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Background of the study

Education is indispensable to national development. The Federal Government of Nigeria in her national Policy on Education (FRN, 2004), highlighted this. The policy states that education is an instrument for national development and that it fosters the worth and development of the individual, for each individual’s sake and for the general development of the society. The Federal Government made provisions for education at the pre-primary, primary, secondary, tertiary levels and adult literacy and non-formal education.

In 1975, the Federal Ministry of Education created an adult and non-formal education branch of the Ministry and in 1977 the first National Policy on Education (NPE) was published. In the document, Adult Education was recognized for the first time, as a driving force for development and the objectives stated as follows:

(i)                to provide functional literacy education for adults who have never had the advantage of any formal education;

(ii)             to provide functional and remedial education for young people who prematurely dropped out of the formal school system;


(iii)           to provide further education for different categories of completers of the formal education system in order to improve their basic knowledge and skills; and

(iv)           to give the adult citizens of the country necessary aesthetic,

cultural and civil education for public enlightenment.

In order to achieve these objectives, it is necessary that adult education must be effectively managed. Effective management of adult education implies a situation where the stated objectives of the adult education are achieved. It is a situation in which personnel resources are utilized effectively for the achievement of the goals of adult education. Effective management of adult education therefore depends, to a large extent, on effective utilization of resources, especially personnel resources. As Ernest Boyer (in Sparks, 1984:89) observed:

When you talk about school improvement, you are talking about people improvement. That’s the only way to improve education unless you mean painting the building and fixing the floors. But that’s not the education; that’s the shell. Education is people oriented. So when we talk about excellence or improvement or progress education, we’re really talking about school improvement..

The National Commission for Mass Literacy, Adult and Non-Formal Education (NMEC) is the Federal Statutory Agency set up to co-ordinate all aspects of Non-Formal Education in Nigeria. This involves the


coordination and monitoring of governmental agencies, academic institutions and non-governmental organizations participating in NFE programmes. Its establishment was predicated upon the National Education Policy thrust and the need to eradicate illiteracy amongst the citizenry. It is also to carry out research and training in relevant fields for NFE personnel in order to enhance their output. This was further reinforced by the Jomtien and Delhi Declarations where member nations of the United Nations accepted to eradicate illiteracy by the year 2000 to facilitate development. The Commission formally took off on 25 June. 1991 with the basic responsibility of eradicating illiteracy in Nigeria. In discharging the responsibility, different categories of personnel involved in the NFE programmes must be empowered continually. These personnel include facilitators, change agents, organizers, supervisors, administrators, policy makers and researchers. As at 2007, there were 150 professional staff members in the NMEC Headquarters, the six Zonal offices and the National Centre in Kano that is coordinating the work of less than 22,946 (1996 staff census) staff of the thirty-six States and FCT Agencies for Adult and Non-Formal Education in Nigeria. In discharging their responsibilities effectively, these categories of personnel must be empowered continually. Being empowered here is an expression of the need for capacity building of NFE personnel particularly directors for effective management or performance of their duties. According to Omeje


(2006) directors needs an update on administrative methodology of personnel management for effective performance. Talk about the North central zone have

The related capacity building responsibilities of the Commission include the following:

1        organize in-service professional training courses for senior staff and operate training seminars for various levels of staff from government and non-governmental organizations;

2        Conduct research in various fields such as curriculum development,

learning and teaching methodologies, appropriate educational technologies, motivation of learners and instructional material and needs assessment;

3        Organize annual conference of Heads of Adult Education Departments in State Ministries, Agencies and Institution of higher learning;

4        Organize writers workshops in order to develop and promote teaching and learning materials in various languages, especially for primers, graded readers, including follow-up reading materials, posters, demonstration kits, package courses, audio-visual materials and flash cards;

5        Run national and international training workshops and seminar, and also act as a coordinating and clearing house for national training for Mass Literacy, Adult and Non-formal Education ; and


6        Organize conference, workshops, symposia, lecturers and seminars on topical issues related to Mass Literacy, Adult and Non-Formal Education on a regular basis (FRN, 2008). The above responsibilities are for the directors to carryout.

Beside NMEC, there are a number of Universities, Polytechnics and Institutes that provide initial training, in-service training and re-training opportunities for Adult and Non-Formal Education personnel in the country. They run certificate and Diploma courses and undergraduate and post-graduate degrees in Adult and Non-Formal Education. Staff members are also provided with opportunities to attend short courses, workshops, seminars and conferences on Adult and Non-Formal Education at national and international levels with the assistance of development partners, such as the UNDP, UNESCO, UNICEF, USAID, JICA, BRITISH COUNCIL, ACTIONAID and ILO.

Capacity building is the on going process through which individuals, groups organizations and societies enhance their abilities to identify and meet development challenges. According to urban an capacity building network (2008) capacity building is much more than training and the following;

·        Human resource development, the process of equipping individual with the understanding, skills and access to information, knowledge and training that enables them to perform effectively.


·        Organizational development of the elaboration of management studies, processes and producers, not only within organizations but also the management of relationships between the different organization and sectors (public, private and community).

·        Institutional and legal framework development making legal and regulatory changes to enable organizations, institutions and agencies at all levels and in all sectors to enhance their capacities.

Consequently, capacity building encompasses human resources development (HRD) as an essential part of development. It is based on the concept that education and training be at the heart of development efforts and that without HRD most development interventions will be ineffective. Hence HRD for uses on series of actions like recruitment and selection competencies, orientation and induction skill, staff development skills and staff appraisal skills, directed at helping workers in the development process to increase their knowledge, skills and understandings and to develop their attitudes needed to bring about the desired development change.

According to FRN (2010) the objectives of capacity building in adult and NFE include:

1        To ensure that well-trained and qualified Adult and Non-Formal Education personnel are available at Federal, State, Local Governments and learning centre levels.


2        To ensure that Adult and Non-Formal Education personnel have opportunities for pre-service and in-service training.

3        To ensure that adult and Non-Formal Education establishments and organizations have adequate infrastructure, equipment and

instructional materials.

In order to realize the above objectives, the NMEC has carried out some activities geared towards building the capacity of her staff. These include: Adult Education Special Programme: The National Commission for Mass Literacy, Adult and Non-Formal Education, in 1992, decided to increase the capacity of field officers (organizers and supervisors) and sponsored five officers from each of the 19 States to participate in the special programmes on Adult Education being organized by: University of Ibadan, University of Port-Harcourt, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, University of Maiduguri and University of Jos. The sponsorship lasted for three years (1992-1994).

British Chevening Scholarship: The British council was among the international agencies that supported NMEC. In 2000 and 2001, the Council provided two Chevening Scholarships to two female staff members to obtain Masters Degrees in Britain.

Israeli Government Scholarship: The Israeli government has been supporting NMEC by providing training opportunities in Israeli institutions.


For instance, about ten staff and state agencies participated in intensive courses ranging from 6 week 3 months in Adult Education related areas.

The Action Aid supported Trainings of staff of adult education in the

following areas:

Reflect Master trainers:Action Aid (International) Abuja office introduced, trained and financed the adoption of REFLECT in Nigeria. It organized two training workshops for the duration of 14 days on REFLECT Master Trainers in Madakiya village of Kaduna State for 20 staff from NMEC, State Agency and NGOs.

PRA Tools: In trying to ensure that REFLECT methodology was implemented correctly: Action Aid international Abuja Office signed Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to support government institutions and NGOs to scale up its replication. However, it was realized that many of the trainers were not using the PRA tools correctly. To remedy the situation PRAXIS of India, an institution that has expertise in using PRA tools, trained 30 field officers from NMEC, State Agencies and staff of selected NGOs on participatory Rural Appraisal (PRA) Tools in a Master Trainers of REFLECT workshop in Mad- City Hotel, Madakiya, Kaduna State.

Ghana Study Tour: In the bid get REFLECT Methodology accepted in Nigeria, Action Aid, Abuja Office, sponsored three NMEC staff to undertake a study tour of Ghana’s REFLECT activities.


ETF and UNICEF sponsored REFLECT trainings: In its effort to scale up the use of REFLECT methodology nationwide, NMEC approached the ETF and UNICEF for finding. ETF provided N40 million while UNICEF financed the Master Trainers workshops in Niger and Bauchi States. Through these support activities, NMEC was able to train a total of 148 Master Traine

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