The Kenya Adult Learners’ Associataion attended the 59th ILD Celebrations held on 9th September 2019 at Makutano in West Pokot County. The event was graced by the Education Cabinet Secretary, Prof. George Magoha, who was the Chief Guest. Other guest included Dr. Belio Kipsang, the Principal Secretary in the Ministry of Education, West Pokot County Governor, Prof. John Lonyangapuo, the Director of the Directorate of Adult and Continuing Education, I. Kinara, KALA National Coordinator, Magdalene Gathoni.

Prof. Magoha was optimistic that the participation of adult learners in adult education will play a critical role in ensuring that the needs of children are also catered for, since an education adult population, cascades the benefits to the children under their care. The sentiments were echoed by the Prinicipal Secretary, who asserted the need to participate in education as an enabler for social development. The West Pokot Governor, pointed out that the purpose of the county government employing more teachers to take pert in the adult education programme, was driven by the need to empower the communities take a leading role in all forms of maninstream development agenda. The Director of DACE, expressed confidence that the partnership between the government and other players in the adult education is an important milestone towards improving the lives of adult learners in all parts of the country.

On her part, the National Coordinator of KALA, gave her history on how she joined the adult education classes, and took part in learning, together with her children. She pointed out that after going through the adult education that she saw the need to start an association of adult learners, which will deliberate on issues affecting them collectively.

In 1990 after graduating from an illterate adult to obtaining primary and secondary education, I shared with other adult learners on the need to form an adult learners association which could fight for their rights.

Magdalene Gathoni, KALA National Coordinator

She pointed out that through the efforts of KALA, adult learners’ organizations in other parts of Africa in countreis which include: Tanzania, Uganda, Malawi, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Ghana, South Africa and Sierra Leone, were formed to champion for the needs of adult learners in the continent. This saw the birth of the African Adult Learners’ Association Network (AALAN), which is housed by KALA.

KALA National Coordinator, Magdalene Gathoni addressing the participants during the 59th ILD Celebrations in West Pokot

She briefly highlighted the strategies that KALA uses in promoting adult education, which include mobilization, functional adult literacy and economic empowerment, capacity building to literacy facilitators, e-learning programme and learners’ publications, which are written by the adult learners themselved. All these activities are anchored on the needs of adult learners to take part in sustainable development effectively.

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