AN ASSESSMENT OF GOVERNMENT INVESTMENT IN ADULT LITERACY PROGRAMMES

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1     Background of the study

Nigeria as a developing country has evolved from stage to stage since the period of Colonialism.  It would be of paramount importance to be acquainted with the history and development of adult education in the country.  The history of adult education can be trace 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 program in African Countries. Actual implementation of adult education in Nigeria started in 1944 (Omelewa 1981) and by 1941 a national literacy program was well under way, although due to poor implementation it had limited success. In his book titled Literacy Education in Nigeria, Aderinoye 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 Nsuka, 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 with in terms of the planning, implementation and evaluation of adult and non-formal education programs 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 programs 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 Governmentestablished the National Commission for mass Education (NMEC), responsible for the organization, monitoring and assessment of adult literacy practices in the country.  The commission’s 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 numeracy.  Life skills, which are central to all the literacy programs, 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).

1.2      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 socio-economic and political transformation of the country, but its eradication will also quicken the tempo of development.  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 programs 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 programs in Ikpoba-Okha local government area.

OBJECTIVE OF THE STUDY

The main objective of this study is an assessment of government investment in adult literacy programs.  But for the successful completion of the study; the researcher intends to achieve the following sub-objectives;

1. To ascertain, the effort that government has put into adult literacy programs

2. To identify the response rate of populace towards adult literacy program

3. To ascertain the impact of adult literacy education to  the indigenes of Ikpob-Okha local government area

4. To ascertain the relationship between adult literacy education and indigenes of IKpob-Okha local government area

5. To find out the strategies and innovations that government has put in place since the inception of adult literacy program in Edo State.

1.3     RESEARCH HYPOTHESES

For the successful completion of the study, the following research hypotheses were formulated by the researcher;

H0: there is no impact of adult literacy education to the indigenes of Ikpob-Okha local government area.

H1: there is impact of adult literacy education to the indigenes of Ikpob- Okha local government area.

H02: there is no significant relationship between adult literacy education and indigenes of IKpob-Okha local government area

H2:there is a significant relationship between adult literacy education and indigenes of IKpob-Okha local government area

1.4    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.

SCOPE AND LIMITATION OF THE STUDY

The scope of the study covers an assessment of government investment in adult literacy programs. The researcher encounters some constrain which limited the scope of the study;

a) AVAILABILITY OF RESEARCH MATERIAL: The research material available to the researcher is insufficient, thereby limiting the study

b) TIME: The time frame allocated to the study does not enhance wider coverage as the researcher has to combine other academic activities and examinations with the study.

c) Organizational privacy: Limited Access to the selected auditing firm makes it difficult to get all the necessary and required information concerning the activities.

1.7 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 program 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 achieve something.

1.8 ORGANIZATION OF THE STUDY

This research work is organized in five chapters, for easy understanding, as follows

Chapter one is concern with the introduction, which consist of the (overview, of the study), historical background, statement of problem, objectives of the study, research hypotheses, significance of the study, scope and limitation of the study, definition of terms and historical background of the study. Chapter two highlights the theoretical framework on which the study is based, thus the review of related literature. Chapter three deals on the research design and methodology adopted in the study. Chapter four concentrate on the data collection and analysis and presentation of finding.  Chapter five gives summary, conclusion, and recommendations made of the study.