Government Involvement In Adult Literacy Progammes In Nsukka LGA
Background of the Study
Every government strives through investment to achieve development for the well-being of her citizens. Development according to Nyerere (2006) is the expansion of man’s own consciousness and therefore of his own power over himself, his environment and his society. Ofuebe (1992) defined it as a phenomenon in which individual and society interact with their physical, biological and inter-human environment, transforming them for their own betterment and in the process, lesson that are learnt are passed on to future generation to enable them improve their capacity to make further valuable changes. Development must be dedicated to the improvement of all round well-being of people but it can only make meaning when the people for whom the development is meant for appreciate and understand the value of the services rendered. Hence, Sesay (1997) notes that development can be energy-sapping, time consuming and a waste of effort and resources, if the people for whom the development services are being provided are kept underdeveloped to the extent that they lack understanding of the value of the services provided and hence do not care to maintain and sustain them.
It is evident from the above that development is meaningful only when it is sustained. Hence World Commission on Environment and Development (WCED) defined sustainable development as the development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of the future generations to meet their own needs. Sustainable development must involve an all round development of the individual and the society. International Council for Adult Education (ICAE), (2006:89) notes that the essence of sustained and integrated balanced development is to achieve social, economic and political justice that leads to the liberation of mankind and in so doing eradicates such scourges as mass poverty and mass illiteracy. It is therefore evident that every nation has the preoccupation of providing sustainable development for her citizens.
Nigeria is one of the developing nations of the world with communities that are still highly underdeveloped. Eboh, Okoye and Ayichi (1995) report that about two thirds of 85.5 million citizens of Nigeria still live in an estimated 97,000 rural communities. UNICEF (1990) then states that the lives of these people living in these communities are characterized by poverty, misery, morbidity and underdevelopment. Their income remains low and agriculture which is their major preoccupation has been on the decline because of lack of mechanization. Despite these handicaps, these communities still occupy strategic position in the development of the nation. UNICEF (1990) further notes that the rural sector of the economy provides employment for about 70 per cent of the nation‟slabour force and the inhabitants produce 90 per cent of the food marketed and consumed in Nigeria.
Despite all the development policies and plans rolled out by the colonial government and the Nigerian government to develop the rural sectors of the economy, the communities are still underdeveloped in most cases. Koinyan (1991) states that the poor state of development reflects cumulative policy neglect and faulty planning from colonial period because there was no systematic programme for development, rather the development policy was an extraction of surplus from the communities to meet imperial priorities. Nwosu (1990) also opined that people living in rural areas are poor and still experience underdevelopment. The poverty he further notes is not because they are deficient in natural endowments but rather, as a result of the fact that they lack the potentialities to effectively and efficiently tap fully their valuable gifts of nature. One of the major ways by which the potentialities can be developed is through broad based education.
People’s intellect must be brought to bear on development, as such there is need to empower people for development through education. Without intellectual development, all efforts towards development will be a waste. This is the idea behind human capital as a development strategy. People must be encouraged to help themselves to develop, using their intellect. Education at this point becomes aprerequisite for development. Education is an instrument with which to change structures and ideologies that keep people subordinate. Through education people can gain access to resources, contribute to decision making, gain control over their lives, gain self respect and improve on their societal values and image. These are conditions for development. Nyerere (2006:78) in support of human capital development notes that “people cannot be developed; they can only develop themselves. Man develops himself by what he does, by making his own decisions, by increasing his own knowledge and ability, and by his full participation as an equal in the life of the community he lives”. Wolfensohn (2000) also reports that South Korea, Malaysia and Mexico have given us ample evidence to demonstrate that broad-based education is associated with a wide range of indicators of well being, including a nation‟s increased productivity and competitiveness as well as social and political progress. Education is a basic human right and frees the human mind from ignorance and slavery for developmental purpose.
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. To Omolewa (1981) and Aderinoye (1997) adult education is an organized and sequential learning experience designed to meet the felt needs of the adults. Nzeneri (2002:7) 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, 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.
The development goals of adult education are viewed by Garcia and Tuan (1994) at three levels namely:
- On the first level, adult education should seek to resolve the pressing problems confronting participants in everyday life in connection with their survival, their Economic situation and the quality of their lives
- The second level should seek to integrate concrete activities in a corresponding Framework of medium and long range goals to transform society.
- Initiatives on the third level help the popular masses become social agents capable of exercising their rights as modern citizens.
Adult Education is concentrating on programs and strategies that will help reduce poverty and facilitate development. Jorge (1996) states that educational processes like adult education are geared to strengthen popular organization, citizenship movement, the popular economic sector and local community development. Recent studies (Picon, 1990; and Palma, 1994) prove that adult education is the least conventional branch of education, the one with the greatest degree of heterogeneity and the one that is most closely associated with social and political development (Rivero, 1993).
The high priority given to adult education in the developmental process in some countries was brought to light when Jorge (1996) notes that in Latin America the nongovernmental adult education sector took a highly critical stand on formal schooling and distanced itself from public education. According to him the rejection of the formal school model was as a result of the crisis faced by primary and secondary education. He further states that during this period emphasis was placed on adult education, not only in the area of political orientations but also in the search for methods corresponding to the aims of social reformation. The role of adult education in raising the income of individuals for development is not in dispute. Studies on rate of return on investment in Adult Basic Education (ABE) in Indonesia, Ghana and Bangladesh show that in Indonesia an estimated rate of return to investment of about 25 per cent; in Ghana an estimated private rate of return of 43 percent for females and
24 per cent for males, along with a social rate of return of 18 per cent for females and 14 per cent for males while in Bangladesh an estimated average private rate of return as high as 37 per cent were reported (World Bank, 1986; 1999; and 2001), No 6304. No matter how uncertain these estimates are, it is obvious that investment in adult education programmesare productive and can increase the income of participants which can further be invested for developmental purposes.
The role of adult education is to empower people for change and development. This is why the developmental roles of adult education according to Nyerere (2006) incorporate 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 labour, inculcating a sense of belonging and community spirit and promoting cultural heritage.
This study will determine the strategies Adult Education Programme will adopt to achieve sustainable development. Various challenges or problems that can inhibit Adult Education Programme from achieving sustainable development will be discussed. The problems in communities include – lack of good roads, illiteracy, low income, unemployment, poor electricity supply, degraded environment, absence of portable water and lack of adequate political structures and knowledge.
Nigerian government in recent times has made huge investments in education. However, it is disheartening that these investments are mainly in the areas of primary, secondary and tertiary education neglecting the area of adult and non-formal education. There has been progressive decline in Nigerian government‟s capacity to implement projects that respond to the needs of adult education in terms of personnel, funding, collaboration and methodology. It is against this background of underdevelopment of Nigerian communities and the critical role of education generally and adult education specifically in the development of these communities that the researcher intends to identify specifically what adult education can do and what it has done in achieving sustainable development.
Statement of the Problem
Nsukka Local Government Area which is one of the local government areas in Nigeria is yet to achieve sustainable development. This local government, made up of various communities, is still characterized by serious signs of underdevelopment. Some of these general signs of underdevelopment as made manifest in the background of the study include unemployment, lack of good roads, inefficient communication system, illiteracy, low income, absence of portable water, lack of adequate health facilities, degraded environment, inadequate technical skills, low agricultural productivity, poor electricity supply, and lack of adequate political structures and knowledge. This has made life very unconducive for the inhabitants of the communities. Despite all political structures and plans put in place in the past, these signs of underdevelopment have persisted.
Education in form of human capital development plays significant role in the process of development of any location or community. Hence, governments have invested heavily in formal education at all levels and in all forms to enable the formal schools produce the needed manpower for development. Adult Education for a long time has only received meager share of government‟s investment in education. This is mainly because people including governments do not have very clear knowledge of the potentials of adult education in achieving sustainable development. This being the case, it is now the problem of this study to clearly and specifically determine how adult education can be effectively utilized in achieving sustainable development in Nsukka Local Government Area.
Purpose of the Study
The general purpose of this study is to find out how adult education can be utilized in achieving sustainable development.
The specific objectives are as follows:
- To investigate the characteristics of the adult education participants in Nsukka Local Government Area.
- To identify the contributions of adult education in achieving sustainable development in Nsukka Local Government Area.
- To determine the strategies adult education can utilize in achieving sustainable development.
- To identify the challenges that inhibit adult education in achieving sustainable development in Nsukka Local Government Area.
- To examine possible solutions to the challenges.
Significance of the Study
The result of this study will be significant in a number of ways. It will be beneficial to instructors and participants of adult education programmes. It will enable them determine the extent to which adult education is utilized in achieving sustainable development. It will also enable them contribute to future directors of adult education for greater effectiveness.
It will also be beneficial to Nsukka Local Government Area and other local government areas that run adult education programmes. The findings of the study will enlighten the local government administrators on the significant position adult education occupies in the development process. This will make them give better attention to adult education through better funding, personnel development and better organization of the programmes.
It will also be beneficial to Governments at both the national and state levels. The findings of the study will be an eye opener to those in government because it will help change their view of adult education as a disorganized programme. It will give them an insight into the real role adult education plays in sustainable development.
This will help them pay better attention to adult education and probably give adult education equal status with other types of education. This they can do through adequate funding and management of adult education programmes and through policy review.
It will be significant to adult education curriculum developers. Knowledge of the extent of the utilization of adult education in sustainable development will enable the curriculum developers determine how far adult education has succeeded in its quest for development. This will help them review the curriculum in relevant areas where they are deficient and also design new curriculum, as the case may be, to facilitate the use of adult education in development.
The study will also be significant to policy makers. It will enable them critically look at the current policy on adult education and determine the need to make the policy more relevant and stronger than it is at present.
Finally, it will be useful to the general public because it will help change the wrong image people have about adult education. They will know the role of adult education in development and accord the support needed to make adult education grow.
- What are the characteristics of the adult education participants?
- What are the contributions of adult education in achieving sustainable development in Nsukka Local Government?
- What are the strategies adult educations can utilize in achieving Sustainable development?
- What are the challenges adult education faces in achieving Sustainable Development?
- How can these challenges be ameliorated?
The following hypotheses stated in null form were tested at .05 level of significance by the researcher.
There is no significant difference between the mean ratings of adult education Instructors and participants on the extent to which adult education adopted the identified strategies or ways in achieving sustainable development.
There is no significant difference between the mean ratings of adult education Instructors and participants on the challenges that face adult education in achieving sustainable development.
Scope of the Study
The study determined how we can effectively utilize adult education in achieving sustainable development. The study restricted itself to Nsukka Local Government Area of Enugu State. It covered the characteristics of adult education participants, the contributions of adult education in achieving sustainable development, the strategies adult education programme can adopt to achieve sustainable development, the challenges that inhibit adult education in achieving sustainable development in Nsukka Local Government Area and how these challenges can be ameliorated.
Summary of Findings, Discussion, Recommendations, Implications, Limitations and Suggestions for Further Studies
This chapter deals with the summary of findings, discussion, recommendations, implications, limitations, and Suggestions for Further Studies.
Summary of Findings:
The findings of this study on the Effective Utilization of Adult Education in Achieving Sustainable Development in Nsukka Local Government Area of Enugu State are summarized as follows:
1. Adult education contributes to Sustainable Development by enabling adults acquire vocational skills that would promote gainful employment, raising trainees‟ general standard of living, making trainees self reliant for sustainable development , helping trainees cope with technological changes for sustainable development and enabling trainees to become productive and useful citizens are the contributions of Adult Education Programmes, improving one‟s economic well-being, enjoying activities which people may have either long since laid aside or always wanted to do but were previously unable to do, improving one‟s social well-being and reducing poverty.
2. The identified strategies adult education can use in achieving Sustainable Development include-
to develop courses to improve the personal skills of organizational workers, making financial grants available to individuals to take courses in a subject outside their performance at work, use of media to mount campaign to raise awareness about adult education programme, implementation of relevant and work-oriented curriculum, funding adult education programme adequately and adoption of distance-based learning to facilitate work study constitute the strategies that adult education programme will utilize in achieving sustainable development. Other strategies that agreed to very great extent include: Funding researches for development, coaching, counseling and mentoring and integration of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in training of participants.
2. In challenges that inhibit Adult Education Programme in achieving sustainable development, the findings revealed that the following were the challenges: Lack of understanding in respect of the concept and content of adult education programme, lack of infrastructure for the implementation of adult education policy initiatives, inadequate research facilities for adult education programme, lack of relevant curriculum that are development oriented. Others include poor funding of Adult Education Programme and culture and social barriers.
3. The findings reveal that Government and Non-Government Organizations (NGO) should adequately fund Adult Education Programme, community participation in adult education programme for development should be encouraged and organizing seminars on lifelong learning to assist in proper conceptualization and implementation of adult education programmes are the solutions to the challenges of adult education programme for sustainable development. Other solutions include: Staff development programme for teachers as adult education sustainers, improving access to adult education programme through subsidies, awareness on the concept of adult education and providing adequate access to Information and Communication Technology (ICT).
Discussion of findings
The discussion here is based on the Research Questions posed to respondents. It is done under the following sub-headings:
The characteristics of adult education participants
Age Range of Participants
The findings revealed that majority of the respondents fall within the age range of 41-50. Followed by those within the range of 31-40. The next are those between the age range of 51 and above. Few of the respondents are within the age range of 20 and 30. This is not surprising because a greater majority of Adult Education participants are the elderly. Those below the age of 30 are not usually interested in Adult Education programmes.
Under marital status it was revealed that majority of them are married, while few number of them are single and widows.
The results further revealed that majority of the respondents have 3 to 4 children while few of them have 5 children. Others are yet to have children and few others have 1 to 2 children.
Under Educational Qualifications, the finding shows that most of the Respondents do not have earlier schooling. While fewer number has FSLC And TC II. This is not surprising because most of them are in the programme to acquire literacy. While the Instructors already possess TC II and some FSLC.
Under research question two, various contributions of Adult Education to sustainable development were identified. Result reveals that the variables listed were agreed to a very great extent with a high overall mean score showing that adult education programme contributes immensely to sustainable development through enabling adults to acquire vocational skills that would promote gainful employment, raise trainees‟ general standard of living, make trainees self-reliant for sustainable development, help trainees cope with technological changes for sustainable development, enable trainees to become productive and useful citizens and improve one‟s economic well being. Other contributions include, to make people enjoy activities which they have either long since laid aside or always wanted to do, but were previously unable to do, improve one‟s social well being and reduce or eradicate poverty to enhance sustainable development. Education is the, most viable instrument for development and adult education being an aspect of education should make significant contribution to sustainable development as identified in this study. This is also in line with Umezurike (2006) who noted that Adult Education is meant to improve the individual and subsequently, the society in which the individual lives in. This is an important aspect of sustainable development. AlsoCONFINTEA (1995) states that the objective of Adult Education is 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. Education is the most viable instrument for development and adult education being an aspect of education has the potentiality of contributing to development through the empowerment of individuals politically, socially and economically.
Under research question three, the respondents agreed to a very extent with all the strategies proffered which adult education can utilize in achieving sustainable development. These strategies overwhelmingly agreed upon are:
Develop courses to improve the personal skills of organizational worker, making financial grants available to individuals to take course in a subject outside their performance at work, use of media to mount campaign to raise awareness about adult education programme, implementation of relevant and work oriented curriculum and funding adult education. Others are adoption of distance-based learning to facilitate work/study, funding researches for development, coaching, counseling and mentoring and integration of ICT in training of participants. This conforms to the ICAE (1976) opinion on strategies which they said include participation of people in decision making, improvement of training and development of workshops and seminars and use of ICTs.
Under research question four, various challenges that inhibit adult education programme were proffered for the respondents to respond to. Such challenges are – Lack of understanding in respect of the concept and content of adult education programme, lack of infrastructure for the implementation of adult education policy initiatives, inadequate research facilities for adult education programme, lack of relevant curriculum that are development oriented, poor funding of adult education programme and culture/social barriers. A total mean score of which indicates very great extent was obtained which means that all the respondents agreed with the whole challenges proffered. The above identified challenges are in line with those listed by Adiele (2006) and Chapman et al (1997).
These challenges are serious barriers to sustainable development through Adult Education and should be addressed.
In research question five different solutions to the challenges that inhibit adult education were posed to respondents. From the total mean score, it depicts that all the respondents agreed to very great extent with all the items, which shows that all the solutions are agreed upon. The solutions are as follows:
Government and Non-Governmental Organizations (NGO) should adequately fund adult education programme, community participation in adult education programme for development should be encouraged, organizing seminars on lifelong learning to assist in proper conceptualization and implementation of adult education and staff development programme for teachers as adult education sustainers. Others include improving access to adult education programme through subsidies, awareness on the concept of adult education and providing adequate access to ICT (Information and Communication
In the light of the findings of this study, the researcher has the following recommendations to make:
- Government at both the national and state levels should draw policies that will make adult education effective and more so make good provisions for adult education in their budget.
- Adult Education centres should be built and well equipped with learning facilities to attract participants. This will motivate adults to participate fully in the programme. The use of halls, primary schools, churches as learning centres should be totally abolished.
- Adult Education Centres should be adequately funded by the government to enhance procurement of infrastructures and learning materials and equipment.
- Non-Governmental Organizations and philanthropists should support government in funding, providing learning and infrastructural needs that will make adult education effective.
- Community participation in Adult Education programme should be encouraged by the government for Sustainable Development.
- Seminars/workshops should always be organized by all stakeholders to sensitize and enrich participants, instructors, adult educators and other stakeholders in adult education.
- Staff development for teachers as adult education sustainers should be encouraged by the National and State agencies for adult education.
- Awareness creation especially on the concept of Adult Education and its role in sustainable development should be invigorated by Media Specialists.
- Adequate access to Information and Communication Technology should be provided.
- Distance-based and open learning system of education should be encouraged by institutions to make education accessible to adult for the development of their potentials towards sustainable national development.
Implication of the Study
In the field of Adult Education, there are multiple career options and choices for providing basic knowledge, skills, practices and attitudes that will make people to realize their needs and become conscious of their problems to enhance sustainable development. For instance, adult education provides for people to learn how to achieve individual and community goals. This implies that Adult Education is an empowerment strategy through which adults can uplift themselves socially, politically and economically to enable them participate fully in the development of their communities. Adult Education as an instrument for development seeks to resolve the pressing problems confronting participants in everyday life in connection with their survival, their economic situation and the quality of their lives. It also seeks to integrate concrete activities in a corresponding framework of medium and long range goals to transform the society. It also helps the popular masses to become social agents capable of exercising their rights as modern citizens.
From this study adult education as an instrument of development and that aspect of education has the potentiality of contributing to development through the empowerment of individuals politically, socially and economically. Adult 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 has positive implications for sustainable development
Limitations of the study
There were some limitations encountered during the research study. The limitations of the studies are as follows –
- Distribution of the instrument was not very easy due to the fact that some of the centres are very far away from Nsukka main town as they are located at various communities.
- Most of the adult education programmes are conducted at night ranging from 7.00 p.m. – 9.00 p.m. The research assistants had to stay so long to see that the questionnaire were distributed and collected.
- Funds were inadequate and this to some extent limited the easy collection of data by the research assistants.
Suggestions for Further Studies
The following suggestions are made for further studies –
- Strategies for the utilization of Adult Education in Sustainable Development.
- Assessment of the constraints of adult education in achieving sustainable development.
- Evaluation of Community Based Organizations‟ Programmes in Achieving Sustainable Development.
- Challenges to the Achievement of Sustainable Development in Nigeria.
- Utilization of Adult Education in Poverty Reduction in Nigeria.
- Problems of effective utilization of Adult Education in Sustainable Development.
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