ADULT EDUCATION IN NIGERIA: THE CONSEQUENCE OF NEGLECT AGENDA FOR ACTION
1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Education is a vital instrument for
human development. It is a viable tool for the achievement of
sustainable development of any economy. The goal of any educational
system is to make its citizens individually independent and to
contribute meaningfully towards the growth and development of the
country. Adult education is one of the models of achieving growth and
development in a country. The importance of adult education in achieving
the goals of National Policy on Education cannot be stressed (2004).
Adult Education gives hope to adults who feel they have come of age to
learn the zeal to believe in themselves. Through adult education,
awareness on the social, economic, cultural and political environment of
an adult is created; and by extension the national growth of a nation.
Adult education is a continuation from where the teacher in the formal
education stopped. Furthermore it includes vocational, general,
enterprise and professional based training essential for the individual
and social development of an adult. Adult education in Nigeria is not
about an adult’s ability to read and write alone, rather how well the
person has contributed to meet the needs of the society (Onyenemezu,
2003). Adult education prepares a person by giving such a person a
lifelong knowledge that will assist the person keeps pace with the
changing times (Dave, 1973). Lifelong knowledge gained through adult
education if applied rightly will assist a country like Nigeria achieves
all the stated Millennium Development Goals (Federal Government of
Nigeria, 2004). It helps parents and guardians manage the available
resources at their disposal to achieve development.
Adult education involves the use of
adult human learning materials; it requires patience and tolerance on
the part of the teacher. The adult educator is bound to experience
insult and stress while impacting knowledge. It is a programme continued
to operate mainly as disparate, peace-meal activity that is not
integrated into coherent purposeful strategy in pursuit of a relatively
development vision (Nnazor, 2005). These discourages the adult educator
from discharging his duties, he feels bad over the good he is doing for
the learner and society at large.
Moving over to the case of neglect of
adult education in Nigeria, it is pertinent to state that it was the
Christian missionaries during the colonial era that introduced education
in Nigeria. Based on this a commission was set in 1922 to look into the
state of education in west and Equatorial Africa, of which Nigeria was
included. The report on this stressed the importance of a policy on
adult and community education (Fafunwa, 1974). Inasmuch as the youths
are educated, adults should not be left out; they should be made
literates as well. Though British colonial government issued its first
policy in 1925 but it never addressed the issue of adult education
except school education, with this the opportunity to promote adult
education in Nigeria was missed.
In 1951, a ray of hope was noticed as
the Central Board of Education came up with adult education. The policy
encouraged teaching of adults the rudiments of primary education and
with time it spread throughout the country.
Even after independence in 1960, there
have been several National Development Plans, yet provisions have not
been made for adult education. The National Policy on Education was
modified in 1981 and it only made provision for continuing education,
reducing illiteracy and providing lifelong knowledge. With the National
Policy on Education, no significant improvement was made on adult
education; a clear example is 29 years after the implementation of this
policy, the literacy rate of Nigerians from 16 years and above was 68%
(UNESCO Institute for Statistics, 2004). From that time still date,
there have not been viable and coherently comprehensive programmes
showing government’s support to adult education as one of the means of
sustainable development in the country. This stands to show how adult
education is abandoned in Nigeria, and this is why this study is carried
out for proper investigation of adult education in Nigeria.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
Adult education in Nigeria is rarely
heard of and that is because the government is doing nothing about
reviving it and placing it on the right pedestal. Consequently, there
are currently no policy and programme supporting the progress of adult
education in Nigeria. As a result of this, adult education is not given
the needed attention it requires.
Another problem of adult education in
Nigeria is the fact that teachers or educators who teach adult students
seem to exhibit lack of patience transferring knowledge. They are easily
angered and as a result of this, the adult students are discouraged.
They find it difficult to assimilate under such a learning environment
and even discourage prospective students from enrolling in it.
These are some of the problems this study aims at seeking solutions to.
1.3 OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The major objective of this study is to examine adult education in Nigeria: the consequence of neglect agenda for action.
Other specific objectives include:
a) To examine the significant relationship between adult education and national development of Nigeria.
b) To investigate adult education as a panacea for high level of illiteracy in Nigeria.
c) To identify ways government can help resuscitate adult education in Nigeria.
d) To examine if educators of adult education require a special training to enhance teaching.
e) To investigate the problems of adult education in Nigeria.
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
The following research questions are generated to guide this study:
a) Is there a significant relationship between adult education and national development of Nigeria?
b) Is adult education a panacea for high level of illiteracy in Nigeria?
c) What are the ways government can help resuscitate adult education in Nigeria?
d) Should educators of adult education be enrolled in special training to enhance teaching?
e) What are the problems of adult education in Nigeria?
1.5 RESEARCH HYPOTHESIS
H0: There are no problems of adult education in Nigeria.
H1: There are problems of adult education in Nigeria.
1.6 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
This study is meant to educate, inform
and enlighten the general public, government and education policy makers
on adult education in Nigeria.
It is meant to encourage people who
would like to enroll in adult education not to relent in their effort to
do so, considering its many benefits.
The study serves as a reminder to the
government to look into the issue of adult education and give it the
needed support it requires.
Finally, it is important for education
policy makers to either advocate or better still come up with policies
that will support adult education in Nigeria.
This study will be of immense benefit to
other researchers who intend to know more on this topic and can also be
used by non-researchers to build more on their work. This study
contributes to knowledge and could serve as a guide for other work or
1.7 SCOPE OF THE STUDY/LIMITATIONS OF THE STUDY
This study is restricted to adult education in Nigeria: the consequence of neglect agenda for action.
Limitations of study
- 1. Financial constraint-
Insufficient fund tends to impede the efficiency of the researcher in
sourcing for the relevant materials, literature or information and in
the process of data collection (internet, questionnaire and interview).
- 2. Time constraint- The
researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic
work. This consequently will cut down on the time devoted for the
1.9 DEFINITION OF TERMS
ADULT: A person who is fully grown or developed.
ADULT EDUCATION: 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. It can mean any form of learning adults
engage in beyond traditional schooling, encompassing basic literacy to
personal fulfillment as a lifelong learner. In particular, adult
education reflects a specific philosophy about learning and teaching
based on the assumption that adults can and want to learn, that they are
able and willing to take responsibility for that learning, and that the
learning itself should respond to their needs.
CONSEQUENCE: A result or effect, typically one that is unwelcome or unpleasant.
NEGLECT: Lack of due care or attention.
AGENDA: A list of items to be discussed at a formal meeting or things to be done.
Federal Republic of Nigeria (2004) National Policy on Education, Abuja Government Printer.
Onyenemezu, E.C. (2003). Adult education and the challenges of 21st century in Nigeria. Education and practice (3), 1-7.
Dave, R. (1973) Life Long Education and Alcohol, Hamburg: UNESCO, Institute of Education.
Federal Republic of Nigeria (4th ed.) (2004): National policy on education, Lagos: Nigerian Education Research and Development (NERC).
Nnazor (2005) Adult education in
Nigeria: The consequence of neglect and agenda for action.
http://iej.cjb.net (retrieved August 24th 2011).
Fafunwa, B. A. (1974). History of Education in Nigeria. London: George Allen and Unwin.
United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (2004). Education. Montreal: Institute for Statistics. UNESCO.