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BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY
The Nigerian education philosophy is based on the integration of individual into a sound and effective citizen vis-à-vis the acquisition of appropriate skills, abilities and competences, both mental and physical, as equipment for the individual to live in and contribute to the development of his society. It is within this framework that adult education especially for women becomes relevant. Similarly, the United Nations Nairobi forward looking strategies for the advancement of women recognizes that education is the basic tool that should be given to women in order to fulfill their roles as full members of the society.
The acquisition of skills and knowledge is essential to the development of autonomous and productive individual women. Therefore, adult education offers a second chance to women who could not benefit from the formal school system, the opportunity to get useful knowledge and skills to improve their lots in the society. The process of development and its socio-economic challenges have modified the roles of women in our society. These changing roles call for adequate preparation of women through formal career education or through adult and non formal education. For instance, the establishment of women education units in the federal and state ministries of education in 1986 and the establishment and equipment of eighty eight (88) women adult education centres in the country by the federal ministry of education attested to the belief that education of women is the corner stone of development (Chukwuma 1993).
But that not withstanding the proportion of women in adult technical fields has been low in comparison to the number of men engaged in skill supporting labour. Most women are teachers, nurses, librarians and social workers with less preference for adult training as trades women or craft women for possible careers in the industry or in self supporting labour. Surely, the inclusion of adult education in the National Policy on Education (1981) has ushered in a outlook to the concept of skill training with the introduction of pre-adult subjects such as wood work, metal work, electronics machines, local crafts, home economics and business studies which are skill acquisition oriented.
Under the policy, the training for occupations at the junior and senior secondary schools is basically pre-adult in preparation for entry into adult skills programmes in future by both men and women based on interest, aptitudes etc. also, women could acquire adult education at the Technical Colleges, Post Secondary Institute and through adult and non formal training and retraining programmes organized by the Industrial Training Fund (ITF) at designated Adult Training Centres. In fact, government programmes such as the Universal Basic Education (UBE) has amplified the demand by women for adult skills development which in turn has necessitated the expansion of existing adult training centres and the creation of new ones by public and National Directorate of Employment (NDE).
Such courses may be full time or part time, optional or compulsory ion the job or off the job. Women trained can find employment with little capital as artisans, painters, printers, plumbers, draught women etc. Adult education is a panacea against unemployment which is currently playing the nations. The major occupation areas of adult education are agricultural, distributive education, home economics, health occupations, trade and industrial education, business and office education and technical education (Osuala 1987).
STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
Most men are self employed as trade men, artisans, technicians and masters craft men. But the same cannot be said of the women population for reason of societal sex role, ideological and cultural perception towards them. Therefore, the women have a challenge to themselves and the nation to set it aright on a proper adult scientific and technical courses by making good use of their innate abilities through the acquisition of adult skills in both traditional and formal trades, and now that the social and economic philosophy is self reliance, it is difficult to know whether adult education as practiced now in our society, has been properly used to check idleness among our women folk.
Have women been participating effectively in adult education training as much as their male counterparts? Are women who received adult education given free hands to practice their trades in self employment or in paid employment? What are the factors militating against effectiveness in that direction. These questions raised are the problems this study sets out to investigate.
1. To what extent do cultural biases affect women participation in adult education?
2. Do family responsibilities affect women in adult education training on full time basis?
3. Do social economic factors, finance, religion, lack of facilities affect women in adult education training?
4. Does negative self concept affect women in adult education?
5. To what extent do women participate in adult education training compared to their counterpart?
OBJECTIVE OF THE STUDY
1. Cultural biases affect women’s participation in adult education.
2. That the extent to which women compared to men is to a little extent that is, males participate more in adult education and training programme than women.
3. That family responsibilities affect women’s participation in adult education.
4. That social economic factors, lack of time, religious belief, finance, affect women’s participation in adult education.
5. Negative self concept affects women’s participation in adult education.
SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
This study is significant in a number of ways. In the first place, the factors affecting women’s participation in adult education need to be thoroughly investigated for better understanding of the phenomenon. This study is expected to provide a break through in helping to identify the factors affecting women’s effective participation in adult education. It is hoped that the study will provide useful information to policy and decision machinery makers which will enable them to put in place effective machinery for over coming such factors and thus raise the level of women’s participation in education (Adult). The investigation will also help to acquaint other researchers and academicians the field of adult education with specific on interest on women education.
In addition, the finding of the study will be of immense value to adult learners, instructors, administrators of literacy programmes and the agency for adult and non formal education as it is expected to help them identify problem areas, way forward, thereby improving on women’s investment and participation in adult education. Besides, since the study is expected to make clear the factors which is affecting women’s effective participation in adult education, the measure to adopt in turning the situation around. It is hoped that policy makers and planners including implementers of adult literacy programmes in the area in particular and the country in general will then become better informed and therefore be able to decide on the variable to take into consideration when formulating, planning and implementation strategies and policies for the growth and development of adult education. Finally, it will help to increase women’s awareness about the existence of the programme and thus encourage them to be more involved.
The basic assumptions around this study revolves are:
1. That adult education is important to women to reduce unemployment.
2. Those women participate in adult education and trading compare to their male counterparts.
3. Is assumed that adult training skills are more economically independent than other training.
4. Those women have special interest to peculiar adults and there are some motivating factors.
5. There are certain factors affecting women’s effective participation in adult education.
SCOPE OF THE STUDY
This study is limited to finding out the factors affecting women’s effective participation in adult education in Oredo Local Government Area in particular. It will also examine the extent to which the factors identified affect women’s educational level of participation in adult education. Focus is on women education centre which are mainly adult in nature.
DEFINITION OF TERMS
For the purpose of clarity and understanding, some terms used in this study are explained here in the context in which they have been used.
Adult: adult as used in the context refers to person considered to be adult by the Nigeria society based on the legal documents constitution of the country, a person is considered as an adult at the age of 18 years.
Education: this refers to the whole process by which people are prepared to live effectively in their environment by acquiring the skills and knowledge needed for effective functioning.
Participation: this means to voluntary involvement of a person in any programme.
Programme: this refers to activities put in place to help an individual who engages in them to acquire certain skills constitutes part of the adult population of the country. The range of women covered here are those who met the constitutional requirement of adulthood.
Vocation: it refers to ones’ work at any particular time, including both paid and unpaid employment occupation.
Adult training: it implies skills forming propensity and acquisition by repetition.
Occupation: what an individual does to earn a living.
Apprentice: The one who is learning the skill for an adult.
Apprenticeship: A way of acquiring skills while one is learning on the job.
SOME OF THE ADULT TRAINING CENTRES LOCATED IN OREDO LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA
1. Staff Training Centre, George Idah Avenue, G. R. A., Benin City.
2. Women Education Centre, Agbado Primary School Centre, along Akpakpava Road, Benin City.
3. Women Education and Adult Education Centre.
4. Skills Acquisition Centre, along Sapele Road by Ministry of Works, Benin City.
Some of the factors that affect women participation are bas follows:
1. Lack of time
2. Cultural bias
3. Heavy work load
4. Religious belief
5. Lack of appropriate facilities
6. Negative self concern
7. Financial factors.