Adult Education In Nigeria: The Impact Of A Neglected Action Agenda

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Adult Education In Nigeria: The Impact Of A Neglected Action Agenda

Chapter One


1.1 Background of the Study

Education is a critical tool for human growth. It is a potential strategy for achieving long-term economic development in any economy. Any educational system’s purpose is to help individuals become self-sufficient and contribute meaningfully to the country’s growth and development. Adult education is one of the methods for accomplishing a country’s growth and development. It is impossible to overstate the importance of adult education in accomplishing the aims of the National Policy on Education (2004). Adult education brings hope to individuals who believe they have reached the point in their lives where they need to learn to believe in themselves. Adult education fosters understanding of an adult’s social, economic, cultural, and political surroundings, as well as a nation’s overall development. Adult education is a continuation of formal education where the instructor left off. It also covers vocational, general, entrepreneurial, and professional training that is necessary for an adult’s personal and social growth. Adult education in Nigeria is measured not by a person’s ability to read and write, but by how successfully they have contributed to the society’s needs (Onyenemezu, 2003). Adult education prepares people by providing them with lifetime knowledge that will help them stay up with changing times (Dave, 1973). If utilized correctly, lifelong knowledge earned via adult education may help a country like Nigeria accomplish all of the Millennium Development Goals (Federal Government of Nigeria, 2004). It assists parents and guardians in managing the resources available to them in order to accomplish growth. Adult education entails the utilization of adult human learning resources, as well as the teacher’s patience and tolerance. While influencing information, the adult educator is sure to be insulted and stressed. It is a program that has mostly continued to function as ad hoc, peace-meal activity that has not been combined into a cohesive, intentional plan aimed at achieving a substantial ambitious vision (Nnazor, 2005). This prevents the adult educator from carrying out his responsibilities because he feels guilty about the good he is doing for the learner and society at large. Moving on to the subject of adult education neglect in Nigeria, it is important to note that education in Nigeria was first provided by Christian missionaries during the colonial era. In 1922, a commission was established to investigate the situation of education in west and Equatorial Africa, which included Nigeria. The significance of an adult and community education policy was emphasized in the study (Fafunwa, 1974). Adults should not be left behind in the education of children; they should be taught as well. Although the British colonial authority established its first policy in 1925, it never addressed the subject of adult education, focusing instead on school education. As a result, the chance to develop adult education in Nigeria was lost. The Central Board of Education introduced adult education in 1951, which provided a glimpse of optimism. The strategy pushed adults to learn the fundamentals of basic education, and it spread across the country over time (Hauwa, 2000). Despite the fact that there have been multiple National Development Plans since 1960, no provisions for adult education have been established. In 1981, the National Policy on Education was revised to include solely ongoing education, the reduction of illiteracy, and the supply of lifetime knowledge. Adult education did not increase significantly as a result of the National Policy on Education; for example, 29 years after the policy’s adoption, the literacy rate among Nigerians aged 16 and above was 68 percent (UNESCO Institute for Statistics, 2004). Since that time, there have been no realistic and comprehensive programs demonstrating the government’s commitment for adult education as a method of long-term development in the country. This demonstrates how adult education in Nigeria has been abandoned, and it is for this reason that this study is being conducted to properly investigate adult education in Nigeria.

1.2 Statement of the Problem

Adult education in Nigeria is almost unknown, owing to the government’s failure to revive it and elevate it to its proper status. As a result, there is currently no policy or program in Nigeria that supports the advancement of adult education. As a result, adult education does not receive the attention it deserves (Nnazor, 2005). Another issue with adult education in Nigeria is that lecturers and educators who educate adult pupils appear to lack patience when it comes to passing on knowledge. They are easily enraged, and the adult students feel discouraged as a result. They find it challenging to integrate in such a setting and may even deter potential pupils from attending. These are some of the issues for which this research is looking for answers.

1.3 Objectives of the Study

The study’s main goal is to look at adult education in Nigeria: the consequences of neglect and a plan of action.

Other particular goals include:

  1. Examining the important link between adult education and Nigerian national development.
  2. To look into adult education as a solution to Nigeria’s high illiteracy rate.
  3. To determine how the government might assist in the resuscitation of adult education in Nigeria.
  4. Determine if adult education instructors require more training in order to improve their teaching.
  5. To look at the issues with adult education in Nigeria.

1.4 Research Questions

  1. What is the important link between adult education and Nigerian national development?
  2. How can adult education be a solution to Nigeria’s high illiteracy rate?
  3. How can the government assist in the resuscitation of adult education in Nigeria?
  4. What are the trainings required by adult education instructors in order to improve their teaching?
  5. What are the issues with adult education in Nigeria?

1.5 Significance of the Study

This research aims to educate, inform, and enlighten the general public, government officials, and education policymakers in Nigeria on adult education. It is intended to inspire persons who want to participate in adult education to persevere in their efforts, given the numerous advantages. The report serves as a reminder to the government to investigate adult education and provide the necessary assistance. Finally, it is critical for education policymakers to advocate for or, better yet, develop policies that encourage adult education in Nigeria. This research will be extremely useful to other researchers who want to learn more about this issue, and it may also be utilized by non-researchers to expand on their own work. This research adds to the body of knowledge and might be used as a model for future research.

1.6 Scope of the Study

This study is restricted to adult education in Nigeria: the impact of a neglected action agenda.

1.7 Definition of Terms


A fully grown or formed individual.

Adult Education:

Is a process in which individuals engage in systematic and long–term self–education activities in order to acquire new information, skills, attitudes, or values. It can refer to any type of learning that individuals do outside of school, from fundamental literacy to personal fulfillment as a lifelong learner. Adult education, in particular, represents a philosophy of learning and teaching founded on the assumptions that adults can and want to learn, that they are capable and ready to take responsibility for their own learning, and that learning should be tailored to their needs.


A outcome or impact that is often undesired or unpleasant.


Not given the attention or care it deserves.


A list of topics to be discussed or tasks to be completed at a formal meeting.

Adult Education In Nigeria: The Impact Of A Neglected Action Agenda

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