Welcome to Department of Adult Education and Community Development (AECD)

“I seek a method by which teachers teach less and learners learn more.”

                                                              John Comenicus 

1.        Background of the Program

In any given society adults are the anchor for they are the most productive parts and have the power to determine the future of that particular society. Ensuring better future for a country is by and large the function of building the capacity of this group of society both individually and as a group. Providing relevant and need based education and training is one of the tools to build the capacity of adults. Building the capacity of adults in turn requires the presence of trained manpower to effectively and efficiently run various development oriented adult education.

 Thus, the facilitation and coordination of adult learning requires trained personnel to deal with the facilitation, planning, research, and development of instructional materials, etc. in the fields of Adult Education and Community development (AECD).

 AECD program is a recent development activity in Ethiopia designed to address the need for trained personnel who can work both as adult educators and community developers. The program comprises both short and long term training to satisfy the need for trained manpower in the area.


The short term training is meant to satisfy immediate need of the sector who can work as facilitators of Functional Adult Literacy (FAL). It varies in its time span from 15 to 45 days depending on the training needs of the participants so that they will be facilitators of functional adult literacy program in the country. The training will enables candidates to be competent practitioners and run the program effectively. In fact, the training will acquaint trainees with the skill to:

 (1) identify the learning needs of a given community,

 (2) produce training manual from locally available materials,

(3) facilitate adult literacy classes effectively and

(4) compile trainees profile effectively for administrative purposes.


On the other hand, the degree program is a three years program to be delivered in regular, evening and summer modalities. The program will enable candidates to be competent experts and administrators in adult education and community development sectors at different echelons. The program emphasizes in bringing attitudinal change, knowledge acquisition and skill development in four major areas of competencies-

(1) facilitation,

(2) coordination,

 (3) communication and

(4) conducting research.

In order to help candidates achieve these competencies, the program organizes the courses, course contents, activities and evaluation mechanisms. In addition, practicum courses are included to expose the candidates to real life experiences and make learning more meaningful.

1.  Resources
5.1. Human Resource
The need of Adult Education Expertise, Facilitators and Lecturers are alarmingly increasing from time to time, because of Adult education is the current burning issues both in governmental and nongovernmental organization. Accordingly, our Dept. have:-





Human Resources



Apart from the department’s staff members for major coursers, the department works in collaboration with other departments like Pedagogical Sciences & Educational leadership, agriculture, Health, English Language & Literature, Economics, Accounting, Computer science Civics and Ethics, to offer development related and general/common courses. 
5.2. Teaching & Learning Facilities
In addition to main library and computer Lab, the program/department shares resources from other institutes and colleges' library & computer lab.
5.3. Materials
There are enough reference materials available in the university’s library that can help to start the program. The department will also purchase additional reference books that are relevant to run the courses in the program. In addition, the department will work in collaboration with other organizations engaged in adult and community development to fulfill more reference materials as required. Transport service is also necessary to conduct the practicum courses. This could be done using the available buses in the university.

6.Professional Profile

Adult education and community development program should enable the graduate to acquire both theoretical knowledge and practical know-how pertinent to the profession so that they will be competent locally, nationally and internationally. It should transfer employability skill in an ethical manner that can be mirrored through the cognitive ability, interpersonal skill, organizational skill and research working skill of the graduate.

Thus, the graduates of adult education and community development with BA degree in adult education and community development will have the opportunities to secure employment in a wide range of community service organizations both locally and internationally. They can work in social service agencies, crisis intervention centers, rehabilitation centers, academic institutions, community resource mobilization and development centers,  community counseling and services institutions,  in family guidance and protection systems, can help people with special needs and the marginalized groups, they can develop small-scale researches and consultancy projects, help to maintain productivity in agriculture sector,  secure the preventive health motto in health sector. Alternatively, they also have the opportunity to work as instructors and researchers, development experts in academic institutions, project officers, program coordinators, social service managers, socio-economic counseling experts, policy experts and advocators, Gender experts, advocator of the right of disadvantaged groups in general etc.

"We are proud to be an Adult”

Who is an adult Learners?

·  Biological Definition: The age at which an individual can reproduce.

· Legal Definition: The age that an individual can vote, drive, marry, etc.

· Social Definition: When an individual begins to perform adult roles such as full-time worker, participating citizen, spouse, parent, etc.

· Psychological Definition: When an individual develops a self-concept of being responsible for their own life.

“Adult Education is the Heart of our Community”

”Adult education …is powerful concept for fostering ecologically sustainable development, for promoting democracy, justice, gender equity, and scientific, social and economic development, and for building a world in which violent conflict is replaced by dialogue and a culture based on justice (UNESCO, 1997a: 1)”. 

Adult educaton as a tool for tackling global crises

3rd year AECD students during computer training

Characteristic features of FAL

  1.  Giving due attention to social, economic and educational values;
  2. Engaging participants in identification of learning needs as well as contents;
  3. Integrating reading, writing and numeracy skills with livelihoods;
  4. Ensuring gender equality and encourages the participation of women in particular;
  5.  Considering the motivation of adult learners. Designing flexible schedule;
  6. Using multi-sectoral approach
  7. Line Ministries (agricultural extension agents, health extension workers, school teachers);
  8.  NGOs, CBOs;
  9. Schools, FTCs, ABE centers, CSTCs
  10. TEIs, TVET institutions, etc.

Major Contents of IFAE

ü Agriculture

ü  Health

ü  Income generation

ü  Development of deep understanding

ü  Civic and ethical education

ü  Gender

ü  Environmental protection, and

ü  Social life

Effects of Illiteracy

According to Jean-Paul Hautecoeur (1990), illiteracy has a mythical strength that has been found in all sectors of the societal actions:

(a)    In the economy: it would lead to major losses in production, low productivity, and poor product quality, industrial accidents, etc…

(b)    In the social sector: it is associated with the increase in criminality, disease and accidents, with the growing exclusion of new population levels;

(a)    In the socio-political sector: it is a direct threat to democracy, to national security, and national unity;

(b)    In culture: the cultural capital of the nation is threatened with degradation owing to the devaluation of the written Word, the schools crisis, the failed cultural integration of immigrants and the competition of imported values;

(c)     In private life: illiterate families and individuals display certain psychological disturbances which affect their identity, interfere with their role and lead to isolation and behavior characterized by failure, aggressiveness, etc.

Accordingly, the courses are designed to bring core and generic competences that are provided in total of 180 ECTS. 

1.        Rationales for the Program

Following the introduction of the country’s development policy, different GOs & NGOs organized various development and training centers like Community Skill Training Center (CSTC), Farmers Training Center (FTC), centers working on health and agriculture that support the realization of development goals. Such development organizations are in a dire need of experts who can integrate education and development activities to meet the national development goals.


Moreover, adults constitute 50 percent of Ethiopia’s population. The majority (58%) of these adults cannot read and write (UNESCO 2006). Creating an environment for developing adults’ life skills and various competencies is necessary to develop a sustainable knowledge society. To meet this objective, adult education professionals and institutions are indispensable elements.


Recently the government gave due attention to adult education as it is one of the instruments for implementation of development and transformation plan. With this regard, MOE (2008:17) stresses the importance of building capacity of adult education facilitators, supervisors and other experts. Therefore, providing the capacity building training for supervisors and experts assigned for adult education at federal, regional and wereda levels in higher education institutions is emphasized as one strategy. Academicians in Universities and training institutions are encouraged to carry out research in sub-sector and train experts properly to enable them to contribute in strengthening adult education.

 Furthermore, MOE (2009:25) expresses that universities and institutions are encouraged and supported to establish adult education training programs and to provide training for experts in the field.


Hence, for the realization of the National Adult Education Strategy as well as integrating adult education with the country’s development endeavors, it is important to produce adult educators who plan and manage both adult education and community development programs.


2.  Aims, Goals and Objectives of the Program


a.     Aims

The aim of the program is to develop expertise in the field of adult education and to train change agents in community development practices with capacities to promote self-initiated and self-directed local development. The change agents are aiming at developing values, economic opportunities, social interactions for the common interest and ways of governing own resources for the betterment of living standards at large.


Indeed the program will:

1.  provide higher level training to a number of students who wish to secure their BA degree in Adult Education and Community Development,

2.  Prepare students for pursuing further education in development oriented education;

3. Establish a research centered community where scientific research is undertaken so as to resolve community problems by community  initiations; and

4. Benefit the society via scaling up best practices.


b. Program Goals

The department of Adult Education and Community Development will work to produce competent and committed adult educators who can serve as development agent in the country’s endeavor for development and transformation. Thus, the major goals of the undergraduate program in Adult education and community development are:

1.To establish in students an appreciation of the importance of andragogy and community development philosophies and principles

2.To develop basic and practical skills in Adult education and community development practices

3.To develop the ability to apply the learned skills for solving practical community problems; and

4. To provide a wide range of transferable skills to the graduates

7. Graduate Profile

Students who have completed an undergraduate degree in adult education and community development are expected to have comprehensive theoretical and practical understanding on advanced level, including:

-     Knowledge of adult education and community development

-     General intellectual and life skills in adult education and community development and,

-     Values that equip them for employment, citizenship and lays the foundations for a lifetime continuous learning and personal development.

-    Management of Agricultural and Rural Extension

-    Health care management and facilitation

-    SMI career guidance

-    HRM

-    Guidance and counseling

-    Entrepreneurship

 The graduates of AECD will be able to

· Assist in identifying the training needs of the target community.

·  Acilitate various kinds of adult education training programs

· Prepare training manuals/materials for different kinds of adult learning programs.

· Advise and consult decision makers and organizations in the area of adult education and professional development.

· Organize and conduct training programs.

·  Design, develop and plan Adult education and community development initiatives.

·  Supervise, monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of adult education and community development programs.

· Design and execute/implement different kinds of adult education and community development programs and projects.

·  Lead (direct) different kinds of AECD programs.

·  Consult in the design, management and evaluation of adult education and community development programs,

· Initiate and propose AECD policy alternatives to policy makers

· Create network among different organizations working in the field of adult education and community development to mobilize resources.  

· Create awareness about adult education policies, strategies and guidelines for different parties

·   Promote the idea of continuous professional development (workplace learning) and lifelong learning and thereby inculcate learning culture in the community.

· Use conflict management skill to enhance appropriate learning environment.

·  Conduct research to solve problems in the area of Adult Education and Community and initiate ideas for social change.

· Integrate adult and lifelong education in different sectors.

8. Program Profile

Main Aims of the program:

v To provide students with a broad and balanced foundation of adult education and community development knowledge and practical skills.

v To develop in students the ability to apply their adult education and community development knowledge and skills to resolve theoretical and practical problems in the community.

v To encourage originality of thought.

v To instill in students an appreciation of the importance of adult education and community development in an economic, environmental and social context.

v to prepare students to become professional change agent capable of executing Human Resources Management, Information System Management, Materials Management and Financial Management and other managerial functional areas.

v Equip students with a realistic overview of major principles and techniques of community mobilization. 

Learning how best to grow soya beans is of little use to a man if it is not combined with learning about nutrition and/or the existence of a market for the beans…, it means that adult education encompasses the whole of life, and must build upon what already exists”

    (Julius Nyerere, 1976).

                                                  Compiled by Ayele K. 

FAL and Lifelong Learning

The most important influence came from the Dalors’ Report (1996) entitled “Learning: the treasure from within”. It states:

In a world in which the accelerated rate of change and rapid globalization are transforming each individual’s relationship with both time and space, learning throughout life is essential for people to retain mastery of their own destinies… Learning throughout life can become then the means for … the exercise of active citizenship.

Functional Adult Literacy 

FAL is a form of adult education which builds on what adult learners know. It is designed to equip the learners with useful and necessary knowledge, skills and values that help them to develop innovate ways and procedures of doing things and to overcome poverty. It is participatory in nature and helps adults to bring about attitudinal change.

People cannot be developed or educated. They must develop and educate themselves through the process of thinking, learning, problem-solving and acting.                                                                                                                         J.K. Nyerere

c.  Program Objectives

Essentially, the general objective of this program is to produce adult education professionals and community development experts, leaders and researchers who can address community demands and challenges through critical analysis of community institutions’ and local environments (political, economic, socio-cultural, and technological). Moreover, the program is aimed to produce democratic, visionary, and innovative, change oriented and professionally committed adult education and community development agents that can hold leadership responsibilities under the existing social contexts.


Thus, the objectives of undergraduate program in adult education and community development are:

1.Produce skilled manpower of well-trained adult education and community development professionals capable of taking up positions in the growing demand of several socio- economic sectors.

2.Develop capabilities for the provision of consultancy and technical services as well as short-terms specialized training to both public and private sectors;

3. Produce professionals who are responsive and effective in working with and through others as well as capable of making and implementing decisions.

4. Produce professionals capable of searching and developing opportunities as well as solving community problems.

5.Produce professionals who are able to face the challenges of today's and tomorrow’s highly complex and competitive environment.

6. Produce adult education and community development planners and mangers that can generate, manage and utilize community resources effectively and efficiently

7.   Produce adult education and community development planners and managers who can initiate changes, innovations and developments by addressing local and regional needs and realities.
9.   Produce change agents that can mobilize and involve the local communities and thereby strengthen development endeavor and community relationship.
10.   Train students who can design and apply the principles of adult education and community development to identify and solve societal problems related to environment, agriculture, health, and teaching.

v To instill in students an appreciation of the importance of adult education and community development in an economic, environmental and social context.

v to prepare students to become professional change agent capable of executing Human Resources Management, Information System Management, Materials Management and Financial Management and other managerial functional areas.

v Equip students with a realistic overview of major principles and techniques of community mobilization

8.1.  Duration of the Study

The program is organized to be completed in three years.

8.2.  Mode of Delivery

All modes of delivery such as, mixed, parallel, semester and block will be used. Courses in module will be delivered either in one semester or in two consequent semesters. Some courses in a module are block and the others are semester base.  Moreover, this program will be delivered through regular, summer and Distance modes.

8.3.  Methods of Teaching

All courses are emphasized on Active learning / learner centered methods. The department adheres to the principles of adult learning. Hence, instructors are encouraged to use active, experiential, and practical methods. The contents and learning experiences of each course as well as assessment techniques should be selected and organized around the major competencies listed for each module. The research and term papers should be prepared with strict adherence to APA rules and research format selected by the department. Major courses should require students to work on cases and relate them to practical situations. To realize this, fieldtrips and attachments will be organized using the practicum module.

8.4.  Assessment and Evaluation Mechanisms

ምዘና አንዱ የጥራት ማረጋገጫ መንገድ ነዉ፡፡

Assessment and evaluation should consider both continuous assessment and final exam/summative/ with 60% and 40 % share respectively. To this end, evaluation of students should consist of: paper and pencil tests, assignments, projects works, term papers, portfolio, performance assessments, presentations and other informal assessments. Students are expected to write and present at least one major paper in third courses. Evaluation must also consider students’ active participation in the teaching and learning process. All the evaluations must address and should require candidates to reflect on the key competency areas of the program.

8.1.  Graduation Requirement

8.2.  Degree Nomenclature

The type of Degree conferred shall be Degree of Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Adult Education and Community Development (የአርትዲግሪበጎልማሶችትምህርትናማኅበረሰብልማት).

8.3.  Program Quality Assurance and Quality Indicators

Depending on the university’s structural organization, the quality of the program could be maintained through the implementation of the following:

v Strengthening the student advising service.

v Providing students with textbooks of international standard and/or encouraging the staff to prepare teaching materials of high standard specific to each course.

v Organizing or participating in national and international workshops with institutions offering similar programs or services.

v Organizing a quality care committee in the department that follows up the satisfaction of candidates, alumni and stakeholders and use the feedback to improve the program. In the first year the committee can look at student feedback, the next year the content of the program, and, in following years, the graduate profile.

v Inviting external quality assessors following the periodic program evaluation

v Provide students with detailed course outlines with time allotted to each chapter of the course and list of references included.

v Minimize the number of students per section to encourage student-teacher interactions and promote continuous assessment.

v Introduce standardized comprehensive exams when possible.

v Occasionally, test students with examination samples from foreign universities and other higher institutions to compare the standard of teaching with that of other universities.

v Evaluate students as per the evaluation mechanisms indicated under mode of assessment section.

v Conduct staff evaluation by students regularly, with a focus on relevant evaluation items only, and with each evaluation item given an appropriate weighted value.

v Periodical review of the curriculum.

v Feedback from stakeholders (students, teachers, alumni, recruiting organizations)

v The presence of standard and updated text books and reading materials.

v The provision of adequate teaching aid per class (LCD, dedicated desktop, white screen, internet connection, and other aids) as needed.

v  Adequate space and lab facilities for teaching and practical exercises.

v Courses be delivered by well qualified staff (Lecturer and above)

v Appropriate teaching load on the staff (not exceeding 12 credits hour) & a staff-Student ratio of about 1:50.

v Allocation of career counselor at a reasonable ratio, and provide appropriate advisor ship.

v The department head monitors the day to day activity and proper implementation of the curriculum

When the above conditions are in place, the following can be considered as quality indicators:

§ Attendance of at least 80 – 100 % (theory and practical/field) of the classes Examination results of students.

§ Competitiveness of graduates in the job market (through alumni track mechanisms)

§ The result of student evaluation of instructors, courses, and Department according the existing evaluations format.

Principles of Adult Education

Knowles, Holton and Swanson (1998: 64-68) have developed the following six core adult learning Principles:

(a)     Adults need to know why;

(b)      the learner’s self concept;


    the role of learner’s experiences;

(d)      readiness to learn;

(e)       orientation to learning;

 (f)       motivation to learn.

Teacher can never truly teach unless he is still learning himself. A lamp can never light another lamp unless it continues to burn its own flame. The teacher who has came to the end of  his subject who has no living traffic with his knowledge but merely repeats his lesson to his students can only leads their minds he cannot quick them” 
“Robindranath Tagore”