Kester Ojokheta, a professor of literacy and lifelong learning at the University of Ibadan (UI), has asked the federal government to establish an adult education ministry.
Speaking during an inaugural lecture at the university, Ojokheta said the ministry, when created, will help the country achieve its sustainable development goals and promote inclusive economic growth.
The professor, who is the head of department of adult education, explained that the ministry will be able to design programmes to celebrate important global landmarks like World Literacy Day, World Cancer Day and International Women’s Day.
“In order to ensure that appropriate policy and implementation frameworks are put in place to make people have more access to learning opportunities in Nigeria, it becomes imperative for the country to urgently establish a federal ministry of adult education in line with Ondo state that has a state ministry of adult education,” Ojokheta said.
“This recommendation is premised on three important factors which are the wide variety of activities and programmes associated with adult education; the description of the invaluable roles and responsibilities of adult education to personal and national development as specified in the Hamburg 1997 Declaration, the 2009 Belém Framework for Action, and the 2015 UNESCO’s Recommendations on Adult Learning and Education.
“The significant role accorded adult education in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development adopted at the United Nations Sustainable Development Summit (New York, September 2015) for the promotion of social development, sustained and inclusive economic growth, environmental protection and the eradication of poverty and hunger.
“The proposed ministry of adult education will be able to engage in intensive dialogue with relevant sectors and designated stakeholders for strengthening the knowledge base of adult education among education policymakers, NGOs, civil society organisations, organised labour unions, government ministries, agencies, and parastatals (MDAs).
“The dialogue or sensitisation programmes should be structured to inform these stakeholders that their activities are not only classified globally as adult education but also that adult education has tremendous roles to play in helping them to achieve their activities.”
Ojokheta added that the ministry will be able to advocate a comprehensive review of section four of the National Policy on Education which deals with adult education.