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1.1. Background to the study

Adult education, a vital component of lifelong learning, encompasses a diverse range of intentional learning experiences and opportunities that cater to the intellectual, practical, and personal development needs of individuals beyond their formal schooling years. It recognizes that learning is not confined to a specific age or setting and is designed to empower adults with new skills, knowledge, and perspectives that enhance their professional competence, facilitate personal growth, and foster active citizenship (Seya, 2015). Whether through formal programs, workshops, online courses, or self-directed learning, adult education aims to bridge gaps in education, promote career advancement, enable socio-economic mobility, and enrich the overall quality of life. By acknowledging the unique life experiences, motivations, and learning styles of adult learners, effective adult education encourages critical thinking, collaborative problem-solving, and the application of learning to real-world contexts, thus contributing to the continued development of individuals and society as a whole.

The concept of an “adult learner” refers to individuals typically beyond traditional college age, who engage in education or skill acquisition in various formal and informal settings. Adult learners are characterized by their distinct motivations, responsibilities, and life experiences that shape their learning journey. They often seek education for personal and professional growth, career advancement, or the pursuit of new interests. Their diverse life roles, such as work, family, and community responsibilities, influence their learning preferences and schedules, often requiring flexible and accessible learning options. According to Ihejirika (2012) adult learners bring a wealth of prior knowledge and experience, which can enhance their ability to integrate new information and apply it effectively. Recognizing the unique needs of adult learners is crucial in designing educational programs that cater to their specific circumstances, ensuring that the learning experience remains relevant, engaging, and supportive of their goals.

Adult education holds immense importance in society as it plays a pivotal role in fostering personal, social, and economic development among adults beyond traditional educational stages. It empowers individuals with the opportunity to acquire new skills, update existing knowledge, and adapt to rapidly evolving technologies and industries, thereby enhancing employability and career prospects. According to Omolewa (2011) adult education also promotes lifelong learning, critical thinking, and problem-solving skills, fostering active citizenship and engagement in civic activities. Moreover, it addresses the needs of diverse learners, including those who may have missed out on formal education, enabling them to fully participate in the modern knowledge-based economy. By promoting continuous learning and personal growth, adult education contributes to a more informed, innovative, and adaptable society, ultimately driving economic progress and social cohesion.

Adult education in Nigeria faces a complex landscape characterized by challenges and potential. While efforts have been made to expand adult education programs to address the needs of a diverse population, including those who missed out on formal education and require functional literacy skills, numerous obstacles persist (Nzeneri, 2012). These include insufficient funding and resources, a lack of awareness and prioritization of adult education, regional disparities in access, limited trained instructors, and a lack of tailored curriculum to address the specific needs and interests of adult learners. Additionally, socio-economic factors, such as poverty and cultural norms, can further hinder participation in adult education initiatives. However, recognizing the critical role of adult education in enhancing employability, promoting lifelong learning, and addressing social inequalities, there have been pockets of progress. NGOs, community-based organizations, and government initiatives have aimed to bridge gaps by providing vocational training, adult literacy classes, and skill development programs. To create a more robust adult education system in Nigeria, sustained investment, policy support, and innovative strategies are essential to overcome these challenges and unlock the potential that adult education holds for individual empowerment.

The attitude of adult learners towards enrolling in literacy programs is a complex interplay of motivations, perceived relevance, self-efficacy, past experiences, fear of stigma, flexibility, and convenience. Additionally, peer and social influences, program reputation, incentives, support, cultural factors, age-related cognitive changes, and economic considerations collectively shape their perspectives. Motivations for enrollment encompass personal growth, improved job prospects, functional skills, and community engagement. According to Aderinoye (2017) Learners’ perception of the program’s relevance to their lives significantly influences their engagement and motivation. Moreover, their self-efficacy beliefs about learning efficacy impact their readiness to enroll, necessitating supportive environments to bolster confidence. Past educational experiences can generate positive or negative attitudes, emphasizing the need to address these factors to guide enrollment decisions. According to Molewa (2015) fear of stigma and embarrassment may deter potential learners, demanding inclusive environments that quell these concerns. Flexibility and convenience, particularly with online and blended learning options, are pivotal in accommodating busy schedules. Social dynamics and peer support either encourage or discourage enrollment, emphasizing the role of a positive social context. The reputation of the program and institution and the provision of incentives and support mechanisms influence learners’ attitudes. Cultural norms and values shape education perceptions, affecting enrollment attitudes. Age-related cognitive changes lead to concerns about memory and learning ability, but also promote the idea of learning for cognitive stimulation. According to Okuneye, and Adelowokan, (2014) economic factors, including program cost, scholarships, and income benefits, factor into attitudes towards enrollment. In essence, the attitude of adult learners towards literacy program enrollment emerges from the convergence of these multifaceted influences, underscoring the importance of tailored approaches that foster positive attitudes, motivation, and engagement in the pursuit of educational goals.

It is in line with the above discussion that this study seeks to examine the attitude of adult learners towards enrolment into literacy programme in Quan-Pan Local Government Area.

1.2 Statement of the Problem

In an ideal scenario, adult learners residing in Quan-Pan Local Government Area should demonstrate a positive and enthusiastic attitude towards enrolling in literacy programs. This attitude would reflect their recognition of the transformative power of education and their eagerness to acquire new skills and knowledge.

However, it is observed that many adult residents in Quan-Pan Local Government Area do not show a strong inclination towards enrolling in literacy programs. This lack of enthusiasm could potentially be influenced by various socio-economic, cultural, and personal factors.

Various efforts have been made over time to encourage enrollment, including awareness campaigns, community meetings, and promotional materials. The aim of these measures is to highlight the benefits of literacy and create a supportive environment for adult learners to engage in educational pursuits.

Despite these efforts, the low enrollment rates among adult learners in Quan-Pan Local Government Area persist. This continuing trend underscores the complexity of the issue and the need for a deeper understanding of the underlying factors that contribute to this reluctance.

This lack of enthusiasm for literacy program enrollment results in limited personal growth and development for the adult learners. It also impacts their ability to access better economic opportunities and engage effectively in their communities. Furthermore, the community as a whole may miss out on the potential contributions and talents of individuals who remain underskilled due to the low enrollment rates.

There is a growing concern that the negative attitude towards enrollment in literacy programs could hinder the overall progress and development of the community. Illiteracy and limited educational attainment among adults can perpetuate cycles of poverty, restrict access to essential services, and hinder community-wide advancement. Therefore, it is crucial to explore the underlying factors that shape the attitudes of adult learners and devise strategies to address these barriers effectively.

While similar programs have been implemented in other areas, the specific factors influencing the attitude of adult learners in Quan-Pan Local Government Area remain relatively unexplored. The complex interplay of cultural norms, economic constraints, and societal expectations in this particular community necessitates a dedicated inquiry. This research aims to fill this knowledge gap by providing context-specific insights into the challenges and opportunities for enhancing adult literacy enrollment.

Considering the significance of literacy for personal growth and community development, this research seeks to understand the unique challenges faced by adult learners in Quan-Pan Local Government Area and identify strategies to promote a more positive attitude towards enrollment in literacy programs. This inquiry is prompted by the belief that addressing these issues will contribute to the holistic betterment of both individuals and the community at large. By fostering a culture of lifelong learning and empowerment, it is hoped that this research will lead to increased enrollment, improved literacy rates, and a brighter future for adult learners attitudes towards enrolment into literacy programmes in the study area.

1.3 Purpose of the Study

            The main purpose of this study is to examine the attitudes of adult learners towards enrolment into literacy programme in Quan-Pan Local Government Area. Other specific objectives of the study are to:

  1. Determine the negative attitudes of adult learners that hinder their enrolment into literacy programme in Quan-Pan.
  2. Determine the causes of these negative attitudes of adult learners towards enrolling into adult literacy programme.
  3. Examine the effects of these attitudes on adult learner’ participation and enrolment in adult literacy programme.

1.4 Research Questions

            The study was guided by the following research questions:

  1. What are the specific negative attitudes held by adult learners in Quan-Pan that serve as an obstacles to their enrolment into literacy programmes?
  2. What are the causes of these negative attitudes among adult learners towards adult literacy programmes in Quan-Pan?
  3. What are the effects of these attitudes of adult learners’ participation and enrollment into adult literacy programme in the study area?

1.5 Significance of the Study

The study holds the potential to benefit multiple stakeholders such as adult learner, the local community, government. educational institutions, NGOs, policymakers and future researchers.

The primary beneficiaries of this study are the adult learners within the Quan-Pan Local Government Area. The insights and recommendations derived from the research can help create a more conducive environment for their enrollment into literacy programs. By understanding the factors that influence their attitudes, the adult learners can make informed decisions about their educational pursuits, leading to personal growth, improved skills, increased confidence, and enhanced socio-economic prospects.

The local community and the Quan-Pan Local Government will benefit from this study by gaining a deeper understanding of the barriers that hinder adult learners from enrolling in literacy programs. This understanding can guide the development of targeted interventions and policies that address the identified challenges. As adult learners gain literacy skills and actively participate in community activities, the overall community development and cohesion can improve.

Organizations and institutions that offer literacy programs in the area will benefit from the study’s findings. The insights can help them tailor their programs to better align with the specific needs, preferences, and constraints of adult learners in Quan-Pan Local Government Area. This alignment can lead to higher enrollment rates, increased program effectiveness, and greater satisfaction among learners in the study area.

Government agencies and NGOs involved in education, literacy, and community development can benefit from the research outcomes. The study can provide valuable information to guide the allocation of resources and design of initiatives aimed at improving adult literacy rates. NGOs can use the findings to design targeted awareness campaigns, workshops, and support systems to encourage enrollment and sustain interest in literacy programs in the study area and its surrounding environemnt.

Other researchers, scholars, and academics interested in adult education, literacy, and socio-economic development can benefit from the study’s insights. The research can contribute to the existing body of knowledge on adult education attitudes and provide a case study that will highlights the impact of their attitude on enrollment and participation in literacy programs.

The study’s findings can inform policy decisions related to adult education and literacy at both the local and regional levels. Policy makers can utilize the research to create evidence-based policies that promote literacy and education among adults, leading to broader societal benefits.

The study’s findings can serve as a foundation for future research and initiatives aimed at understanding and addressing educational disparities, cultural influences, and socio-economic factors that impact adult learners’ attitudes towards enrollment. Researchers and practitioners can build upon this study’s insights to further enhance adult education programs and outcomes in the study area and Plateau State at large.

1.6 Scope and Delimitation of the Study

The study will focus exclusively on the Quan-Pan Local Government Area. It will examine the attitudes of adult learners residing within this specific area and will not extend to other geographical regions. It involved adult learners, typically individuals aged 18 and above, who are eligible to enroll in literacy programmes. The primary focus of the study will be to investigate the attitudes of adult learners towards enrolling in literacy programmes. It will delve into both positive and negative attitudes that may influence their decisions regarding enrolment. The study will explore various factors that contribute to the development of attitudes among adult learners. The study will identify and analyze the barriers that hinder adult learners from enrolling in literacy programmes. The study will explore how attitudes impact actual participation rates in literacy programmes.



1.7 OPerational Definitions of Terms

Attitudes: In the context of this research, “attitudes” refer to the overall feelings, beliefs, and perceptions of adult learners aged 18 and above within the Quan-Pan Local Government Area regarding the concept of enrolling in literacy programs. This includes their emotional disposition, cognitive assessments, and behavioral tendencies toward literacy program enrollment.

Adult Learners: Adult learners are individuals aged 18 years and older who and are eligible or potential candidates for literacy programs. This encompasses individuals from diverse backgrounds, educational levels, and life experiences.

Enrollment: “Enrollment” signifies the formal process by which adult learners express their intent to participate in literacy. It includes the submission of application forms, registration, and any required administrative procedures to gain entry into these educational initiatives.

Literacy Programs: “Literacy programs” encompass educational initiatives, courses, or curricula designed to enhance the reading, writing, numeracy, and other fundamental literacy skills among adult learners. These programs may vary in duration, content, and delivery methods and may include basic literacy, advanced literacy.

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Bank Name: United Bank of Africa (UBA)
Account Name: chianen kenter
Account Number: 2056899630
Account Type: savings
Amount: ₦3000