Access and participation of adult and continuing education learners in adult basic literacy programme in Kiambu District, Kenya
Kamau, Catherine Njeri
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Access and participation of adult education learner in adult basic literacy programme is poor in most regions in Kenya, this is supported by the findings released by Kenya national literacy survey which show that 7.8 million of the Kenya adult population are illiterate (Republic of Kenya, 2007); Kiambu district is one of the regions experiencing poor participation in adult basic literacy programme. This is further evidenced by the low attendance, high dropout rate and low completion rate of adult learners in adult basic literacy programmes. The study assessed the access and participation of adult education learners in adult basic literacy programme in Kiambu District. The study was guided by the theory of Classical Liberal Theory of equal opportunity advanced by Horace Mann (1796) which states that the education system should be designed so as to remove barriers of any nature such as socio-economic, gender, geographical, age and policy. The objectives of the study were: to establish the attendance rate of adult education learners; to determine enrolment rate of adult education learners, to determine the factors influencing adult education learners participation in adult basic literacy programme; to establish drop rate of adult basic education learners, to establish the completion rate of adult education learners, and to suggest measures to improve access and participation of adult education learners. The study target population was 100 adult education learners, 20 adult education teachers, two division adult education officer and district education officer. The sample size was 60 adult education learners, 12 adult education teachers, and one district adult education officer. The descriptive survey method of research was used. Data were collected by use of questionnaires, interview schedules, and focus group discussion guide and observation guide. Data collected were analyzed by using statistical package for social sciences (SPSS). Frequency tables, graphs and percentages were used to enhance data presentation. The major findings of the study were: Teachers in the study area were not academically and professionally qualified, majority of teachers were on full time employment, attendance rate for adult learners have been very low, the learners are not subjected to full time schooling, attendance rates were higher for females than for males, factors that influence attendance drop out and completion rates are economic, social, behavioral and psychological factors, absenteeism was high among the males than the females, age of learners and language used for content delivery had minimal effect on attendance, drop out and completion of learners, there was a declining trend in enrollment the number of females who had had dropped out of classes from 2007-2010 were more than the number of males. The following recommendations were made: the government recruit teachers, who are academically and professionally qualified and should be recruited on full time employment, that a rotational fund with reduced interest rates be established to finance projects initiated by adult education learners, more centres be established to cater for more adult learners, the government should introduce multi-shift learning programmes, and all learners be promoted automatically for post-literacy level.
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