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The Impact of Adult Education as an Agent for Social Change in Nigeria

The Impact of Adult Education as an Agent for Social Change in Nigeria

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This study examined adult education as an agent for social change In Nigeria. A case study of Oron Local Government Area. The population for the study consisted of four hundred (400) adult 1eàrners from twenty (20) adult education centers which involved formal adult education and non-formal adult education (Vocational). The samples size consisted of two hundred (200) adult learners. Three research questions were formulated to guide the study. A researcher-made instrument called Adult Education as Agent for Social Change Questionnaire (AEASCQ) was adopted for data collection.

Simple percentages as data analyses were used to analyze the data collected. The- findings revealed that adult education contributes positively to individual and community development and is faced with challenges despite the challenges, adult education is seen as the remedy to an existing social problem in Oron Local Government Area. However, it is recommended that the Government, non Governmental Organization sole traders, adult instructors should adequately fund the programs as well as bring adult programs such as in-service training, seminars etc to the adult citizens so as to achieve the goals of adult education in the 2004 National Policy on Education.

In conclusion, adult education will not achieve its goals and objectives which are primarily targeted to bring social change in the status of individuals and for societal advancement, until it is properly managed and executed.



1.1   Background to the study

The Education of adults is certainly as old as man himself. In ancient times, for instance, the study of astrology, law, medicine, and priesthood was largely done by adults and these studies engaged the attention of the privileged leisure class but much later, as a result of the Industrial Revolution, the need arose to bring education closer to the reach of the mass of ordinary working-class men and women. However, adult education according to Igbo (2008) is often used interchangeably with order nations like lifelong learning and non-formal education among others.

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Today, the word emphasizes the concept of education for all (ETA). In giving a suitable definition of adult education, Ugwoegbu (2003) as quoted by Udo (2012) asserted that adult education is any educational programs aimed at improving the cognitive, psychomotor or affective domain of individuals who are recognized by society as adults. In the view to bring change to individuals and society which is the aim of adult education,

Eheazu (1998:15) sees it as “some specific ‘functional training/vocational programmed required by adults (who now constitute the illiterate, unskilled, semi-skilled or semi-professional labour force) to remedy not only their educational deficiencies but also meet the needs of their various occupations whether as farmers, artisans or employees of corporate/private organizations”.

Also, Harbison in Obi (1987:75) supports Eheazu thus; “the wealth of a country is dependent not so much upon its natural resources and material capital; it is determined in a significant degree by the knowledge, skills, and motivation of its people”. The people here are referred to as adults who integrate those acquired skills in their daily activities for personal development as well as enhancing societal growth.

In Addition, the United Kingdom, the Inquiry into the Future of Lifelong Learning (IFLL), Sebates (2008) concludes that participating in adult learning can help substantially to reduce poverty by enhancing employment prospects, improving the health levels of poor people, and giving better enhances of acquiring the tools needed to run their own lives

The Impact of Adult Education as an Agent for Social Change in Nigeria

1.2   Statement of the Problem

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The central problem that attracts the attention of this study is to identify if adult education practices has any effects after all as a change agent whose contributions, to individuals and society is seen to be of great value. Nzeneri (2008) in his definition of adult education stated the reasons to embrace it, thus; adult education is any education given to adults based on their social, political, cultural and economic needs and problems to enable them adjust fully to changes and challenges in their lives and society.

To support the claims of adult education practices which is aimed at achieving the desired change, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development in Nnazor concisely elaborated the facts (2005:530), thus adult education encompasses all education and training activities undertaken. by adults for professional or personal reasons.

According to them, it includes general, vocational and enterprise-based training from a lifelong perspective. Social situations such as a high rate of unemployment which could result in criminal activity (robbery, trafficking etc.), poverty, and underdeveloped agriculture, among others tend to be a menace to a developed society and individual. This situation however signals the relevance of adult education as an instrument of social reconstruction to forestall this phenomenon as well as develop a literate informed, skilled and healthy adult population.

Therefore, it is a necessity to examine the effect of the acquired skills in tailoring, hairdressing, entrepreneurial practices, agriculture, mechanics, etc which are the vocational or technical aspects of adult education programmed on the individuals and the society as well as those adults graduates from programs such as open distance learning, workers education etc. which are the literacy aspect of adult education.

1.3   Purpose of the Study

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Considering the myriads of social problems in the country, this research is therefore aim at revealing the role of adult education to individuals and community development, others include:

(1)    To identify the challenges facing the effectiveness of adult education in Nigeria.

(2)    To identify the contribution of adult education to individuals and community development

(3)    To identify the extent to which adult educations provide solutions to existing social problem.

1.4   Significance of the Study

This study shall be significant in various ways including the following.

  1. It will enlighten the government on the deficiency of adult education and also considers suggestions for its.
  2. It shall yield rate on investments and enhances labour productivity by equipping several of recipients with essential literacy and numerate skills alongside healthcare. V It will promote relevant skills and professionalization to improve productivity among youths.
  3. It shall enable individuals to be active participate in the formulation of government policies and help individuals to solve problems or challenges of everyday life.

1.5   Research Questions

In this study, the researcher wishes to use the following research questions to direct her study:

(1)    To what extent does adult education faced challenges in Nigeria?

(2)    To what extent does adult education contribute to individual and community development?

(3)    To what extent does adult education solve existing social problems?

1.6   Delimitation of the Study

Considering the vast population of Nigeria, this study did not cover the whole country but is limited to Oron Local Government Area, Akwa Ibom State.

1.7 Limitations of the Study

The study was confronted with setbacks including insufficient finance, inadequate time frame to process the report administration of questionnaires and gathering of information.

Mr. Harrison

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