Adult Education Methods in the Promotion of Integrated Community-Based Development

A N Kweka


One of the effects of a top down approach in adult education is the
tendency to fonnalise the programmes. The objectives are centrally set
after the educators have come out with a long list of learning needs of
adults whom they have not met in their lifetime. The content of the
programmes is charted out by subject 'specialists or experts' who also
know how much adults learners can take! Methods of teaching are
usually prescribed to the adult educators, and if funds are available,
detailed adults' education handbooks are produced to guide educators.
Teachers' manuals are also prepared to go with the learners' primers.
Sometimes, adult education programmes are taught by untrained
educators who simply read iustructions in the teacher's nianual to the
adult learners. Finally the adult learners are subjected to national
examinations, and the results are published nationally although the
individual learners do not get them because their classes are no longer in
operation when the results are announced. article shows how the top down approach in adult education
has created obstacles to adult learning. These obstacles can be avoided by
the use of the bottom-up approach consisting of living and working with
the adult learners, and in trying to understand their social realities. TIle
article points out the most important factors of the socio-economic
system of any community which will help the facilitator/animator to
realise the complex situation of working with the people, and developing
their own programmes for social and economic development.


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