Institutional factors influencing implementation of adult basic literacy programmes in Teso north sub-county, Kenya
Chilaka, Masavi Carolyne
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The purpose of the study was to investigate institutional factors influencing implementation of Adult Basic Literacy Programmes in Teso North Sub-County, Kenya. It was guided by the following research objectives: to determine the extent to which academic level of adult education instructors; adult learners’ social environment; professional training of adult education instructors; and the assessment and certification affect implementation of Adult Basic Learning Programme. The study adopted a descriptive survey design. Questionnaires were used to collect data. The sample population comprised of 56 adult learners, 14 adult instructors and 4 education experts, thus a total of 74 respondents. All the 14 instructors and 4 education experts’ and 54 adult learners’ questionnaires were returned which was 97.3 percent return rate. The key study findings revealed that majority of the adult education instructors were form four leavers with Kenya Certificate for Secondary Education as their highest academic qualification. The research findings showed that adult leaners’ learning was greatly influenced by their social environment which ranged from the way others in the society perceive their learning and also their economic strength. Professionalism of the adult instructors’ highly influenced implementation of ABLP. The study findings revealed that adult instructors apply various methods to teach adult learners that include lecture and group discussion. The study findings revealed that majority of the instructors use summative assessment to evaluate their students’ performance. These findings imply that individual assessment which would determine personal literacy level is not extensively applied. Thus, collective assessment does not quantify individual literacy level. Although, majority of the instructors indicated that they use oral tests to assess their learners. These findings confirm the summative assessment method applied in adult literacy centres overlooking assessment of individual learner’s capability. Based on the study findings the researcher concluded that poverty, welfare and unemployment statistics may indicate the need for adult literacy programmes. Measures like awarding certification and offering proficiency programmes can be an effective starting point to improve the implementation of ABLP. The researcher recommended that a literacy project should focus on potential adult learners who fit in the mission of the programme or who are particularly in need of basic skills. Therefore, training should be rich in content, well-organized, thorough, and appropriate to the population that your agency serves. The training should prepare volunteers for their tutoring or teaching role with adult learners. Although further development opportunities may occur throughout the volunteer tutor’s service, initial preservice training is of primary importance. The instructional programme should be tailored to meet the needs of adult learners. Thus selection of appropriate instructional materials will require a significant time commitment and, like many aspects of the programme, develop over time as adult learners teach the staff and tutors what materials work best. Therefore the study suggested that a study to be carried out to establish the effectiveness of the skills acquired through adult basic literacy programmes on learners’ socio-economic status.