National Development Planners' Awareness Of And Supportiveness For Adult Education And Training In Botswana, Kenya, Tanzania And Zambia

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Teaching and Leadership


Alexander N. Charters


Adult education, Continuing education

Subject Categories

Adult and Continuing Education Administration


The fact that there is a strong correlation between adult education and socioeconomic development has been amply established in the recent social science literature. Consequently, there seems to be growing realization among national development planners (NDPs) in the world in general and those in the Third World in particular that adult education can play an important role in national development. Nevertheless, the level of funding for adult education continues to be inadequate even in developing nations, which need to utilize their human and material resources to attain the requisite level of socioeconomic growth. This study argues that the existing level of supportiveness for adult education is related to NDP's lack of awareness of various aspects and needs of adult education. The purpose of this study therefore was to measure NDP's awareness of and supportiveness for adult education in four African countries: Botswana, Kenya, Tanzania and Zambia.

A review of literature on adult education and its relationship with national development yielded five components of supportiveness and five of awareness. Two research instruments (a mail questionnaire and an interview schedule) were designed. Part I of the questionnaire consisted of items related to various components of supportiveness; Part II incorporated questions on awareness; and Part III was intended to obtain biographical data on NDPs. The interview schedule was used as a multiple measure.

A total of 485 NDPs were requested to complete the questionnaire. A return of 214 usable responses was obtained. The data were subjected to appropriate statistical devices to test any correlations between supportiveness and awareness, and between each of these two major variables and selected biographic variables. The major findings and conclusions included: (a) there was a strong correlation between NDP's awareness and supportiveness; (b) there were inter-country differences in monetary supportiveness; (c) a larger proportion of NDPs did not consider adult education as a core indicator of national development; (d) there was a difference in awareness between Botswana and Zambia favoring the former; (e) although there were statistically significant correlations between monetary supportiveness for adult education and biographic variables, this dimension of supportiveness showed substantively negative correlation with age and service experience, and a positive correlation with educational level.

Based on conclusions from both quantitative and qualitative data, it was recommended that (a) adult educators raise their professional competence and communication ability to persuade NDPs to commit adequate resources for adult education; (b) adult educators, in consultation with young and better educated NDPs attempt to raise the level of NDP's awareness of various aspects and needs of adult education; and (c) future researchers conduct similar studies at the local and regional levels in the same countries, at all levels in other countries, as well as with further subdivisions of significant biographic variables, particularly age, service experience and educational level of NDPs.


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