Thursday, December 1, 2022
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Limited Resources Hinder Adult Education

Limited Resources Hinder Adult Education

Counties have struggled to meet intended targets due to a lack of resources, including manpower and flexible hours for adult education teaching.

Kiambu County Adult Education Officer Susan Itonde stated that, despite the challenges, Kiambu County has continued to carry out awareness campaigns and reach out to members of the public by establishing networks such as churches to facilitate learning.

Ms. Itonde told KNA in her office that resources are important, and that what it takes to teach and guide adults through learning programs can be overwhelming at times.

“Adult education is more than teaching. It is broad and requires more than that, bearing in mind that these are people who have other responsibilities and other things to do thus, they need functional literacy that will help them apply whatever they learn into immediate use,” Ms. Itonde noted.

She explained that functional literacy, as part of adult education, focuses on the application of what is learned on various issues such as health, which includes lessons as disease prevention and hygiene, and environmental issues, which include lessons such as tree planting and farming.

Concerning the shortage of manpower, the Education Officer stated that professional teachers, officers, and instructors who have been instrumental in training have continued to decline because they normally fall into three categories: full-time teachers, part-time teachers, and volunteers/self-help.

“For example, part-time teachers work for three days, two hours a day and that is only six hours a week which is not enough,” she noted.

Ms. Itonde went on to say that because adult learning involves people who have other responsibilities, they have flexible programs that allow learners to choose their own learning schedules based on their responsibilities, which has motivated them to attend the classes.

She added that, even with such flexible programs, they face the challenge of classrooms containing teaching equipment, which has been a major disadvantage for adult learners.

She explained that the lack of classrooms and learning equipment necessitates reliance on borrowed facilities such as borrowed classes, churches, and other facilities, which can be difficult at times.

By July 2022, Kiambu County had 855 male adult students and 2140 female students.

The numbers have risen in line with the Vision 2030 goal of achieving 80% adult literacy rates through expansion, access, and participation.

Ms. Itonde went on to say that e-learning for out-of-school youths and adults has resulted in the creation of a literate environment that is sustainable.

“Kiambu County has 107 basic learning facilities, 57 post-literacy learning facilities, 34 Adult Education at the Secondary level, 30 Adult Education at Primary Level, and one computer class for adult education,” Ms. Itonde said.

The Kenya Adult Learners’ Association was founded in 1990, during the International Literacy Year, by a group of adult literacy learners led by Magdalene Gathoni, who graduated from illiteracy to primary, secondary, and higher education.

Limited Resources Hinder Adult Education

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