Tuesday, August 9, 2022
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Traditional Beliefs, Culture Hindering Adult Education

Traditional beliefs, Culture Hindering Adult Education.

Literacy is defined as the ability to read, write, speak, and listen in such a way that we can effectively communicate and make sense of the world.

According to the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), adult literacy in Kenya reached 81.5 percent in 2018, up from 78.7 percent in 2014.

Only 70% of the adult population in Kajiado County is literate, with 30% of the population unable to read or write.

Traditional beliefs and cultural practices such as female genital mutilation (FGM), early marriages, and moranism continue to be the most significant impediments to impro

ving literacy levels in pastoral communities.

Mercy Njiriri, Kajiado County Director for Adult and Continuing Education, revealed that cultural practices and beliefs are deeply embedded in the society, posing a barrier to promoting education.

Njiriri added that the Maasai community’s economic lifestyle also makes it difficult for them to enroll in adult education classes because they move from one location to another in search of water and pastures, making learning difficult.

“The illiteracy levels in the county is still high at 30 per cent. This is attributed to many factors among them cultural practices such as FGM, early marriages, moranism, nomadism among others.” Said Njiriri.

The Director stated that promoting adult education, particularly among elderly men in the Maasai community, remains a challenge in rural areas because men see adult education as a preserve for women and idlers.

Men and women are not allowed to freely mix and interact in public in Maa culture. Some men also forbid their wives from attending classes because they do not want their wives to be more educated than them.

“Elderly men view it as a taboo to sit in the same room with women so most of them keep off. We have been forced to introduce separate classes for men and women to ensure that no one is left out, although this is becoming a challenge due to lack of sufficient tutors” she said.


The officer urged the locals to abandon outdated cultures and embrace change in order to avoid being left behind, noting that education was the only way to empower oneself economically and socially.

The Director emphasized that a lack of basic literacy prevents people from getting decent jobs and participating fully in their communities.

Another challenge in efforts to raise literacy levels, she said, is a lack of teachers and instructors at the centers, adding that in some classes, only one teacher taught all subjects in a class of more than 50 students.

“In comparison to the areas they are required to cover, the county has a small number of instructors.” “I urge all stakeholders to pitch in and help us train tutors and provide learning materials and desks,” Njiriri said.

Other difficulties include insufficient classes, poor infrastructure, a lack of transportation, insufficient funding, a poor learning environment, and a lack of updated learning and teaching materials.

Traditional beliefs, Culture Hindering Adult Education



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