Education is thought to be a life-long process. It is also defined as the mental training we give ourselves in order to grow mentally, spiritually, physically, morally, and socially so that we can contribute to the society in which we live. In essence, education is the transmission of cultural heritage.
In the traditional African setting, and particularly in Nigeria, the process of transmitting cultural heritage and acquiring this knowledge and values was informal. The arrival of our colonial masters, on the other hand, gave rise to the formal type of education. This resulted in the establishment of schools where formal education is provided. As a result of these schools, there was an influx of children from various backgrounds into schools. The situation was exacerbated.
When the Action Group, a political party in control of the western region, implemented its free education policy in 1956.
This development resulted in an increase in school enrollment while infrastructures could no longer keep up with the population growth, and there was also a severe shortage of teaching personnel. The end result was a drop in educational standards.
Many students dropped out, and there was always a need to cater to this group of youth in our society. Parents and guardians began looking for alternative solutions to help their children get out of this situation. This school problem may have given rise to the entire concept of continuing education.
BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY
Presently, there has been a gradual growth in the number of continuing education centres in Oredo Local Government. By the same token, these centres have also witnessed an increase in student’s enrolment. In most cases some of these centres are beginning to function as regular institution that one is at a lost whether the name “continuing education centres” can rightly be used for them. But one thing that has become glaring is that these centres are gradually becoming centres for in major examination especially those examinations that leads to university admission.
This rather ugly off-short of continuing education centres has in the past few years attracted a lot of public opinion as to the geniuses of the teaching and learning process that goes on in this centres. Perhaps, as this writer believes, there is a missing link somewhere between what goes on in these centres and the larger public.
Thus, to fill in the missing link, the writer has chosen this topic in a bid to research into the factors affecting the functioning of continuing education centres. However, since Oredo Local Government has a good number of such centres, the writer has decided to use it as a case study.
STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
There has been little or no progress in continuing education centres especially in the area of qualified learning, facilitators, equipments, obtaining finance and adequate facilities.
Teachers constitute an important aspect of every education system. Therefore, the fullest problems to be investigated include:
1. Are there enough qualified teachers in the continuing education centres?
2. Do the centres have enough classrooms for learning?
3. Do the curriculum of the literacy and vocational centres meet the needs of the adults?
4. Has the government made available adequate funds to run the centres?
5. To what extent has the prevailing economic climate affected the functioning of continuing education centres in Oredo Local Government Area?
These are the problems being looked into in the study and also to suggest possible solutions to them.
PURPOSE OF THE STUDY
The purpose of the study is to investigate the factors affecting the functioning of continuing education centres in Oredo Local Government Area know the extent to which the programme has been retained, identify problems of drop-outs occasioned by irrelevant curriculum, obtaining finance, adequate facilities, to suggest ways of solving the problems outlined above.
SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
The study provides an insight into the programme in Oredo Local Government Area of Edo state on the factors affecting the functioning of continuing education centres. The findings are likely to enable the government re-schedule the implementation strategy of the programme. The result of the study should enlighten adults and adult educators of the reliance and practical value of continuing education to the society.
The study would find out how learners acquire vocational and illiteracy skills. The findings are likely to enable government take cognizance of the need to properly defined and design the curriculum of continuing education programme in addition, various bodies such as the universities and the Nigerian National Council for adult education will benefit from this research study and thus, intensity efforts to expand their programme in pursuance of these objectives.
To solve the problems raised above, the following questions will be addressed in the study.
1. Is the curriculum of continuing education centres relevant to the need of the student?
2. What funds are available for the functioning education centres?
3. What educational facilities and equipment are available for the successful literacy and vocational centres in Oredo Local Government Area of Edo state?
4. Does the centre provide hostel accommodation?
5. Are all tutors university graduates?
In this study the factors affecting the functioning of continuing education centre in Oredo Local Government Area of Edo state is being traced. It has been assumed that such centres are opened to cater for the inadequacies in the educational achievements of its participant. Also, there are some factors that militate against the functioning of these continuing education centres, such factors are
1. Lack of funds
2. Inadequate teaching personnel
3. Inadequate facilities
4. Student’s un-seriousness
5. Accessibility problem
6. influence of peer group
DEFINITION OF TERMS
The following terms used in this study are defined below for the purpose of clarity.
Curriculum: It refers to the content of what is taught to the learners.
Facilitators: It refers to the teachers in adult education settings; the adult learners are matured, independent, being capable of deciding on what to learn and how to learn. Hence we say adult educators are facilitators because they assist adults to learn.
Literacy: This means the ability to read and write.
Occupation: It means any job or work done from which the people derive their means of livelihood.
Pupil: This is any person or any age for which knowledge is provided by way of regular instruction.
Vocational skills: It refers to practical knowledge on how to manipulate and or design a useful object.
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