Teacher Preparation and Availability for Combating Illiteracy in Cross River State, Nigeria

By Roseline E. Tawo, Cecilia A. Beshel and Arikpo B. Arikpo.

Published by The International Journal of Humanities Education

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The illiteracy rate in Nigeria is quite high; the country is listed among the nine nations of the world with the highest illiteracy rate. In 2009, according to the Cross River State Agency for Adult and Non-Formal Education, in Nigeria the illiteracy rate in Cross River State was 579,024, being 40 percent of the population of the entire state. This figure is higher in the rural communities. However, the launching of the Universal Basic Education (UBE) Programme by the Federal Government of Nigeria in 1999 was aimed at drastically decreasing the illiteracy rate in the country by making access to basic education compulsory and free. To achieve this, the government of Nigeria within its various levels and private agencies opened more schools, enrolled more learners, and employed more teachers. Realising that most of the teachers were not adequately trained, the government initiated mass teacher training programmes. Meanwhile, almost all the resources put into the UBE programme seem to be focused on the formal school system, thereby leaving those in the non-formal system to fend for themselves. The non-formal education agencies, equally established by the government, have their teachers and learners who should be catered to under the UBE scheme, through inclusive education methods such as the different approaches adopted by the teachers, the learning environment, and others. This study examines teachers’ preparation and availability in Adult and Non-Formal Education Study Centres in Cross River State of Nigeria. A sample of 200 teachers and 100 adult learners in the study centres were selected for the study. A survey design was used for the study. A questionnaire constructed by the researchers on a modified four-point Likert-type scale was used for data collection and the data was analysed using simple percentages. The findings revealed some pitfalls in quality and quantity of teachers’ preparation and availability in this area as perceived by learners and their teachers. It was recommended among others that teachers with Teacher’s Grade 11 Certificate (TC11) and above should be employed to teach in the centres.

Keywords: Teacher Preparation, Teacher Availability, Combating Illiteracy

The International Journal of Humanities Education, Volume 10, Issue 3, pp.27-40. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 394.799KB).

Dr. Roseline E. Tawo

Senior Lecturer, Department of Adult and Continuing Education, University of Calabar, Calabar, Cross River State, Nigeria

Dr. Tawo holds a Ph.D. in guidance and counselling from the University of Calabar, Calabar, Nigeria, where she is currently teaching in the Department of Adult and Continuing Education. She has served as the coordinator of the B.Ed. Consultancy Programme, course adviser, examination officer, industrial attachment coordinator, and supervises student projects and thesis. She also served as the head of the Department of Research and Statistics in the Local Government Education Authority, Calabar. She is a member of several professional associations, has attended several conferences, and published papers in many professional journals both internationally and locally.

Cecilia A. Beshel

Lecturer 2, School of Education, Cross River State College of Education, Akamkpa, Akamkpa, Cross River, Nigeria

Dr. Beshel holds a Ph.D Degree in Adult and Continuing Education, specialising in Cooperative Management from University of Calabar, Calabar, Nigeria. She is currently teaching in the Department of Educational Foundations, School of Education, Cross River State College of Education, Akamkpa. She has served as course coordinator of several courses in the Department, a member of Junior Staff Disciplinary Committee, Matriculation committed and course adviser to many students. She is a member of several professional Associations such as WCCI, NNCAE, NISEP and TRCN. She has attended several conferences and published some articles in learned journals and texts. Her hobbies include singing, dancing, reading, cooking, sewing and playing volley ball. She is married with four children.

Prof. Arikpo B. Arikpo

Professor, Department of Adult and Continuing Education, University of Calabar, Calabar, Cross River, Nigeria

Prof. Arikpo is a Nigerian with a university education obtained from Nebraska University, USA (1975 - 1984). He has been a lecturer in the Department of Adult and Continuing Education, University of Calabar, Calabar, Nigeria since 1986. Other positions he held were: the director of the Government Agency for Adult and Non-Formal Education; the coordinator of the University of Calabar Distance and Extra-mural Studies Programmes; and the head of the Department of Adult and Continuing Education. He is a member of many academic and service organisations and a recipient of many honours and awards from Nigeria and the USA.