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1.1       Background of the Study

Education is generally viewed as the most important instrument for change, progress and development by all societies the world over. Throughout human history, education remains the most important agent of social conservation and transformation, and indeed the most significant means by which the experiences and the overall cultural disposition of all human communities are transmitted across generations revealed that. Equally important to note is the fact that the educational system of society evolves from within the values, need an aspirations of such society. Adult education simply means the type of education which specially designs for people who were chanced to go to an earlier stage and those that want to improve their education while working. It is a form of educational programme design to equip the adult members of the society with literacy and numeracy skills required for their day to day activities in the society. There are several problems of adult education in educational system these include, people who are more attracted to success than failure. Also people tend to perceive according to experience. The association of school failure experience in childhood can scare an adult off any anticipated educational programme. Prospect is the important part of the programme which benefits could be derived from it, that is to help in promoting literacy and understanding for adult and become self-employed in order to improve the nation. Therefore, this paper addresses the following objectives, offering basic education and literacy programme to undeserved and hard-to-serve populations, providing an alternative avenue to formal schooling wherever official mechanisms for crossover and equivalent are provided.

According to, Okedara (1996) viewed, Adult education as educational programme designed for the adult without any legal compulsion. The point in this definition is that adult education is meant for the adult and participation is essentially out of the free will of the adult. UNESCO (1994) also viewed Adult education as covering all organized educational activities provided for people who are not in regular school and university system and are generally fifteen and older.

Education remains the key to human development. It is seen as the driving force for meaningful developments in every human society. The goal of any educational system is to provide or develop a balanced individual capable of surviving in his environment and contributing meaningfully towards the survival of that society to which he belongs. Adult education is one of the principal professions that can take adequate care of socio-economic, cultural political and environmental problems of the adults. The success of adult education in terms of achieving its goals as stated in the National Policy on Education (2004) cannot be over-emphasized. Adult education changes the social and psychological minds of adults more than any other profession, instills lost hope in them and liberates them from their prejudice of seeing themselves as not beings that are capable of learn. Adult education awakens adult learners to become aware of their environmental (social, economic, cultural and political) and psychological potentials and hidden abilities. It also exerts enormous influence on the larger society in terms of national development. Adult education continues from where the teacher in the formal school system who rigorously inculcates in the individual the desire for knowledge, understanding and education stops. Fasokun (2006) observes that: Adult education is concerned not with preparing people for life, but rather with helping/assisting people (adults) to live more successfully as useful and acceptable members of their societies and contribute meaningfully to the development of those societies.

Adult education educates adult learners who are parents/guardians on the better ways of managing the available resources to achieve socio-political and economic success in their life endeavours and also make referrals which assist other individual personalities and institutions in dealing with human problems as well as the society in which they find themselves. Adult education stands between the adult learner, the community and policy makers in human societies so much than any other professional. The adult educator knows the problems which inhibit effective adult teaching/learning and effective administration of adult education industry. Adult education is the only profession that assists adult learners effectively in their efforts to learn. Okafor (1991:32) states that: Thorough knowledge of the basic principles of teaching and learning and the skills to apply those principles in teaching/learning situation, adequate knowledge of the learner and the factors that determine the quality of the learner’s response in the educative process, adequate knowledge of the value constructs that motivate the learner and the capacity to assist the learner to acquire essential attitudes and modify negative ones.

1.2       Statement of the Problem

Adult education is one of the fields of academic endevour that is saddled with the responsibility of solving socio-economic, cultural, political and environmental problems. There is positive association between adult education programmes and increased levels of self-esteem and high levels of knowledge and skills which thereby encourage positive and active engagement of people in their own development (Umar, Eshak, Bichi, & Aujara, 2010). Adult education is narrowly interpreted as literacy only.

Despite the lofty principles as well as the personal and national benefits of adult education, many adults who should participate in the programme fail to take advantage of the opportunity offered to them by the programme in their community. Consequently, this study examines the problems and prospect of adult education in Nigeria.

1.3       Objectives of the Study

The study sought to know the problems and prospects of adult education in Nigeria. Specifically, the study sought to;

i.   assess the role of adult education in eliminating adult illiteracy and unemployment in Nigeria.

ii.   examine the challenges faced by adults in responding to adult education programs.

1.4       Research Questions

i.   What is the role of adult education in eliminating adult illiteracy and unemployment in Nigeria?

ii.   What are the challenges faced by adults in responding to adult education programs?

1.5       Significance of the Study

This study will be of immense benefit to other researchers who intend to know more on this study and can also be used by non-researchers to build more on their research work. This study contributes to knowledge and could serve as a guide for other study.

1.6       Scope/Limitations of the Study

This study is on problems and prospects of adult education in Nigeria.

Limitations of Study

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).

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 research work.

1.7       Definition of Terms

Education: Is the process of facilitating learning, or the acquisition of knowledge, skills, values, beliefs, and habits.

Adult Education: Also called continuing education, any form of learning undertaken by or provided for mature men and women.



National Policy on Education (2004), 4th Edition.

Okafor, F.C. (1991): Nigeria teacher education. Enugu: Fourth Dimension Publishing Co. Ltd.

Okedara, J. (1996), Regional and National Organization. Africa, Anglophone, in Tuijnman, A. (Ed) International Encyclopedia of Adult Education and Training, 2nd Edition, London: Pergamum pg; 724 -729.

Umar, F.M., Eshak, A.M., Bichi, A.A., & Aujara, I.W. (2010). Trends in adult and nonformal education in Maiwada, D.A. & Yakasai, M.I. (ed) Trends in education research. Zaria. ABU Press.



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