A study of adult education teachers training in Kenya
Muya, Francis Gateru
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The problem of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of the adult education teachers' training programme in Kenya. The study sought answers to the following questions: 1. Does the training of adult education teachers equip them with the knowledge, skills and attitudes required for satisfying the needs of adult education learners? 2. Does the adult education teachers have physical, financial and educational facilities as well as materials? How does adequacy or inadequacy affect their work? 3. Does training of assistant adult education officers equip them with the knowledge, skills and attitudes required for helping adult education teacher trainees to learn? 4. Does the adult education-training programme provide professional training for both the teacher and the assistant adult education officer? 5. Does the adult education programme adequately remunerate, encourage and motivate adult education officers and the adult education teachers? How do they feel about their careers? The literature reviewed in connection with this study pointed to the fact that in most countries and more so in the developing world, adult education programme were not taken seriously especially the training of adult education teaching personnel. There tended to be a wrong notion that any reasonably educated person could teach an adult class. Consequently, the selection of adult education teacher trainees was in most cases not based on some strict minimum academic requirement but on the availability of such would be teachers. The indication was that the training of adult education teachers and their assistant adult education officers was not well organised and fell short of professional training. It was noted that very few if any studies of the nature undertaken by this study had been done before this hence points of reference and comparison were hardly available. The data was collected through administration of questionnaires and also face-to-face interviews with the respondents. There were three different sets of questionnaires designed by the researcher as follows: (a) for adult education teachers, (b) for assistant adult education officers manning administrative divisions, (c) for district adult education officers in charge of districts. A total of three districts namely: Kajiado, Kiambu, Machakos and Nairobi Province were randomly sampled for this study on the basis of their contrasting geographical regional features and lifestyles. In total, three hundred and nineteen (319) adult education teachers, sixteen (16) divisional assistant adult education officers and four (4) district adult education officers were samples of this study. The analysis of the data revealed that the adult education teachers were recruited from varying academic backgrounds ranging from Kenya Certificates of Primary Education (KCPE) through Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) to Kenya Advanced Certificate of Education (KACE). It was also found that the adult education teachers' training was not structured to suit their varying educational backgrounds. The training content was the same for all of them. The training which took the form of induction (pre-service), inservice and correspondence course (Correspondence Course Unit -CCU) was found to be piecemeal, haphazardly organised, irrelevant and far-between which did not amount to professional training was found to be given much later after the teacher had been hired and already working in the field. Face-to-face advisory visits by the district adult education officers and divisional assistant adult education officers were found to be rare and in some cases non-existent. Financial and physical facilities were also found to be inadequate. Educational materials were hardly available to the teachers. Morale at work was founds to be low for both the teachers and their assistant adult education officers. This was mainly due to what the teachers and their assistant adult education officers termed as poor remuneration, lack of social recognition, neglect by their superiors, lack of upward mobility and general lack of professional prospects. From the findings of this study, a number of recommendations were made among them that the Ministry of Culture and Social Services which was and still is responsible for the Department of Adult Education should take upon itself to revitalise and given new tempo to the adult education programme which seems to be a withered programme. It is recommended that further research regarding the misconceptions of adult education, training and personnel should be done in order to provide empirical evidence and better understanding of the problems facing adult educators and adult learners and, therefore, provide solutions. It is further recommended that: - the professions should have more attractive terms of service in order to attract and retain highly qualified and competent adult education personnel. - the sponsors of the adult education programme should provide enough physical facilities such as stationery, transport, offices and enough funds for various operations of the adult education movement, - supervision and advisory visits to adult education teachers by senior and knowledge personnel should be made more frequent, - there should be periodical evaluation of the performance of the adult education programme from time to time. This would not only assist in the revision of the curriculum itself but also in the formulation of new strategies for even greater achievement.