Problems of Adult Education in Nigeria


Adult education involves adult learning across various fields and subject areas. Adult education can be both formal or informal and includes:

Basic and continuing education

Vocational and technical education

Professional development

Adult education is different from child education because it engages adults in a system of education and activities so they can learn new forms of knowledge, skills, attitudes, or values. Adult education is based on educational philosophy and the assumption that adults are able and willing to learn. Adult education is also very important in a nation because it aids national and economic development in a world that is constantly progressing. A nation is made up of its people, therefore, in order to be up to par with global advancements, there must be adequate human capital development. Adult education influences the personal growth and development of adults and teaches them to adapt to world changes. Thus, adult education is crucial for national development. This article is on the problems of Adult education in Nigeria.

Problems of Adult Education in Nigeria

Problems of Adult Education in Nigeria

Read on below:

Inadequate recognition of Adult Education in the Universal Basic Education Act (UBE)

It is of major concern that the Universal Basic Education Act fails to adequately recognize adult and non-formal education as a major sector in basic education. If the adult education program is not well recognized in the UBE act, it affects the level of commitment or attention that will be given to adult education by the government and other stakeholders. The Universal Basic Education act should be reviewed to accommodate Adult and Non-formal education, this would positively affect adult education practice in Nigeria.

Problems with budgetary allocations for Adult education in Nigeria

The budgetary allocation for adult education in Nigeria at all levels of government (Federal and state) is very inadequate for the successful running of the program. It is also very little when compared to the budgetary allocation for the formal education sector. There is also the issue of mismanagement of the even little funds allocated to the program.

Lack of awareness and sensitization

Many adults are not aware of the existence of adult education centres in the country or how the programs are run. More so, there are private individuals and organizations who will be willing to invest in this sector and are not able to because of the lack of proper advocacy and sensitization for the sector. There needs to be increased and sustained advocacy for the sector so that the people as well as organizations can contribute their own quota to adult education in the country.

Social stereotypes

Unfortunately, there is a poor response to education in Nigeria, even when it has to do with basic child education talk less of adult education. Many Nigerians are of the belief that education is meant only for young ones and that an adult studying is a shameful thing. Many adult Nigerians are usually afraid of the shame and disrespect that will come with they not passing and then stay off adult education. There are other stereotypes associated with education, such as the need to simply pass an examination instead of the need to learn. All these affect the general outlook on adult education.

Shortage of teaching staff and poor teacher training

Firstly, there is a very limited number of teachers adequately trained in adult education in Nigeria. Hence, there is a short supply of staff in adult schools all over the country. In many cases, there is an even shorter supply of personnel who possess Information and Communication Technology skills. This impedes the effective use of Information and Communication Technology in the adult education sector in Nigeria and poses a serious challenge to Nigeria’s advancement in technology. In order to solve this problem, there needs to be the compulsory recruitment of only qualified teachers. Only those with Nigeria Certificate in Education and who has specialized in adult education ought to be employed at Adult education centres.

Lack of proper monitoring and Management

The adult education sector has suffered from lack of management and evaluation. This is why are different types of programs run across the states of the federation. The successful running of the adult education program in Nigeria requires the use of proper systems in monitoring and tracking the success of the program across centres in Nigeria. This should be included in the program action plan. The first step in managing and monitoring of adult education involves the management of a large database. When, for example, accurate data on the number of people in need of adult education is not obtained, the success of the program is in jeopardy. It is important that systems are put in place to obtain accurate data and information. There should also be training on how to manage and evaluate the adult education program all over Nigeria.

Poor remuneration of teachers

There is a poor attitude displayed by teachers in adult education programs. This can be traced to poor remuneration and lack of incentives. There is the need for an upward review of salaries and allowances received by facilitators of adult education in Nigeria. The remuneration of teachers ought to be in line with the minimum wage paid to other workers.

Inaccessibility of education in rural areas

It is important that every adult citizen in all parts of Nigeria have easy access to education. In the face of globalization, the government should make it a priority that adult learners have the opportunity to self-develop. This will improve the quality of life which will in turn improve economic and national development in a nation. In many rural parts of the country, there are no adult learning centres. In addition to this, many cannot afford the fees of the learning programs. The government needs to increase funding and allocations to the adult education sector so as to subsidize or offer free education for adult learners in rural areas. There is also the need to establish more adult education centres in the country so all can have easy access to education.



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