on lifelong learning education, education as a process and agent of liberation, a tool for adjustment, for self and national development, for cultural awareness and integration, for conscientization and group dynamism, (Nzeneri, (2002). All these are roped into achieving sustainable development through adult education. Nzeneri went further to define adult education as “any education given to adults based on their social, political, cultural and economic needs or problems to enable them adjust fully to changes and challenges in their lives and society.” Delker (1974), Omolewa (1981) and Aderinoye (1997 in Nzeneri and Ganiyu (2006:4) sees adult education as an organized and sequential learning experience designed to meet the felt needs of adults. Adult learning as a broad concept should foster active citizenship, strengthen personal growth and secure social inclusion thus going far beyond employability and all these include education and training in adult education perspective. All these can be achieved through vocational training for youths and adults and training in languages and intercultural skills for younger and older adults (Hinzen, 2007:149).
2.5 STRATEGIES ADULT EDUCATION CAN UTILIZE IN ACHIEVING SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT
There are various strategies that adult education can utilize in achieving sustainable development. The design for Action adopted at the First International Conference on Adult Education (ICAE) World Assembly In Dar- esalam 1976 proffered the following strategies
(a) Participation of people in decision making- Both adult educators, instructors and learners should be allowed to take part from on start in decision taken in adult education program. This will help them to be aware of what is happening in the program which they are participants. They will be given the opportunity to express their felt needs, interests and choice.
(b) Funding Agencies- The “Design for Action” on adult education recommended that funding agencies concerned with International Development assistance should give priority to programs that will-
- Develop a strong adult education infrastructure, particularly in countries where adult education is least developed, like Nigeria.
- Identify levels of training and self-help needs in terms of competence, Management, delivery, and evaluation.
- Assist workers‟ organizations that are actively involved in the organization and development of the rural poor.
- Make direct provision for equal integration of women into social and economic development.
(c) Adopt the strategy for action through Nations, National and Community based organizations.
(d) The UNESCO World Conference on Adult Education at Tokyo recognized that adult education will not flourish unless there is a commitment to it in each country, a national infrastructure for stimulus and coordination, and the cultivation of cadres of trained and experienced personnel to enlarge adult education program. Without these essential strategies or factors neither adult education as a field nor adult education for development will have much chance to be effective.
(e) Improvement of training/Development of Workshops: There should be a strategy for adult education national associations to work together for improvement in the quality, type and accessibility of both long-term and short term adult education training for women and men. Short workshops could focus on effective adult learning and teaching to groups of full-time adult education organizers who are in a position to pass their learning to teachers of adults. On some cases, resource team may travel to countries to take course in adult education.
(f) Training in Research- Adult educators should receive training in theory and practice of participatory research and complementary qualitative research techniques. The research may be carried out on methods of social investigation, training manuals and materials need to be devised. The UNESCO World Conferences on Adult Education, 10th -12th October, (2001:113) also recommended few strategies which vary to some extent to the above strategies proffered the following strategies:
- Cultural/social strategy: There should be a cultural/social strategy which will delete differences of social class, caste, gender „race‟ religion, and all stages to life. There should be a national and institutional commitment to making learning opportunities for all.
- 2. Strategic partnerships and linkages: Partnerships and linkages include the following strategies: forming relationships internationally and forming relationships with other groups in society. This strategy is for sharing knowledge and know-how. Partnerships and alliances based on common interest, mutual respect and desire to attain social justice, globally and locally, enhancing the sharing of skills research opportunities, and staff and student development.
- Research Input: Research is another strategy which deserves implementing in adult education program. Research includes working across discipline and/or institutions. There should be a collaborative research with civil society, the economy and learners, such research should be in the areas of action research, case studies and storytelling. There should be research and development strategy to meet the changing needs of the learner community to promote broad access and to facilitate successful learning.
- Administration policies and mechanisms: This strategy suggests that service to learners should be given top priority by administration policies. The administration should provide strategy for overall planning for adult education using the necessary resource allocation available. The administrative policies and mechanisms should be geared towards curricular compilation structures in which students can exercise choice of subjects and subject combinations to their own individuals needs.
- Student support systems and services. Under this strategy learners are helped to become independent learners in various ways. The obligations and responsibilities of the learners are made clear to learners at registration. The resources and equipment will be made available to learners and what they supply will be made known to them. This strategy submits that teachers and facilitators would be trained to facilitate learning. Other strategies include:
- Equipping adults with reading and writing skills: This strategy will be very useful to adults in their literacy adult education program. It will enhance their reading and writing skills. This is an important strategy in ADE program.
- Providing adults with technical and vocational skills: To achieve sustainable Development through ADE, the need for this strategy need not be overemphasized. Adults need technical and vocational skills for self-employment and self-sustenance.
- Development of Projects– Investment should be made on development Projects. This is to enhance increase in production of various needs of people and the economy. Without investment on project, the economy will be in a mess, and under this situation sustainable development cannot be achieved.
- Use of ICTs: The use of computers and Internet by adult education participants should be encouraged. New self-teaching courses can be made available through the use of computers for those who need to update their knowledge.
- Strategic partnerships and linkages: Partnerships and linkages include the following strategies: forming relationships internationally and forming relationships with other groups in society. Adult education institutions in the globalizing world should strive for a broad exchange on teaching learning systems. This strategy is for sharing knowledge and know-how. Partnerships and alliances based on common interests, mutual respect and desire to attain social justice, globally and locally, enhancing the sharing of skills research opportunities, and staff and student development.
- Research design
The researcher used descriptive research survey design in building up this project work the choice of this research design was considered appropriate because of its advantages of identifying attributes of a large population from a group of individuals. The design was suitable for the study as the study sought to an assessment of adult literacy programs in Nigeria
- Sources of data collection
Data were collected from two main sources namely:
(i)Primary source and
These are materials of statistical investigation which were collected by the research for a particular purpose. They can be obtained through a survey, observation questionnaire or as experiment; the researcher has adopted the questionnaire method for this study.
These are data from textbook Journal handset etc. they arise as byproducts of the same other purposes. Example administration, various other unpublished works and write ups were also used.
PRESENTATION ANALYSIS INTERPRETATION OF DATA
Efforts will be made at this stage to present, analyze and interpret the data collected during the field survey. This presentation will be based on the responses from the completed questionnaires. The result of this exercise will be summarized in tabular forms for easy references and analysis. It will also show answers to questions relating to the research questions for this research study. The researcher employed simple percentage in the analysis.
SUMMARY, CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATION
It is important to ascertain that the objective of this study was to ascertain an assessment of adult literacy programs in Nigeria
In the preceding chapter, the relevant data collected for this study were presented, critically analyzed and appropriate interpretation given. In this chapter, certain recommendations made which in the opinion of the researcher will be of benefits in addressing the challenges of adult literacy programs.
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