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STAKEHOLDERS CONTRIBUTION FOR EFFECTIVE MANAGEMENT OF ADULT LITERACY CENTERS
Background to the Study
All agencies, institutions, families and business firms among others need proper management strategies to ensure that the organizational goals are achieved. An agency such as adult education in Enugu State, if not properly managed, planned and controlled, cannot achieve success. The success of any organization or institution depends, to a great extent, on its management strategies. This is based on management philosophy and a strong unwavering confidence in the abilities of those who manage the organization (Onuchukwu, 1993). Jones and Potrac (1996) have stressed that many organizations have failed due to lack of proper management strategies. It is interesting to stress the predominant roles management plays in our everyday life, not minding the classification of our given institution. The possibility of having functional institution is dependent on the function of management, even where such terms are not captured or expressed literally. The connectivity with the cycle of action and reactions within any system demands and requires the services of management. The multiplier effect of the need of management practice is made accessible in its sectionalisation with each providing specific skill to furnish practitioners with relevant information to make better decision that will be visible in their everyday activities. These categories range from human resource management, organizational behaviour and management, change management, marketing management, management information system and production/operational management, among others (Barinua, Nduka, Aseinimieyeofori and Chinwe, 2012).
Management deserves adequate attention in every organization that intends to realize its objectives. Management is also seen as the process by which the elements of a group are integrated, coordinated and /or utilized so as to effectively and efficiently achieve organizational objectives. The integrative function of management is coordination (Ouston, 1993). The purpose of this integrative function is to ensure that the primary organs work together to implement the organisation’s plan of action (Enechukwu, 1997). A careful look at the above two definitions would reveal a similarity in that they both perceived management as performing the function of coordinating and integrating the activities and resources available to effectively achieve organizational goals. In the present study, the organization is adult education agency of Enugu State.
Adult education changes the social and psychological minds of adults more than any other profession. Adult education instills hope in adults and liberates them from their prejudice of seeing themselves as not being capable to learn. Fasokun in Onyenemezu (2012) stated that adult education is concerned not with preparing people with life but rather with assisting adults to live more successfully as useful and acceptable members of their societies and contribute meaningfully to the development of those societies. Consequently, 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 larger society in terms of national development. Adult education continues from where the teachers in the formal school system, who rigorously inculcate in the individuals the desire for knowledge, understanding and education, stop.
Adult education educates adult learners who are parents/guardians on the better ways of managing the available resources to achieve socio-political and economic success in their life endeavours. It also creates antecedents which assist other individual personalities and institutions in dealing with human problems as well as the society in which they found themselves. Adult education is the major profession that assists adult learners effectively in their efforts to learn (Okafor, 1991).
The above assertion revealed that adult education is a unique profession that deals with “human materials” and environmental problems which give the individual a feeling of joy, fascination, pride and enthusiasm. These then calls for strategies for effective management of adult education to enable the sector to realize its goals as set up by the Federal Republic of Nigeria (2004).
The objectives of adult education as stated by FRN (2004) are as follows:
i. to provide functional literacy and continuing education for adults and formal education or those that did not complete their primary education;
ii. to provide functional and remedial education for those young people who did not complete their secondary education;
iii. to provide education for different categories of the formal education system in order to improve their basic knowledge and skills;to provide in-service, on-the-job, vocational and professional training for different categories of workers and professionals in order to improve their skills; and
iv. to give adult citizens of the country education aesthetic, cultural and civic education for public enlightenment.
For the desired objectives to be achieved there is need to adopt strategies for effective management of adult education in Enugu State. In Nigeria, mass literacy, adult and non-formal education encompasses all forms of functional education given to youths and adults outside the formal school system such as functional literacy, remedial education and vocational education (FRN 2004).
Proper management in adult education is important for meaningful development of adult education programmes in Nigeria and particularly in Enugu State. Management processes could be regarded as an effective and systematic way of achieving organizational goals through planning, organizing, coordinating, staffing, directing, supervising, controlling, budgeting and evaluating human and material resources in an organization. Therefore management processes of adult education agency in Enugu State may include the following: Planning of the agency’s programmes, organizing the programmes, controlling of human and material resources, implementation of the programmes, evaluation of the programmes, staffing, financing and supervision, among others. However, the management processes mentioned above are ineffective in Enugu especially in the following areas: supervision, no vehicles for the supervisors, poor environment for learning, lack of facilities for learners, non-payment of facilitators by local government chairmen, poor funding, lack of manpower training, lack of uniform curriculum, among others (State Agency for Mass Literacy Adult and Non-formal Education Enugu, 2014). Based on findings, there is urgent need for effective management strategies of adult education.
National Commission for Mass Literacy, Adult and Non-Formal Education was established in 1990 by Decree No. 17. The commission is headed by an executive secretary. The Commission was given the responsibility of providing strategies for carrying out adult education programmes in conjunction with the commission’s zonal and state offices located across the states of the country (Obi, 2006).
Historically, the State Agency for Mass Literacy, Adult and Non-formal Education, Enugu was established in 1991 with the mandate to promote mass literacy, adult and non-formal education (NFE) for the people of the state. Consequently, the Agency established 412 adult education (literacy) centres spread out across the 17 Local Government Areas. Apart from adult literacy centres there were established 42 non-formal education centres and 24 communities were given literacy by radio porgrammes; 21 vocational skill acquisition centres (also known as Women Education) and 10 centres were set up for reflect programme; in all, there are 516 centres with 11985 learners. In the 17 local government areas, there were people who coordinate these programmes and give situation reports to the agency. There are also facilitators, coordinators and supervisors totaling 844 who directly teach in these centres. The agency has the following programmes: basic literacy, post-basic literacy, continuing education, non-formal education, literacy by radio, women education, reflects, organizing and training of artisans and market association group (SAME Enugu 2014).
In spite of the laudable efforts made by the United Nations Education Scientific and Cultural Organization UNESCO (Nigeria) in literacy education, even a cursory look at the International Benchmarks for Adult Literacy shows that Nigeria is not yet operating within the recommended framework for adult literacy programmes. Among these are: failure to sustain literacy rates due to poor resources, including equipment, material and teachers, donor dependency and a negative perceived value of education; a poor literate environment that means that literacy skills are not maintained in the long term; literacy instructors not properly trained in facilitation skills and gender awareness; inadequate facilities, poor teaching/learning materials, irrelevant curriculum among others (Fasokun & Pwol, 2005).
Here in Nigeria, for adult education development generally, adequate and sustainable management strategies must be devised (Oluborode, 2007). This, according to her is to counter the numerous problems facing the development of adult education within the states. Notably among the challenges, according to the author, is the issue of funding. For efficient management and meaningful development in adult education, adequate funding needs to be guaranteed through government appropriations and donations from nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) among others.
More so, for effective strategies in adult education in Nigeria in general and Enugu State specifically, the facilitators, staff, coordinators, learners among others need to be adequately motivated for greater output. Authorities and managements use welfare benefits to increase performance and productivity in an organization (Oluborode, 2007). The importance of motivational strategies in adult education to improve participation and performance cannot be over -stressed. Facilitators who usually facilitate learning in adult education centres have significant roles to play in the development of adult education. Sonmez (1996) observed that a teacher is the firm foundation supporting the new generation in my country to keep with change in the economic, political and socio-cultural life. Such socio-cultural life may include adult education programmes. Adult educators and others involved in the programme management activities work together to achieved a common goal. It has always been advocated that adult education facilitators should handle the centres, programme, instruction, curriculum and other related issues, and assume other obligations to the programme that fall to the lot of every facilitator (Oluborode, 2007). The few educators who are adult education specialists were included in the present study. Hence they have been part of and are still involved in adult education management.
Management in an educational institution involves working with professional, non-professional staff and other members of society as a team to achieve the set goals (Adesanya, 1992). In the view of Kraus and Bates (1995), building effective human relationship is the key to successful programme. This view necessitates the inclusion of staff retention strategies for facilitators and coordinators in management of adult education. The managers referred to above could be likened to those in State Agency in Enugu where the present study was conducted in order to identify strategies for effective management of adult education agency within the state. The managers may include programme director, programme manager, donor agencies and programme manager for state programmes. These managers have their own roles to play in the agency for effective management of adult education. Apart from the managers mentioned above, there are also coordinators and facilitators who carry out the management process down to literacy centres in the same state agency. The above statement rationalizes the inclusion of coordinators and facilitators in the present study.
Statement of the Problem
Adult education is required to train adults, who are expected to address the socio-economic, cultural, political and environmental problems besieging humanity in their various societies, especially in Enugu State. Unfortunately, the goals of adult education as stated by the federal government in the National Policy on Education have not been properly achieved in Enugu State, due to the following challenges: inadequate managerial skills of adult education managers, poor funding, non-payment of stipends to staff and facilitators, which have led to the closure of some literacy centres in the state, poor supervision and evaluation of the literacy centres among others. In consideration of the problems enumerated above, changes and developments on adult education programmes in the 21st century in Enugu State, call for a total review of strategies for effective management of adult education agency in the state.
Unfortunately, the facilitators in the adult literacy centre in Enugu State receive meagre pay which is not commensurate with the services rendered. They work in dilapidated and unstimulating environment without the necessary teaching/learning facilities. The adult educator suffers stress, insults and violence from the government body handling adult education programmes.
Moreover, Nnazor (2005) observes that adult education programmes continue to operate mainly as disparate, piecemeal activities that are not integrated into coherent purposeful strategy in pursuit of a relatively development vision. The consequence of all these is that adult education has suffered devaluation, which makes people develop a low sense of esteem especially when compared with other professions like medicine, law, engineering and others. In Enugu State, the objectives of adult education have not yet been achieved, especially where the majority of the populations, especially the adult who are in the production sectors of the economy, are illiterates. Nzeneri (2010) observes that illiteracy is associated with underdevelopment, instability, low productivity, low income, poor health, and high poverty and mortality rates. Many adults dropped out of formal education at different levels. These people may want to enroll into adult education programmes as a second chance. Therefore the need to evolve the strategies for effective management of adult education agency in Enugu State cannot be over emphasized. Regrettably, such strategies for effective management do not exist to guide the managers of adult education agency in Enugu State. Against the backdrop of non-existence of such strategies for effective management of adult education, the study is to investigate strategies for effective management of adult education agency in Enugu State.
Purpose of the Study
The general purpose of this study was to investigate the strategies for effective management of adult education agency in Enugu State. Specifically, the study sought to:
1. ascertain the funding strategies for managing the Adult Education Agency in Enugu State;
2. determine the planning strategies for managing the Adult Education Agency in Enugu State;
3. determine the motivational strategies for managing the Adult Education Agency in Enugu State;
4. determine the staff retention strategies for managing the Adult Education Agency in Enugu State;
5. determine the supervisory strategies for managing the Adult Education Agency in Enugu State;
6. ascertain the evaluation strategies for managing Adult Education Agency in Enugu State.
Significance of the Study
The findings from this work will benefit the following groups of people: Adult education facilitators, coordinators, SAME Enugu and the general public.
The findings of this study would serve as a valuable document to facilitators as it will reveal to them the various strategies such as motivational strategies, etc, that would enhance their output in adult education programmes, if appropriately applied.
The findings of this study would assist the coordinators, in planning and supervising their adult literacy programmes with ease.
The findings of this study would be beneficial to Enugu State Agency for Mass Literacy, Adult and Non-formal Education as it will reveal to them the strategies for funding, staff retention among workers and evaluation of the programmes, performance and productivity which invariably will contribute to national development.
The findings could bring about better understanding by the general public on the relevance of the Agency as well as the programmes’ role in tackling their self improvement challenges. This will encourage them to participate more effectively, by increased enrolment at the Agency’s literacy centres.
Finally, the study is to provide strategies for effective management of adult education agency in Enugu State. The aims of such strategies include improving management of adult education for national development.
In theoretical perspectives, all the components of management must function together to achieve the objectives of the system. In this present study, if proper strategies are applied by management in terms of planning, funding, motivation, staff retention, supervision and evaluation eventually, the organizational goals would be achieved in an effective way.
The following research questions guided the study:
1. What are the funding strategies for managing the Adult Education Agency in Enugu State?
2. What are the planning strategies for managing the Adult Education Agency in Enugu State?
3. What are the motivational strategies for managing the Adult Education Agency in Enugu State?
4. What are the staff retention strategies for managing the Adult Education Agency in Enugu State?
5. What are the supervisory strategies for managing the Adult Education Agency in Enugu State?
6. What are the evaluation strategies for managing the Adult Education Agency in Enugu State?
The following hypotheses were formulated for the study and tested at 0.05 level of significance.
H01: There is no significant difference between the mean ratings of adult education coordinators and facilitators on the funding strategies for managing the Adult Education Agency in Enugu State.
H02: There is no significant difference between the mean ratings of adult education coordinators and facilitators on planning for managing the Adult Education Agency in Enugu State.
H03: There is no significant difference between the mean ratings of adult education coordinators and facilitators on the motivational strategies for managing the Adult Education Agency in Enugu State.
H04: There is no significant difference between the mean ratings of adult education coordinators and facilitators on the staff retention strategies for managing the Adult Education Agency in Enugu State.
H05: There is no significant difference between the mean ratings of adult education coordinators and facilitators on the supervision strategies for managing the Adult Education Agency in Enugu State.
H06: There is no significant difference between the mean ratings of adult education coordinators and facilitators on evaluation strategies for managing the Adult Education Agency in Enugu State.
Scope of the Study
The study was delimited to selected strategies for effective management of adult education agency within Enugu State.
The study focused on all the literacy centres in seventeen local government areas of Enugu State. The following areas were considered in the study for effective management of adult education: funding, planning, motivation, staff retention, supervision and evaluation.
More importantly, the study also focused on evolving strategies in these areas for effective management of adult education agency in Enugu State. The target respondents for this study are the facilitators and the coordinators because they are the people that carry out the management processes.
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