The nationwide guiding principle on teaching and learning (2004) makes provision for Adult and non-formal education as an excellent tool for lasting education. Section 6 of that guiding principle summarizes the objectives of adult and non-formal education to incorporate
- Provision of practical literacy and long-lasting education for adults and the youths.
- Provision of education for diverse groups of completers of the formal education system to advance their fundamental knowledge and skills.
- The provision of in-service, on-the-job, occupational and professional instruction for diverse groups of workers and
- To offer adult citizens of the Nigeria the needed aesthetics, artistic and public education for communal illumination.
Ugwuegbu (2003) is of the opinion that Adult Education in Nigeria does not only constitute literacy or corrective education to seal a breach but adult education in Nigeria is desirable and sought after by each and every one provided that they are alive and despite the consequences of their earlier education.
What he said here corresponds to what Nasir (1979) said when he mentioned that Adult Education incorporated many of the subjects taught at school for those who hadn’t the opportunity earlier.
Dave (1973) formerly argued that Adult Education intends to provide lasting education that gets the individual ready for transformation and generates self-motivated disposition in the person.
This is because the world is continuously altering in every field as well as technology, communication and industry. Man’s passion for knowledge and education is therefore always on the increase to enable him catch-up with the changing situations.
Bown and Okedara (1981: 11) appropriately portrayed this push for constant education as ‘cradle to grave’. It is expected that when Nigerians are more empowered lasting skills and knowledge, our prospect for the attainment of the millennium development goals which include
- Obliteration of excessive poverty and hunger
- Attaining universal primary education
- Encouraging gender equality and giving more power to women
- Reduction of child mortality
- Improvement of maternal health
- Fighting HIV / Aids, malaria and other diseases
- Making sure that the environment is sustained.
- And developing a universal joint venture for advancement would be improved (Federal Government of Nigeria, 2004).
Improvement in Adult Education Programs in Nigeria
To meet up the challenges offered by the exceeding aspects of adult education in Nigeria, some programmes have been introduced which includes:
Basic Literacy Programme
This is a programme that lasts for one month which prearranged and financed by most Local Government Councils in most states of the country. It is conducted under the harmonization and administration of the States´ Ministries of Education.
Post Literacy Programme
This is planned by the Ministry of Education in some States of the Federation for those who have completed Basic Literacy Programmes and loafers from formal primary schools to keep their knowledge raised to the level of first school leaving certificates.
Women Adult Education Programme
This programme is structured by Christian Missionaries and Local Government Councils. The bureau of Education offers grants to the charitable organizations to lessen costs. The course is exclusively designed to develop the services of literate and illiterate women in the society.
Distance Education Programme
This programme is controlled by the States´ Ministries of Education and some higher institution in the country. It is intended for all those who for the reason of their age are unable to enroll in the normal or formal educational system. The means of teaching is by letters, radio or television.
This is planned by different institutions of higher learning in the country for adults who are engaged with other commitments for most of the year and who can only come into their various schools when they can meet the expense of it.
Nomadic Education Programme
Nigerian nomads are mostly cattle-rearers who do not live in a place because they have to trail their herds of cattle about in looking for of green pasture. The nomadic cattle rearers do not receive official education. Mobile Education Programme has been introduced to deal with this unfortunate situation.
To conclude, Nigeria akin to the majority of developing countries has placed unwarranted importance on formal education while seemingly neglecting adult and non-formal education.
Adult education even though it is not strictly within the formal system has an immense influence on the number and worth of education in the formal system. It should be followed energetically and forcefully.
Adult literacy and education are important for a progressive government and citizenry, whose insights, actions and judgments are very crucial to education and attainment of national goals.