The development and organisation of adult education in Kenya, with special reference to African Rural Development 1945-1970
Prosser, R. C.
This thesis is concerned with the relationship between adult education and the way in which a peasant community is modernising itself. The view is taken that adult education is an important agent of change which can affect economic, social, civic, political and cultural life. The example of Kenya, as a national case -study of a developing country, is analysed in detail in order to demonstrate this relationship. The salient features of the history and organisation of adult education in Kenya are described to help identify the main problems that have occurred and to evaluate the role of adult education in the process of modernisation. The major adult education programmes are examined separately and in juxtaposition to determine their interrelationship.In particular the thesis concentrates on the evolution of adult education from the Second World War. After 1945 an impetus was given to rural development and the first signs appeared that Kenya would ultimately become a fully self -governing nation -state. It is suggested that before the mid-1950s when political unrest and the Mau Mau revolt made African economic development an urgent necessity, there were few significant advances in the provision of adult education. It is suggested also that the importance of adult education as an agent of economic change was insufficiently recognised until the late 1950s when national independence and a new emphasis on the democratic process necessitated a far greater use of persuasive rather than coercive methods for stimulating modernisation. This new emphasis coincided also with the notion which gained currency at this time, that resources spent on education could be considered as economic investment as well as a social service. The description of the national and sectoral provision of adult education shows that it has been largely fragmentary and sporadic. It is suggested that uncoordinated provision is one important reason why many of these programmes have not achieved their full potential and ways in which integration has been attempted are examined in relation to the achievement of a coordinated approach to rural development.