Barriers to participation in adult basic education and training in the Sedibeng East and West districts of the Gauteng Department of Education
Matjeke, Jacob Herman Velaphi
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The research problem of this study was the low participation and retention rates of illiterate and semi-literate adults and out-of-school youth in Adult Basic Education and Training (ABET) programmes. In South Africa there are substantial numbers of people who in spite off the availability of ABET centres remain outside the world of ABET. The retention rates of ABET learners in the education sector is notoriously problematic and the main categories of possible barriers were identified as dispositional, situational and institutional barriers. An empirical investigation was conducted in the Sedibeng East and West districts of the Gauteng Department of Education to determine the possible barriers to ABET participation. The most distressing findings of this study were with regard to institutional barriers to ABET in the region. These findings are related to dissatisfaction with organizational issues (55%); teaching (82%) and learning material (87%); lack of textbooks (97%); copying facilities (72%); teaching resources (71%). With regard to the provision of learning material the majority of both the facilitators (54%) and the adult learners (60%) indicated that they have not received it on time. The skills and attitudes of the facilitator have a determining effect on the success and failure of an ABET activity. As a result of the total responses of the facilitators on a variety of questions there is a general feeling of dissatisfaction, unhappiness and poor moral. In contrast to the learners that are in general satisfied (86%) with their assessment only 59% of the facilitators were satisfied. In contrast to only 47% of the learners, the majority of the facilitators (71%) were of the opinion that the province does not give enough attention to ABET. As in the Foundation Phase of the formal school the problem of communication in English as the language of learning and teaching is a serious problem for the adult learners at Levels 1 and 2. The majority of the respondents (60%) responded that they regard the use of English as LOLT as discriminatory and also indicated that they prefer to be taught in their home language.
- Education