The Effectiveness of Adult Basic Education and Training Programmes: An Exploratory Study of Adult Educators from 2002 To 2012
International Journal of Asian Social Science
The University of South Africa (UNISA) celebrated its 140th birthday in 2013. Various schools and departments in the University are taking stock of how they evolved and developed during the postcentenary era. Since 1995, UNISA has offered literacy programmes primarily to about 45 900 youths and adults who were historically and politically excluded before 1994. In line with the idea that learning is ubiquitous, lifelong and "life-wide", the study was underpinned by human development and social
... opment and social impact assessment theories. The research questions; what benefits were accrued as practitioners and what new innovations and strategies can ABET deploy in its current teachings were meant to assess the effectiveness of programmes offered at UNISA. Quantitative survey corroborated with qualitative approaches through online web interviews to trace a population of 1,500 UNISA alumni graduates in adult education from 2002 to 2012, in three provinces, KwaZulu Natal, Eastern Cape and Limpopo. The quantitative survey yielded 900 responses, and a sample of 45 respondents from the three provinces participated in the qualitative interviews through work place visits, emails and telephone. The alumni were adult education practitioners in community development, youths, social auxiliary workers, Kha Ri Gude literacy coordinators and adult educators with government departments, municipalities and nongovernmental organisations. Among other things revealed in the findings, there was an expressed disappointment among some respondents regarding how their ABET certificate and diploma qualifications have promoted their personal development, but undermined by some institutions. However, the majority believed they had made meaningful contributions in improving the socioeconomic conditions in their communities. The study concluded that adult literacy should be extended by equipping the adult education practitioners with various skills to promote community development and career paths. These could include soft skills like e-learning and entrepreneurship skills. This study is one of very few studies which have investigated how adult learners who have completed their studies through distance education with UNISA feel and react to the new changes in the discourse, and how they feel about their qualification and its contribution in the real world of work.