Adult and Non formal education

Here in this article,we are going to be looking at Adult and Non formal education,its objectives, prospect/it’s Importance and so on.. We hope you find this article Informative and educational.

The history of adult education is a hit-and-miss tale that begins with great language, promises, and expectations and ends with patchy success, and in far too many instances, neglect and disillusionment. More at the level of rhetoric than in practice, adult education has been included into a larger agenda of education and development. It has been restricted much too frequently to a limited understanding of literacy abilities in the field of action (Umar,Eshak, Bichi, &Aujara, 2010). However, the majority of governments in underdeveloped nations, where resources are severely limited, give very little importance to adult education in favor of other areas of the educational system.

Adult education changes the social and psychological minds of adults more than any other profession, instills lost hope in them and liberates them from their prejudice of seeing themselves as not being capable of learning. Adult education awakens adult Learners to become aware of their environmental (social, economic, cultural and political) and psychological potentials and hidden abilities. It also exerts enormous influence on the larger society in terms of national development (Onyenemezu, 2012).

Who is an Adult?

An adult is someone who is physically and psychologically mature, and is socially, economically and politically responsible.

The Objectives of Adult Education

 According to the National Policy on Education (2004) the objectives of adult education and Non-formal Educationare as follows:

To provide functional literacy and continuing education for adults and youths who have never had the advantage of formal education or who did not complete their primary education.

To provide functional and remedial education for those young people who did not complete secondary education.

To provide in-service, on the job, vocational and professional training for different categories of workers and professionals in order to improve their skills.

Give the adult citizens of the country necessary aesthetic, cultural and civic education for public enlightenment.

Provide education for different categories of completers of the formal school system in order to improve their basic knowledge and skills on income generation activities like carpentry, tailoring, knitting, pomade and soap making and localcraft.

This may interest you: Difference between Educational Technology and Technology in Education

The prospects of Adult and Non-formal Education in Nigeria is as follows:

1 Increase in productive capabilities: a well educated adult farmer will not only know how and when to apply fertilizers, but will know how to increase his production capabilities with the modern technological system of farming. This will invariably increase the Gross National Product of the country.

2. Increase in the literacy level of the labour force : the contribution in this form is that, within a given occupation, a better educated person is likely to do a better job than a less educated one, because additional education is expected to make an individual more aware of better ways of doing things. Literacy will help the individual to :


Have a liberal mind and positive orientation towards life and its related activities;


Accept and appreciate changes and innovations which may enhance his productivity;


Improve his health habits which have implication for his effective contribution to the economy; a sickly individual can hardly make any meaningful contribution to the economy;


Generate ideas and information which may assist others to improve their

3. Reduction in Maternal and Infant mortality rates: literate mothers are more able to look after their own health and that of their children and also to attend antenatal postnatal clinics regularly.

4. Transformation of individuals, communities, entire social structures and societies.


It has been argued in this paper that adult education, referred to broadly as the transmission process of general, technical or vocational knowledge, as well as skills, values and attitudes meant for mature people, is a powerful tool for development, including poverty reduction, civic and social engagement. Adult education has been often recognised, in theory, as necessary to enhance development, especially in an era of globalization, not only because it produces human capital, but also because it enables people to become well-informed citizens, capable of thinking critically and owning their destiny through active participation. Unfortunately, this recognition has not often been translated on the ground into substantial and relevant programmes.

The low amounts of budgetary resources devoted to adult education by African countries reflected the low priority given to this education sub-system by the donor community, despite its inclusion in the global development initiatives adopted since the 90s. If this trend continues, Africa as a whole and Nigeria in particular will be deprived again of significant human resources so much needed to meet its development challenges. Such a scenario should not be allowed to happen, otherwise the ensuing social, economic and political consequences would be catastrophic for a continent that already represents the most impoverished part of the world.

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