Application of adult learning principles by district election trainers in selected constituencies of Lusaka district

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Ngwata, Ezinala Phiri
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University of Zambia
The purpose of this study was to explore the application of adult learning principles by District Election Trainers in selected Constituencies of Lusaka District. The study was guided by the following objectives :(i) to describe how District Election Trainers apply adult learning principles when training poll staff. (ii) to identify challenges faced by District Election Trainers in the application of adult learning principles when training poll staff, and (iii) to explore District Election Trainers suggested possible solutions on how adult learning principles can be applied when training poll staff. The study employed a case study design with a qualitative approach. The study population comprised all District Election Trainers who participated in the 2016 election training in Lusaka District whose number was 180. Purposive sampling was used to select 45 District Election Trainers from the four selected constituencies of Lusaka District. A semi-structured interview guide and a questionnaire were used to collect data. Findings showed that District Election Trainers applied adult learning principles ; by allowing poll staff to talk about their experiences with elections, by using proper language when addressing poll staff, by making poll staff participate in the training. The findings further showed how role plays were utilised in the training to depict real life situations. However, District Election Trainers were unable to effectively apply the principles due to: the large number of poll staff they had to train, limited time allocated to the training, and Some District Election Trainers did not know much about adult learning principles later on how to apply them when training poll staff. The respondents therefore, suggested that by recruiting more District Election Trainers, extending the training period and introducing workshops where they could be taught on the principles would help them apply the adult learning principles better when training poll staff and enhance the training. Thus, the study recommended that the Electoral Commission of Zambia should introduce workshops or seminars, where District Election Trainers can be taught on adult learning principles comprehensively. The study also recommended that the government should consider allocating more money in election training so that the commission could recruit more District Election Trainers to make training the numbers of poll staff manageable. Key words: District election trainer, application, adult learning principles and poll staff.
Adult Education , Adult learning--Zambia