Background of the Study
Adult education is an inevitable instrument for the achievement of growth and development. In the 21st century, it has become associated with every life-long learning initiative for the adults. Adult education is all-embracing as it brings about changes in information, knowledge, understanding or skill, appreciation and attitude. It enables individuals to become more useful to their society socially, economically, morally and politically (Asojo, 2001)
The importance of adult education in every society cannot be over-emphasized. It is an indispensable aspect of education that enables an adult to live well and equally participate actively in the affairs that concerns him. Nzeneri (2008) defined adult education as any form of education (formal, informal or non-formal) given to adults based on their felt social, economic, political and cultural needs to enable them adjust fully to life challenges. Adult education has come to be associated with the everyday life activities of adults; it has grown to encompass literacy programmes, remediation and retraining programmes. The National Policy on Education (2004) stated the objectives of Adult and Non-formal Education as the provision of functional literacy and continuing education for the adults and youths; functional and remedial education for the young drop-outs; further education for different categories of completers of formal schools; in-service, on-the-job, vocational and professional training for different categories of workers and the necessary aesthetic, cultural and civic education for public enlightenment.
The achievement of the aforementioned objectives depends on the quality of the adult education instructors. According to Nzeneri (2008) an adult education instructor is a person who consciously or systematically administers the teaching-learning activities, programmes and the processes with the primary aim of assisting others to learn or attain their desired learning goals. Therefore, instructors are key individuals in the nation’s adult education enterprise whose quality of training could mar or improve the educational outcome of the adult learners.
In recognition of this fact, National Policy on Education (2004) stated that no educational system can rise above the quality of its teachers. In order to encourage good performance and effective learning, instructors need to be trained before they are sent out to the learning centres to facilitate adult learning. Organizing periodic training programme for the instructors is very necessary in order to update their knowledge in their work places. This training programme is necessitated by the cardinal roles of the instructors in the teaching processes, which include; establishing conducive climate for learning, creating a mechanism for mutual planning, diagnosing of learning needs, formulating programme objectives based on identified needs, designing a pattern of learning experience using appropriate techniques and materials as well as evaluation of the learning outcomes (Hiemstra & Sisco, 2004).
The quality of instructors’ initial and continuous training is essential for the overall success of the entire adult learning programme. This makes him competent enough to handle his numerous roles and also take care of adult learners who are varied in terms of their personality, social status, profession, need, aspiration, character, behaviour, experience and attitude (Jegede & Obashoro 2007). Adult learners are peculiar group of learners that need to be facilitated by instructors who are well trained. Continuous education through training and re-training of the adult education instructors will engender an effective adult education programme. In other words, effective planning and implementation of adult education programmes requires a qualified and enterprising adult instructor who understands the adult learners and their societal demands. This calls for adequate rating of their training needs so as to ascertain what they require most in their teaching endeavours.
Hornby (2006) defined rating as a measurement of how good, popular and important somebody or something is, especially in relation to other people or things. Rating establishes the importance of a particular phenomenon in relation to others. Training is any learning activity that is directed towards acquisition of specific knowledge and skills for the purpose of an occupation or task (Griffin, 1997). Training involves systematic advancement of knowledge, skills and attitude required to perform a particular task by an individual. On the other hand, Dike (1989) sees need as lack of something wanted or deemed necessary, it is something that energizes people into action and acts as an aid in decision-making. Need can be identified in several ways but it is generally described as a gap between what is currently in place and what is needed now and in the future. Gaps can include discrepancies/differences between; what the organization expects to happen and what actually happens; current and desired job performance; existing and desired competencies and skills (Miller & Osinski, 2002).
Training need is a condition which reveals a gap between “What is and what should be” in terms of incumbent’s knowledge, skills, attitudes, and behaviour for a particular job at any point in time (Halim & Ali, 1997). They further identified that gap as a problem that usually occurs when a difference exists between desired performance and actual performance. Training needs in any enterprise arise from three sources; those caused by changes, market legislation and manpower composition; those derived from work problems and those from manpower wastage associated with poor recruitment, induction and training programmes. (Obikeze & Obi, 2004). Determination of training needs involve three major phases namely the assessment phase, which determines the training and development needs of the organization; the implementation phase that is the actual training and development in which certain programmes and learning methods are used to impact new attitudes, skills and abilities; and the evaluation phase (Vingil, 2009).
Olegbemi (1998) stated that an assessment of the effectiveness of adult education programmes in its totality for a country is bound to be more complex because the numbers of variables involved are very many. Thus, effective rating of adult education instructors training needs will help reveal the extent to which their lack of adequate training hinder their educational outcome and identify strategies which if put in place, will enhance their competencies. In this study, rating of the training needs of adult education instructors is the same as measuring their training needs to determine the areas where they need training most and to identify the strategies for enhancing their competencies in the adult education learning centres.
Adult education instructors in Anambra State have not been able to live up to the demands of facilitating adult instruction effectively in our constantly changing environment because of the distinction between their present level of competency and the required level of competency. According to Fasokun (2006) only a few of those working in adult education have received basic professional training in the field. Thus, the instructors lack the required knowledge and skills in adult education theory and practice which include: course development, effective use and improvisation of instructional materials, needs assessment techniques and sensitivity to adult learning styles. This then, calls for the rating of their training needs to identify the extent to which lack of adequate training hinder their educational outcome and the strategies for enhancing their educational outcome so as to equip them for greater proficiency.
Effective training programme for adult instructors will bring about improvement in adult education teaching/learning processes, whereas inadequate training can cause frustration and lack of job satisfaction among instructors. Thus, for effectiveness and efficiency, all training programme for adult education instructors must start with a training need assessment (Rowley, 1995). There is no gainsaying that the diverse nature of the functional roles of the instructors, which include instructional design, effective use of instructional materials, implementation of instructional plan and evaluation of learning outcomes, make it imperative that they be properly trained. This is because an instructor is not just the teacher in the classroom teaching a group of adults but is also a health educator, an agricultural extension worker, a discussion group leader, a community development worker, a vocational trainer and any other person who helps individuals and mostly adult(s) to learn something (Ani, 2003).
Training of adult education instructors must include practical attachment to adult classes, the historical foundations of adult education, curriculum design and practical work in adult education teaching and community development (Ihejirika, 2007). Unfortunately, most adult education instructors in Anambra state seem to lack adequate training in adult education theory and practice as they were drawn from formal school system (primary and secondary schools). Ominyi and Opa (2008) confirms that those who teach in adult education programmes are mainly secondary school teachers. The fact that many educators come to the field of adult education from a variety of backgrounds makes it more imperative to induct the new comers in the principles and practices of adult education. This is important because teaching of children is quite different from that of adults. Knowles (1980) buttressed this distinction by defining andragogy as the art and science of helping adults to learn and pedagogy as art and science of teaching children. Adult education programmes are more defined in purpose than the education of children. In light of the above, it is pertinent to rate the instructors training needs and ascertain the strategies for improving their competencies in the adult education learning centres in Anambra state.
Statement of the Problem
Facilitating adult learning requires instructors who possess andragogical competencies. Regrettably, most adult education instructors in Anambra state are inadequately trained in principles and methods of teaching adults as majority of them had no exposure to any form of basic training in adult education. Consequently, adult education programmes in the state suffers from learners’ low enrolment, high incidence of dropouts and generally, poor teaching/learning outcomes.
The findings of the National Commission for Mass Literacy Adult and Non-formal Education (NMEC, 2008) showed that some adult education instructors in Nigeria possessed only post literacy certificate. About 54 percent possessed WAEC/NECO while a significant number were Teachers Grade II certificate holders. Consequently, adult education programmes in Anambra state were not an exception to the use of inadequately trained instructors and as such, have not been able to serve its clientele effectively due to the fact that the instructors are inadequately trained in the theory and practice of adult education. The instructors lack adequate training on the effective use of instructional materials, instructional development and on methods of evaluation which seems to hinder their educational outcome. The problem of this study therefore, is to determine the extent to which lack of adequate training of adult education instructors on the theory and practice of adult education hinder their educational outcome in adult learning centres in Anambra state.
Purpose of Study
The main purpose of this study is to determine the extent to which lack of adequate training of the adult education instructors hinder their educational outcome and strategies to enhance their competencies in the adult education learning centres in Anambra state. Specifically, the study sought to:
- Find out the extent to which lack of adequate training on effective use of instructional materials hinder the instructors’ educational outcome in adult learning centres in Anambra state.
- Identify the extent to which lack of adequate training on instructional development hinder the instructors’ educational outcome in adult learning centres in Anambra state.
- Ascertain the extent to which lack of adequate training on methods of evaluation hinder the instructors’ educational outcome in adult learning centres in Anambra state.
- Identify the strategies for enhancing the competencies of the adult education instructors in adult learning centres in Anambra state.
Significance of the Study
The findings of this study will be of great importance to adult education planners, administrators, stakeholders, instructors, government, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), future researchers, adult learners and the society at large. It will equip adult education planners, administrators and stakeholders in the adult education sector with relevant information on the extent to which inadequate training of adult education instructors on the effective use of instructional materials, development of instructional objectives and methods of evaluation hinder their educational outcome. It will equally provide them with information on the strategies for enhancing the instructors’ competencies in their teaching/learning endeavours, which will result to effective planning and implementation of adult education programmes. It will also provide them with useful database for further research on how to achieve the goal of effective adult education teaching/learning processes.
The study will be of immense benefit to adult education instructors. It will enable them to highlight the extent which inadequate training hinders their educational outcome and the strategies for enhancing their competencies in their adult learning centres. This will enable adult education providers/planners to channel more resources towards the satisfaction of those training needs, so as to make the instructors competent in facilitating effective learning process. The findings of this study will provide the government, NGOs and future researchers with useful data on how inadequate training of the instructors contributes to poor learners’ enrolment and educational outcomes in the learning centres. It will equally provide them with useful information on the strategies for enhancing the instructors’ competencies, which will result to effective teaching/learning processes in the adult learning centres.
Finally, the findings of the study if implemented will also be of immense benefits to the adult learners and the society in general. It will make the instructors competent to facilitate effective learning in the learning centres, thereby equipping the learners with the required life skills with which to enhance their living standards and that of their society in general.
The following research questions were formulated to guide the study:
- To what extent does lack of adequate training on effective use of instructional materials hinder the instructors’ educational outcome in the adult learning centres in Anambra state?
- To what extent does lack of adequate training on instructional development hinder the instructors’ educational outcome in the adult learning centres in Anambra state?
- To what extent does lack of adequate training on methods of evaluation hinder the instructors’ educational outcome in the adult learning centres in Anambra state?
- What are the strategies for enhancing the competencies of adult education instructors in the adult learning centres in Anambra state?
The following null hypotheses were formulated to guide the study and were tested at 0.05 level of significance.
HO1: Male and female adult education instructors will not differ in their mean responses on the extent to which lack of adequate training on effective use of instructional materials hinder their educational outcome in the adult learning centres in Anambra state.
HO2: Male and female adult education instructors will not differ in their mean responses on the extent to which lack of adequate training on instructional development hinder their educational outcome in the adult learning centres in Anambra state.
Scope of the Study
The research study covers the rating of the training needs of adult education instructors in Anambra state. Specifically, this study focused on the identification of the extent to which lack of adequate training of the instructors on effective use of instructional materials hinder their educational outcomes; the extent to which lack of adequate training on instructional development hinder the instructors educational outcomes; the extent to which lack of adequate training on methods of evaluation hinder their educational outcomes and the strategies for enhancing their competencies in the adult learning centres in Anambra state.