1.1 Background of study
Education is the process of creation, perpetuation, transmission and enrichment of cultural values, and development. According to G.S. Pure, “adult education teaches people the culture of their society and enable them to live accordingly to it ways. It is a process of ‘directed’ learning-directed primarily towards the individuals’ personality in consonance with the ways of the society. It aims out bringing about more effective participation in the desired values, in this way the adult education is a great socialising agency”. (Sagar, 2007).
Adult education and lifelong learning have been cited as key to achieving international development targets designed to reduce poverty levels around the world (UNESCO-IL 2009). Whilst the links between education and poverty have long been understood (Oxaal 1997), adult education, and it relationship to the process of lifelong learning, is inadequately understood. Equally, the concept of poverty is constantly changing and needs further elaboration.
Efforts at improving the rural areas of Nigeria predated the independence of the country since 1960. The major efforts made in the pre independence, according to Omale and Molem (2003), were in the area of farm settlement schemes. The aim was to bring scattered small communities together so that they could take advantage of economies of scale in farm inputs, agro-services, marketing, etc. These schemes recorded little or no success because those that were to be affected were not involved at the planning stages. Since then, a number of government programmes have been put in place to improve basic services, infrastructure and housing facilities for the rural population, extending access to credit, farm inputs and creating employment.
These efforts can be classified into the Pre- Structural Adjustment Programme (SAP) Era; SAP Era and the Democratic Era.
Successive governments, both military and democratic have introduced different programmes to reduce poverty level among the rural populace. One of such programmes during the military era was Better Life Programme (BLP). Dakyes and Mundi (2013) opined that poverty in Nigeria is a rural phenomenon and the rural women are worst hit by the dreadful scourge of poverty; this is due to lack of basic skill and education necessary for gainful employment. Based on available evidence, Ogwumike (1998) concluded that