International Council for Education, Research and Training

Adult Education In Nigeria: Issues, Perspectives And Challenges

Ayantunji, Mary Mojirade

Department of Arts and Social Science Education, Lead City University, Ibadan, Oyo State, Nigeria


Adult education refers to any educational programme (s) organised for adults and youths regardless of its contents, place of study and also has to be flexible in order to satisfy the needs and aspirations of the beneficiaries and their communities. Adult education is a practice in which adults engage in systematic and sustained self-education activities in order to gain knowledge, skills, attitudes, or values and is expected to address the socio-economic, cultural, political and environmental problems besieging humanity in their various societies. Unfortunately, the goals of adult education as stated by the federal government in the National Policy on Education, have not been properly achieved. Changes and developments in this contemporary world call for a total review and overhaul of adult education. Adult education faces challenges such as poor perception of adult education by the public, marginalization and lack of funding by the government of the day. This paper therefore looks at the concept of adult education, objectives of adult education, contemporary issues in Nigerian educational system, challenges and prospects. Based on the discourse it was recommended that adequate awareness should be given to the general public to enable them to know the importance of adult education; funds should be made readily available and recognition should be given to adult education; the nomenclature of “Adult Education” should be re-visited to a name that will be acceptable and known by all ages in the society. In conclusion, adult education should be re-positioned to meet the ever increase demand of the present time in order to contribute meaningfully to national development.

Keywords: Adult, Education, Adult education, Nigeria, Challenges and Prospects

Impact statement

Adult Education in Nigeria: Issues, Perspectives and Challenges

This paper on Adult Education in Nigeria: Issues, Perspectives, and Challenges sheds light on the critical role of adult education in empowering individuals and driving societal progress. Through a comprehensive analysis of current issues and perspectives, the paper highlighted the barriers and challenges that hinder effective adult education implementation in Nigeria. By raising awareness about these obstacles, stakeholders and policymakers can develop targeted strategies to address them, ensuring accessible and high-quality adult education programmes. The recommendations of this paper have significant implications for government agencies, educational institutions, and non-governmental organisations working towards enhancing adult learning outcomes, bridging the educational gap, and promoting lifelong learning. Ultimately, by prioritising adult education, Nigeria can unlock the vast potential of its adult population, foster economic growth, and strengthen social cohesion, leading to a more prosperous and inclusive society.

About the Author

Mary Mojirade Ayantunji, Ph.D.


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Mary Mojirade Ayantunji, Ph.D. is a researcher and Lecturer 1 in the Department of Arts and Social Science Education, Faculty of Education, Lead City University, Ibadan, Nigeria. She is currently the Postgraduate coordinator of her Department. Dr. M. M. Ayantunji’s specialism are in the areas of Social Welfare, Aged Studies, Adult Education, and Community Development. She has published over 25 papers in local and international journals with high impact factor. 


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