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The central focus of this study was to ascertain the community education needs of community based organizations leaders in Anambra State of Nigeria. To guide this study, five research questions were posed and three null hypotheses were formulated and tested at 0.05 level of significance. The study adopted a descriptive survey design. The population for the study comprised 1,701 executive members of the 189 registered community based
organizations in the 21 local government areas that make up the three senatorial zones of Anambra State. The sample consisted of 1071 executive members of community based organizations selected through stratified random sampling. The internal consistency reliability coefficient obtained for each of the clusters I-V were 0.89, 0.88, 0.87, 0.86 and 0.92 respectively while the overall reliability coefficient was 0.88. Questionnaire was the
instrument used for data collection. Mean was used to analyze the research questions while t-test was used to test the null hypotheses. Among the major findings of the study were that the respondents agreed that they need basic, social, political, economic, and cultural education to improve or further lead as required, there was no significant difference in the mean ratings of the literate and non-literate; respondents on the basic education
needs there was significant difference in the mean ratings of married and single respondents on social education needs; and there was no significant difference in the mean ratings of the urban based and rural based respondents on political education needs. It was recommended that the Agency for Mass Literacy, Adult and Non-formal Education in Anambra State should mount campaign in the rural communities on the need for community
education programmes, that community education centres should be established in the rural areas and qualified adult educators employed to facilitate the programmes, policy makers and other administrators in mass literacy, adult and non-formal education should reflect the needs of the community in policy formulation.




Background to the Study

Within the community framework, there is need for people tobe educated. It is vital because without it, people may not functioneffectively. Community education is one form of education that willbring about positive change among the people in the community.Ezumah (2004) sees community education as a process aimed atraising consciousness, spreading understanding, and providingthe necessary skills, including the human and material resourcesfor the social, economic, political and cultural development.Findsen (2006) defined community education as an organizedlearning activity that groups or individuals undertake for thepersonal, community, cultural or economic development. Ittouches all other areas of learning but its primary focus is theadult as learner and the community as the context.

Akande (2007)sees community education as the type of education needed toengender self-confidence, self-respect, and personal independenceas well as to safeguard human rights and achieve social equality.Contextually, community education is the education thatpromotes the integrated involvement of community members in theeffort to bring about desirable social change. It is education forpeoples empowerment to take control over their own lives. In otherwords, it is an educational process whereby people, collectively learn to help themselves and improve their lives. It is the need forimproving the quality of life in the community that brought aboutthe activities of community education.

According to Anyanwu (2002), community education is not anew phenomenon of human living. For example, in Nigeriatraditional communities, people had been practising indigenouscommunity education before the advent of the early missionariesand the colonial administration. The traditional apprenticeshipprogrammes were plausible forms of community education. Suchprogrammes were run in the areas of health, agriculture, arts andcrafts and constituted a recognized way of inducing enlightenment.In the area of health, community education tends to emphasizebetter sanitation and water supply, proper hygiene and housing,and improved infant and maternal welfare.

In the field ofagriculture, community education was in the area of sensitizingpeople on the methods of farming to improve their productivity,better care of livestocks. Anyanwu further stated that with theintroduction and general acceptance of the Western system ofeducation and culture, there was a gradual decline in enthusiasmfor erstwhile indigenous community education with corollaryproblems of illiteracy, unemployment, underdevelopment, poverty,armed robbery, kidnapping, and youth restiveness in Nigeria. This indicates the inadequacy of formal school system of WesternEducation alone to meet the socio-economic and cultural needs ofthe Nigerian society.

Formal education having been unable to address mostcommunity concerns alone, policy makers came up with the ideaof non-formal education. Non-formal education according to Ngwu(2003:41) can be defined as:any planned and consciously organized generaleducation and /or training activity outside the formalschool in a particular society for illiterates, schoolleavers, dropouts or other adults, as individuals or ingroups, for the purpose of raising their consciousnessof their social situation and their standard of living,improving their individual or collective efficiency intheir jobs or preparing them for self-employment, wageemployment or further training within the existingeducation/training system.

Non-formal education is focusing on teaching people to improvetheir basic level of subsistence, as well as there standards ofnutrition and general health, participate in determining the natureand content of programmes of community education, and acquireknowledge and skills which can immediately be put into practice tosolve community problems. In these ways, non-formal educationbecomes an important tool for community education to providesocial change for better living in the community. Non-formaleducation provides the viable educational alternatives that willenable different categories of completers to further their education.


In 2004, the Mass Literacy, Adult and Non-formal Educationcame up with strong emphasis on all forms of functional educationsuch as community education that was enshrined in the NationalPolicy on Education (Federal Republic of Nigeria, 2004). In thedocument, it was clearly stated that efforts shall be made to relateeducation to overall community needs. To realize this objectivelocally and globally, the fifth World Conference on Community Education was convened in 1987 in Nairobi, Kenya where theproponents and practitioners of community education from 40countries in all continents affirmed their commitment to the goalof community education: to raise the consciousness and enhancethe initiative of people in solving their problems in the spirit of selfrelianceand self determination (Akande, 2007).Ezumah (2004) stated that the non-formal nature ofcommunity education operational strategies determines itsobjectives.

He went on to state that the primary objective of nonformalcommunity education is to return education to the peoplein the community. Community Based Organization (CBO) leaders,therefore, need this type of education (community education). Thisis the type of education that will provide them with certain types ofknowledge, skills, understanding, courage, perceptivity, andforesight in community leadership. The National Libraries ofMedicine (2007) defined community based organizations as publicor private non-profit organizations that are representatives of acommunity or a significant segment of a community, and areengaged in meeting human, educational, environmental, or publicsafety community need.

Thus, community based organizationsrefer to all the organizations based in the community and set bythe community for the purposes of enhancing the well-being of thecommunity members. Each community based organization has itsown leaders and the essence of the leadership is to direct activitiesand have enormous responsibility to direct what they are doingwithin CBOs.Abiona (2009) sees community leaders as volunteers andagents of change that motivate and mobilize their people to improve their communities.

They are members of their communitywho are familiar with the culture, social organization, structure,and values of their community. In other words, community leadersare the leaders of different community based organizations set-upby the community who are often formed to improve the standard ofliving in their community. Because community leaders occupy thisposition, they need to be educated within the context of thecommunity. In realization of this, successive Nigerian governmentshave intensified efforts in initiating national developmentprogrammes to promote community education. Such programmesinclude: Mass Mobilization, Social Justice, and Economic Recovery(MAMSER), Family Support Programme (FSP), EnvironmentalSanitation, population education, mass literacy campaign, politicaleducation, among others. These programmes were initiated topromote the life and meet learning needs of the people, communityleaders inclusive. This is in line with the views of Alam (2004) who


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