Utilization of Adult and Non-Formal Education Programs in Combating Rural Poverty in Nigeria

John Chinedu Ihejirika


The purpose of this paper was to examine the concept of poverty and its causes in Nigeria and to analyze how adult and

non-formal education programs can be utilized to reduce rural poverty in Nigeria. In spite of Nigeria's affluence in human

and material resources, it is classified among countries with high level of poverty. Incidentally, the incidence of

poverty in Nigeria assumes wider dimensions in rural areas where larger proportion of the population (about 70%) reside

mainly as subsistence farmers, fishermen and women, retail traders, herdsmen, palm wine tappers, the aged and hunters

whose cultural and occupational affiliations do not encourage them to migrate. The incidence of rural poverty in Nigeria

is attributed to lack of adequate education/illiteracy, subsistence farming, protracted illness due to inadequate medical

care services, lack of employment opportunities, and failure of government to provide basic social amenities. To

ameliorate the extent and dimensions of rural poverty in particular, successive governments, over the years, have

introduced various economic recovery programs, most of which failed due to official corruption, lack of proper

mobilization and top-down nature of such programs/schemes. This paper advocates a revert to the use of adult and non-

formal education programs to educate and train the rural poor outside the formal education system on how and what to do to

come out of the stronghold of poverty. In this regard, the use of adult basic education and functional literacy,

agricultural extension education, women education, health extension education and vocational skills acquisition programs

are seriously indicated. It is strongly recommended that for poverty alleviation programs of government to succeed,

community members particularly, the poor for whom the programs are meant, should be well mobilized as to make inputs in

the planning, execution, monitoring and evaluation of such programs and schemes that concern them.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5430/wje.v2n3p25

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World Journal of Education
ISSN 1925-0746(Print)  ISSN 1925-0754(Online)

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