The Influence Of Digital Age On The Practice Of Adult Education In Nigeria

Project and Seminar Material Under Adult Education

The Influence Of Digital Age On The Practice Of Adult Education In Nigeria


Abstract


This study investigated the influence of digital age on the practice of adult education in Nigeria. Specifically, the study investigated the digital competency assessment and possibilities for adult learners, examined the perceptions of adult learners regarding digital tools for learning and examined the influence of adult education practice in promoting digital skills among adult learners. A total of 150 responses were validated from the survey. The study adopts the technology acceptance theory. From the responses obtained and analysed, the findings reveals that the perception of adult learners regarding digital tools for learning include: it aids for easy learning, it is somewhat difficult to use, unavailability of these digital tools and they are expensive to acquire. The study also found out that there is digital competency assessment and possibilities for adult learners. The study recommended that since information and communication technology has come to stay, educators both Para-professionals and professionals that are not computer literate should take positive steps to remedy their deficiency so as to flow along with the reforms. By this, adult education programmes and services will become ennobled through the acquisition of adequate ICT knowledge/skill and its full application in and outside the university or else they will become irrelevant in this era of information and communication technology.


Chapter One


Introduction

1.1 Background of the Study

Society is rapidly transitioning into an information-based society, necessitating residents’ familiarity with and comfort with information-based resources and manipulations. According to Adebola (2008), in order for a Nigerian learner to stay informed about what is going on in the world, he or she must master the usage and application of the internet, which must begin at the primary level of school. As a result, technology is evolving at a rate never seen before, and without the necessary machinery in place, one risks falling behind. People no longer need to go to the library to gain information or knowledge, according to Adebola, because the internet is now available to users at their homes, offices, and cybercafé centers. This is due to the fact that technology is fast growing and infiltrating personal, business, intellectual, and social life. The computer revolution and information technology, according to Bello et al. (2014) in Bakare (2012), have altered systems in communication, teaching, data storage, and retrieval. At every level, all current technologies offer new doors and provide new chances for teaching and learning (Bakare, 2012). In recent years, technology has had a greater impact on Adult Education (AE), as educational institutions, workplaces, and government programs in Nigeria have shifted more of their information and services into digital environments. These services, which used to require filling out a paper form or making a phone call, have evolved into online environments that now necessitate the use of technology. Citizens must have access to technology, as well as the knowledge and skills needed to work in digital environments, in order to be self-sufficient and actively participate in today’s society.

The practice of teaching and educating adults is known as adult education. This frequently occurs in the workplace, as a result of “extension” or “continuing education” courses offered by secondary schools, colleges, and universities, high schools, community colleges, and life-long learning centers are some of the other areas where students can learn. The process is also known as’ training and development. ‘ Andragogy has also been used to describe it (to distinguish it from pedagogy). Non-formal adult education, which includes gaining skills or learning for personal development, is distinguished from vocational education, which is typically done in businesses and is frequently tied to up-skilling. Adult education was defined clearly at the fifth UNESCO international conference on adult education (1997). Adult education refers to the entire body of ongoing learning processes, formal and informal, through which people considered adults by their society develop their abilities, enrich their knowledge, improve their technical or professional qualifications, or redirect them in a new direction to meet their own and society’s needs. In a multicultural learning culture, where theory and practice-based approaches are recognized, adult learning comprises formal and continuing education, non-formal learning, and the spectrum of informal and incidental learning possible.

Adult education in Nigeria has undergone a paradigm shift as a result of this definition. It has evolved from a tightly defined field that focused on adult literacy. Adult education is viewed as a problem-solving field that encompasses a wide range of academic disciplines and provides limitless educational chances for both latecomers and graduates to fulfill their full potential through literacy, remedial, and continuing education programs. Adult education practices have evolved as a result of the invention of information and communication technology in the delivery of operations, activities, and programs. Adult education makes use of a variety of technology to help with the services it provides. Every day, new technology advancements have an impact on how adult education facilities handle information (i.e. continuing education centers through online learning). The effects of modern technology can be felt in every element of adult education. Computing, communication, and mass storage technologies are some of the areas of ongoing development that are reshaping how adult educators access, retrieve, store, manipulate, and communicate information to their students or clients. Adult education is a component of higher education that provides the adult with everything he needs to succeed in life by assisting in the resolution of some of society’s problems and contributing to his own and the nation’s development.


1.2 Statement of Problem

A major component of the digital age is our ability to employ technology to allow us to use materials correctly. To begin, the most obvious feature of the digital age is the internet. In our era, the internet is no more a supplementary tool, but rather a need (Rahmah, 2015). Despite widespread acknowledgement of the importance of digital skills for individuals and the country as a whole, a considerable proportion of people remain illiterate. While tremendous progress has been made in the last six decades toward universal skills, the poorest and most marginalized people have yet to be reached. Many people are illiterate due to a lack of reading and writing skills that would allow them to operate and better their life. Some people lack digital skills because they did not have the opportunity or financial means to attend school, while others have had their education cut short or of poor quality. All of these people are almost all impoverished, the majority of them are older, and the vast majority of them are from developing countries, mostly from linguistic and minority groups (Dighe, 2008). However, with the tremendous expansion and growth of ICTs, there are now unprecedented prospects to expand educational access and reach while also significantly improving the quality of education given. As a result, if fair progress in terms of ICT use in adult literacy programs is to be made, it becomes important to investigate this new trend in the andragogical shix (Dighe, 2008; Adeyemo, Adedoja & Adelore


1.3 Objective of Study

The following are primary objectives of this study:

  1. To examine the digital competency assessment and possibilities for adult learners.
  2. To examine the perceptions of adult learners regarding digital tools for learning.
  3. To examine the influence of adult education practice in promoting digital skills among adult learners.

1.4 Research Questions

  1. What is the digital competency assessment and possibilities for adult learners?
  2. What is the perception of adult learners regarding digital tools for learning?
  3. What is the influence of adult education practice in promoting digital skills among adult learners?

1.5 Research Hypothesis

The following null hypothesis will validate this study:

  • Ho: Digital age does not have any influence on the practice of adult education in Nigeria.

1.6 Significance of Study

This study will be useful to the government as it invests more in technology through increased university funding, encourages computer training across the board, and supports local technology development efforts. Additionally, computer literacy is required to take learners from learning about computers to really using them as the resource-rich potential they represent.


1.7 Scope of Study

The main aim of this study is to assess the influence of digital age on the practice of adult education in Nigeria. It also focuses on examining the digital competency assessment and possibilities for adult learners. Also, to examine the perceptions of adult learners regarding digital tools for learning. Finally, to examine the influence of adult education practice in promoting digital skills among adult learners. This study is delimited to the federal college of education Obudu, Cross river state.


1.8 Limitation of Study

Availability of materials, finance and time constraints to combine research work and academic work were major challenges the researcher encountered during this research.


1.9 Definition of Terms

Digital Age:

The digital age, also called the information age, is defined as the time period starting in the 1970s with the introduction of the personal computer with subsequent technology introduced providing the ability to transfer information freely and quickly.

Adult Education:

This is a practice in which adults engage in systematic and sustained self-educating activities in order to gain new forms of knowledge, skills, attitudes, or values.


Chapter Five


Summary, Conclusions and Recommendations:

5.1 Introduction

This chapter summarizes the findings on the influence of digital age on the practice of adult education in Nigeria. The chapter consists of summary of the study, conclusions, and recommendations.


5.2 Summary of the Study

In this study, our focus was on the influence of digital age on the practice of adult education in Nigeria. The study was specifically focused on investigating the digital competency assessment and possibilities for adult learners, examining the perceptions of adult learners regarding digital tools for learning and examining the influence of adult education practice in promoting digital skills among adult learners.

The study adopted the survey research design and randomly enrolled participants in the study. A total of 150 responses were validated. And the enrolled participants are all selected staff and students of federal college of education Obudu, Cross river state.


5.3 Conclusions

Adult education in this contemporary time has been seen as a field of study that embraces the overall development of individual and the society, not only that, it is a problem solving discipline that gives unlimited educational opportunities to both late comers and early completers to realize their potentials through literacy, remedial and continuing education programmes. Therefore, for adult education to achieve these goals and objectives there is the need for information and communication technology because society today is in the era of technological period whereby tasks hitherto done manually at homes, offices, institutions, industrial set-up are being automated on daily basis worldwide.

In the light of the analysis carried out, the following conclusions were drawn.

  1. There is digital competency assessment and possibilities for adult learners.
  2. The perception of adult learners regarding digital tools for learning include: it aids for easy learning, it is somewhat difficult to use, unavailabilty of these digital tools and they are expensive to acquire.
  3. Adult education practice influences the promotion of digital skills among adult learners.

5.4 Recommendation

Based on the findings the researcher recommends that;

  1. Short computer training and retraining programmes should be organized from time-to-time to assist adult facilitators, educators, Extension Agents etc who do not have knowledge and computer skills. This will also aid awareness of computer potentials and capabilities.
  2. Effective and efficient power supply should be provided to check the menace of frequent electricity power failure and more so electricity gadget should be worked on so as to avoid interrupted network. In the same vein, the government should address the problem of erratic power supply more seriously not through military order but through research and development.
  3. Since information and communication technology has come to stay, educators both Para-professionals and professionals that are not computer literate should take positive steps to remedy their deficiency so as to flow along with the reforms. By this, adult education programmes and services will become ennobled through the acquisition of adequate ICT knowledge/skill and its full application in and outside the university or else they will become irrelevant in this era of information and communication technology.
  4. The assistance of some donor agencies such as Education Trust Fund (ETF), United Nations Education Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), UNICEF etc must be actively enlisted.

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