13 Problems Affecting Adult Education in Nigeria and Solutions

Any country’s progress depends critically on the education of its citizens or the equipping of people with the information and abilities they need to make a positive contribution to society. 

This also involves educating the older generation who have passed conventional school age but couldn’t go through school while growing up. 

However, there are a number of issues in Nigeria that prevent adult education from making progress. This article will examine 13 important issues that have a substantial impact on adult education in Nigeria and offer viable remedies.

Related: 10 Importance of Adult Education in Nigeria

Challenges of Adult Education in Nigeria and Solutions

1. Limited accessibility to educational facilities

Nigeria’s educational system has not done so much providing adults with suitable educational facilities. Accessible educational facilities are lacking in many places, especially in rural areas.

Senior citizens are therefore prevented from pursuing educational possibilities due to the absence of infrastructure.

Solution: To ensure equal distribution across the nation, the government should invest in expanding the number of adult education facilities.

In order to reach remote places and offer learning possibilities, mobile learning devices, and online platforms can be used.

Related: 15 Problems Affecting Schools in Nigeria and Solutions

2: Inadequate Funding

Inadequate funding is one significant problem of adult education in Nigeria and in some ways fuels other problems.

For example, the creation of educational programs and resources required to meet the demands of adult learners is constrained by a lack of financial support.

Solution: The government’s funding allotment for adult education needs to be increased. In order to acquire additional funding for adult education programs, it might also be helpful to promote public-private partnerships and look for foreign support.

Related: 12 Problems of Financing Education in Nigeria and Solutions

3. Poor Infrastructure Development

Adult education in Nigeria is severely hampered by the absence of suitable facilities like classrooms, libraries, and computer labs. This is stated already, however, the general infrastructural underdevelopment in Nigeria also affects adult education.

These adults who are mostly parents, have to make ends meet, provide for their children and family, and still pursue other life goals outside academics. If these societal structures aren’t in place, many can get discouraged from adult education.

Solution: By building modern learning facilities, the government should give adult education infrastructure development a top priority. To bridge the infrastructure gap, cooperation with NGOs and international organizations is helpful.

4. A Lack of Qualified Teachers

In adult education, the lack of skilled teachers is a critical problem. Due to a shortage of qualified teachers, many adults are unable to acquire high-quality education.

Solution: The government should fund teacher education initiatives and recruit qualified individuals to the adult education sector. More people may choose careers in this field if incentives and competitive pay are provided.

Related: 12 Problems Affecting Teacher Training Programs in Nigeria and Solutions

5: High Rate of Illiteracy

Nigeria has a high adult illiteracy rate, making it difficult to create programs for adult education that are effective. Adult schools literally have to start from the basics to even get them to read and write. 

Learning, however, would have been faster if they can do some things (like research) and the teachers only serve as facilitators.

Access to knowledge, employment possibilities, and personal growth are therefore all hampered by illiteracy.

Solution: The high prevalence of illiteracy can be reduced by launching national literacy efforts. Adults should receive basic reading instruction from these efforts, which should also emphasize the value of education.

6. Gender Inequality

Adult education in Nigeria is also plagued by the problem of gender disparity and this is just an offshoot of the cultural gender inequality in the nation as a whole.

Women frequently encounter social and cultural obstacles that prohibit them from going to school or restrict their access to educational opportunities.

Even when they are not physically stopped, the cultural definition of their roles and responsibilities in society limits them psychologically from even thinking about furthering their education m

Solution: Specific actions are needed to advance gender equality in education. The gender gap in adult education can be closed by supporting females’ education, offering scholarships, and opposing discriminatory behaviors.

7. Cultural Barriers

Sometimes cultural customs and beliefs deter adults from obtaining an education. Certain traditions may place less importance on personal growth than other obligations, which mentally limits people’s interest to learn.

Solution: To remove these cultural barriers, communication with local communities and religious authorities is essential.

People’s attitudes towards adult education can be altered by promoting education’s advantages and refuting myths about it.

8: Lack of Information and Awareness

In Nigeria, many adults are not aware of the opportunities for adult education even in places where they exist. People who lack information are unable to benefit from educational resources and initiatives.

Solution: To solve this issue, extensive awareness initiatives must be launched. Information regarding adult education programs and their advantages can be effectively shared by using various media channels, including radio, television, and social media.

9: Political Instability

Adult education programs might become inconsistent due to political unpredictability and frequent policy changes. This contradiction breeds doubt and prevents the creation of long-lasting educational programs.

Solution: The best way to ensure stability and continuity is to create a long-term national policy framework for adult education. Initiatives for adult education benefit from bipartisan support since they are protected from political whims.

10. Language Disparities

Nigeria has a wide variety of languages, and difficulties with communication can make adult education less effective. Many people’s ability to obtain education is hampered by the dearth of educational resources in their native tongues.

We understand that being educated is not just about being able to speak English but getting knowledge and information. This can also be done in Nigerian languages.

Solution: Producing educational resources in several regional tongues can promote inclusivity and assist learning. Diverse language minorities can have easier access to education by investing in translation services and bilingual education.

11: Insufficient Technical and Vocational Training

Adult learners are limited in their ability to gain essential skills for employment and economic empowerment due to a shortage of technical and vocational education opportunities.

The key to a solution is to increase adult technical and vocational training programs. The employability of adult learners can be improved by working together with industries and employers to build courses that are in line with industry demands.

Related: What is Vocational Guidance? (Meaning, Scope, and Objectives)

12: Ineffective Curriculum

The adult education curriculum ought to be created to take into account the unique demands and goals of adult students. An ineffective curriculum, however, falls short of learners’ expectations and fails to engage them.

Solution: It is critical to update the curriculum to meet the needs of adult learners. For the curriculum to be relevant and effective, it should emphasize problem-solving, entrepreneurship, and lifelong learning.

13. Lack of Continuous Learning Opportunities

Learning is a lifetime process, yet there are few possibilities for further education in many adult education programs in Nigeria. Adults need continuous educational support to keep up with the times.

Solution: The needs of adults for lifetime learning can be met by establishing mechanisms for continuous learning, such as adult learning centers, online courses, and vocational training facilities.

Collaboration between educational institutions and businesses can help people enhance their skills and advance their careers.


It will need a thorough and coordinated effort from the government, educational institutions, communities, and people to address the issues facing adult education in Nigeria.

Nigeria may overcome these obstacles and offer high-quality education opportunities to its adult population by investing in infrastructure, qualified teachers, curriculum development, and awareness campaigns.

Adult empowerment through education will promote their professional development, increase their employability, and stimulate socio-economic growth.

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