AN ASSESSMENT OF GOVERNMENT INVOLVEMENT IN ADULT LITERACY PROGRAMMES
BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Nigeria as a developing country has evolved from stage to stage since the period of Colonialism. A major tool for the attainment of certain height in education by our heroes past who after being enlightened in the share of Europe, could demand for a free state from the colonialist, who bluntly gave up power to a set of educated few, with the exception that the mass of the populace would follow suit.
Having established this, we should be able to deduce that for the under development plagues like poverty, unemployment, bad health conduction etc, therefore in a bid to establish the essence and usefulness of this research work. It would be of paramount importance to get acquainted with the history and development of adult education in the country.
Adult education in Nigeria has a long history. As far back as the fourteen (14) century, itinerant Islamic scholars and traders in the Muslim North of the country taught Arabic literacy through the study of Koran. Later, Christian Missionaries brought Western education to part of Southern and Central Nigeria. This education however was essentially selective and designed with the specific goal of becoming literate in order to study the scriptures. In the 20th century, deliberate efforts were made by the British Colonial Government to provide some adult education in Nigeria. In its 1925 memorandum on Education policy in British Tropical Africa, the British Colonial Office recommended the implantation of an adult education programme in African Countries. Actual implementation of adult education in Nigeria started in 1944 (Omelewa 1981) and by 1941 a national literacy programme was well under way, although due to poor implementation it had limited success. In his book titled Literacy Education in Nigeria, Aderinaye wrote on page 7 that Holy Trinity Anglican School started evening classes in Kano in 1940. Continuing, he informed us that experiments in Community development and literacy began in Udi in 1942 with Chadwick E. R. as the organizer, he also wrote that as far back as 1958 before our Independence in 1960, an association known as Adult education Student Association had been formed. The Association constituted what was called an interior committee. In their conference at the University of Nigeria Nsukaa, the committee was charged with the preparation for launching of a national body and a constitution to be examined.
Nigeria attained Independence in 1960 and literacy efforts in Nigeria received a boost when unesco supported the establishment of an Adult Literacy Institute in Ibadan in 1965. In 1971, the Nigerian National Council for Adult Education (UNCAE) was set up becoming a “Voice” for adult education practice in Nigeria. It recorded dramatic achievements within a shorts span of time, becoming a Force to reckon within terms of the planning, implementation and evaluation of adult and non-formal education programmes in particular, the UNCAE played a leading role in driving aggressive campaigns and advocacy at government and University levels in order to ensure that Adult Education programmes were included at all levels of the education system.
Since its inception the UNCAE has worked in collaboration with government and non-government agencies in Nigeria to:-
- Establish Adult and Non-formal Education Agencies in all the States of the Federation from 1950.
- Establish Adult and Non-formal Education Agencies in all the States of the Federation from 1950.
- Establish the Adult and Non-formal Education unit in the Federal Ministry of Education in 1974.
- Establish the National mass Education Commission (NME)in 1990.
- Establish departments of Adult Education in Federal Universities.
- Develop a human resource base of experts in adult and non-formal education
A great wind of change came in 1990, when the Federal Military Government
established the National Commission for mass Education (NMEC), responsible for the organization, monitoring and assessment of adult literacy practices in the country. The commissions activities are decentralized, with offices in the six geo-political zones of the country. The 36 States and all 774 local government areas. Co-ordination and supervision of literacy classes are the sole responsibility of the local adult education officers, supervisors and literacy instructions. The minimum number of literacy classes expected in any local government is ten, with additional classes managed and funded by NGO’s Examinations are conducted on the basic competencies, reading, writing and numecracy. Life skills, which are central to all the literacy programmes, are also tested.
Having laid this foundation, this research work would therefore seek to find out the involvement of government in the development of adult education in Edo State, with Ikpoba-Okha Local Government Areas as a case study, it would try to assess government’s involvement and developmental assistance to the organization in accordance with the National Commission for mass Education (NMEC).
STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
Following the background given above, there is a great concern over the illiteracy rate in the world population, although 3rd world countries have experienced increase in literacy rate over the past few decades.
Illiteracy is a great hindrance to the promotion of national development. It is not only an obstacle to the social-economical and political transformation of the country, but its eradication will also quicken the tempo of development. Due to illiteracy many adult Nigerians, especially the populace at the grass root level, like Ikpoba-Okha Local Government Area are unable to participate meaningfully in the development process of the country.
It has been proven over time that Adult Education is a major tool for eradicating illiteracy and its adverse consequences, this might have led to the consideration given to it by the National Policy on Education, but apart from this consideration, its major loophole has been the non-chalant attitude shown to its government.
It is therefore, of paramount importance to address the possible consequences that will occur if the government continues to show minimal attention to adult literacy programmes in the State.
Firstly, its major consequence which would eventually birth others is the problem of illiteracy. (Osunde and Omoruyi, 1977) said “Illiteracy is undoubtedly a threat to progress and wellbeing of humanity”
The rise of illiteracy in the society would undoubtedly lead to poverty, sickness, backwardness, economical instability, corruption and related vices etc. Thus, it has been empirically established that literacy can increase the people’s participation in governance, development oriented activities and creates greater desire for accelerated national local development, the health and nutrition of the people is greatly enhance.
Therefore seeing that Adult Education is a means of adapting to changing circumstances and meeting the challenges of the day and thus ensuring that the society survives and thrives. Through the knowledge of these consequences, government should therefore increase their involvement in Adult Literacy programmes in Ikpoba-Okha local government area.
PURPOSE OF THE STUDY
The main rationale for the study of this project is to assess the involvement of government in adult literacy programmes in Ikpoba-Okha local government area.
It is also to quantify the response of Ikpoba-Okha local government area, adult literacy programme and the effects of the programmes.
Furthermore, it studies the following:-
- To ascertain, the effort that government has put into adult literacy programmes in Ikpoba-Okha local government area.
- To measure the level of involvement of Edo State government in adult literacy education.
- To identify the response rate of the Ikpoba-Okha local government areas populace towards adult literacy programme.
- To find out the strategies and innovations that government has put in place since the inception of adult literacy programme in Edo State.
- The impart of adult literacy education in the indigenes of Ikpob-Okha local government area.
SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
Adult education has put by Edward Hutchinson is a “organized provision to enable men and women to enlarge and interpret their own living experience”
Also, in view of the research work, the concept of adult literacy as a basic component of adult education includes all the activities with educational purposes carried on by people engaged in the ordinary business of life. This branch of education thus stems directly from the people and it enables its recipients to grapple successfully with problem of life and contribute meaningful to community betterment. In view of the above, the researcher is of the view that the findings of the study will help, enlighten the government on the need for literacy of the adult in Ikpoba-Okha local government area and if improved efforts are provided, it will greatly contribute in promoting the social economical and political advancement of the State.
- What effort have the government put into adult literacy programme in Ikpoba –Okha local government area?
- Is Edo State government actually involved in adult literacy education?
- What is the response of the Ikopba-Okha populace towards adult literacy programme?
- What innovation has the government initiated since the inception of adult literacy programme in Edo State?
- What are the resultant effects of the implementation of adult literacy programmes on the indigenes of Ikpoba-Okha local government area.
DELIMITATION OF STUDY
Bearing in mind the complexity of the issue which is “An assessment of Government involvement I adult literacy efforts in Ikpoba-Okha Local government area, this study focuses only on the efforts of the government towards the development of adult education and he involvement or interest shown by the people.
Othr areas include, the various innovations introduced by the government to boost the system and it’s resultant effects on the indigenes of the locality.
LIMITATION OF THE STUDY
This study is designed to investigate the involvement of government in adult literacy programmes in Ikpoba-Okha local government area. The constraints are specified to Ikpoba-Okha local government area, but since education problems are fairly general, the constraints can be taken as what obtained in other pails of Edo State.
Other limitation include lack of time, fund and transport problem.
DEFINITION OF TERMS
- Adult: a grown up person, who has attained full maturity and is fully developed.
- Illiterate: An uneducated person, who lacks the ability to read or write.
- Literate: An educated person with competence in reading and writing.
- Adult education: This refers to the general enlightenment programme that is put together to develop the adults or matured citizens of the society.
- Assessment: to pry into, for the purpose of judging, deeding the amount, value, quality, or importance of a thing or placed on a thing.
- Government: A defined constitutional body that rules with authority and conducts the policy, actions and affairs of a state
- Effort: A great physical or mental activity needed achiev something.