Create awareness on adult education
Lari Sub-county adult and continuing education officer, Mr. George Gatho has urged area leaders and people in media industry to double their effort in creating awareness regarding adult education.
Mr. Gatho said that, for illiterate adults to enroll for the study in large numbers, local opinion leaders and reporters should use words that can draw their attention towards registration and embracing adult learning.
The adult education officer said that, the use of word such as enroll for “Masomo ya Gumbaru” by leaders and people in the media sector sounds discouraging as many illiterate people feel inferior and hence shy off from joining adult class.
He urged illiterate adult to enroll for the study in large number in a bid to acquire modern education, saying that adult learning is not only about writing and reading, but it involves many aspects of life.
While advising local leaders and reporters against the use of the word “Masomo ya Gumbaru”, Mr. Gatho figured out that apart from acquiring writing and reading skills, adult learners are trained on; civic education, agriculture, nutrition, family planning, businesses among other things.
The education officer called on area leaders and reporters to own the process of creating awareness on adult lessons in their bid to convince them enroll for adult education which seem to have faced myriads of challenges.
He observed that creation of awareness in a humane and kind way can trigger adults’ desires for the study, and value it with the hope that it will prosper them as they thrive to achieve in life.
According to the Lari Sub- county education officer, the illiteracy rate within Lari keeps on rising year in year out, attributing this to lack of support and proper awareness creation in an acceptable manner by local leaders and reporters who at times of interview use the word “Masomo ya Gumbaru” which really demeans.
“Adults shy off from enrolling for adult class whenever they hear of words like “Masomo ya Gumbaru” as they feel lowered, equating it to education for people of lower ‘status’ within the society hence opting to stay away,” Mr. Gatho observed.
He also noted that adults see no need for adult learning, where they question themselves whether they will secure formal employment in future upon completion of their study, little did they know that education is not all about securing formal employment.
On the account of adult illiteracy, men were really challenged to develop pride for adult lessons as their enrolment rates shows to have been below par compared to that of women. “From 43 locations within Lari sub- County, only 305 adults registered for adult class out of which men are only 107 and this depicts that the number of women is almost twice that men,” Explained Mr. Gatho.
Ladies performance were observed to have been better in class than men and this made most men, believed to have been family heads, shy away from adult education to avoid defeat from women who are regarded as ‘children’ as per African societies, thus contributing to men’s low enrollment rate for adult education.
Lack of adult teachers was blamed for poor turn up for adult class. Mr Gatho revealed that, the entire Lari sub-county has only eight (8) full time teachers which for sure cannot deliver required teaching services to the sub-county residents.
He added that since many unemployed educated youths have ventured into businesses, getting even volunteer teachers have become so difficult. Despite the challenges, Mr. Gatho appealed to the illiterate adults to develop interest and enroll for the study, while pointing out that without education one can go nowhere. “To prosper in the current dynamic world, everything revolves around education.
For illiterate adult to bury their ignorance, they have to be well informed whereby local leaders and media industry too should apply best terms ever in creating awareness on the importance of adult education,” Mr. Gatho said. He emphasized that adult and continuing education provides basic education and training opportunities to adults and out-of-school youths to better their lives and that of the society.
The officer said that, though it’s a bit difficult, the aim of education is to eradicate illiteracy and promote life-long learning among adults and out-of-school youths to enable them make informed decisions, become self-reliant and improve their livelihood.
“Adult learning creates a well-informed human resource base capable of impacting positively on the country’s development,” according to Mr. Gatho.
The adult education officer advised illiterate adults to develop impetus for education, where he said, “Roots of education are bitter but the fruit is sweet. Education is the best friend, an educated person is respected everywhere, and education beats the beauty and the young”.
By Galgallo B. Molmolla