Challenges and their resolutions in the promotion and provision and adult literacy: A case of Lufwanyama District Copperbelt province,Zambia

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Ndashe, Emmanuel
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This study aimed at investigating the challenges encountered by adult literacy programs in Lufwanyama District. The necessity to review the adult literacy programs stemmed from the fact that the Zambian Government had committed itself to providing continued and distance education to its adult citizens for personal and national development. The provision of this type of education was to be achieved by updating the adult learners’ knowledge and skills through open learning and lifelong education, consequently overcoming the disadvantages the learners had suffered during their initial education (MoE, 1996: 79-81).The goal stated above, was similar to the line of thinking which was prevalent at the Ministers of Education Conference hosted by UNESCO in 1965. The Conference observed that rather than being an end in itself, literacy was to be regarded as a way of preparing man for social, civic and economic roles in the community. This kind of literacy was to go far beyond the limits of the rudimentary literacy skills of reading and writing (UNESCO, 1965: 5). Indeed, the preparation of man for social, civic and economic roles is one of the most desired outcomes of adult literacy education. This outcome is also desired in Lufwanyama district in order to overcome underdevelopment in that district. The study had the following objectives: identify the weaknesses in the administrative structure responsible for the provision of adult literacy in the district. identify the physical elements in the district which were negatively and positively affecting adult literacy programs. identify the factors which were preventing adults from participating in adult literacy programs. Lufwanyama District was taken as a case for study with a sample of 140 persons out of a total population of 63,185. The sample comprised 10 officers at the Ministry of Education Headquarters, 10 officers at the Provincial level in each of the Ministries of Education, Agriculture and Co-operatives and a Community Development and Social Services, 6 members of the District Development Co-ordinating Committee, 6 Zonal Head teachers, 4 Chiefs and 60 Participants. Except members of the Lufwanyama District Development Co-ordinating Committee, the rest were picked through simple random sampling.The research design used was a survey. Qualitative and quantitative approaches were employed to collect the required data through interviews and questionnaires respectively. The study established that adult literacy programs were not performing very well because of the following factors: i.the ineffectiveness of the administrative structure responsible for the provision of adult literacy; ii. limitations in physical environment such as road networks, and poor radio reception; iii.government’s lack of political will; iv.government’s failure to partner with private organizations; v.socio-economic issues; vi.institutional problems; and vii.cultural backgrounds of participants. Finally, the study revealed that there was no policy in the country to regulate the provision of adult literacy resulting in inconsistencies and uncoordinated efforts by the providers of adult literacy education. Thus, in the conclusion, the researcher gave possible recommendations and solutions to the challenges.
Functional literacy-Lufwanyama District-Zambia , Literacy-Zambia