Public adult learning centres and community needs : the case of Jabu Ngcobo in Pietermaritzburg.
Jabu Ngcobo Public Adult Learning Centre is a learning centre of the Department of Education and Culture where Adult Basic Education and Training (ABET) is provided. Its operations are expected to reflect the provisions and norms of the Policy for Adult Basic Education and Training (1997) and the Adult Basic Education and Training Act (2000). The aim of this study was to investigate the provision and delivery of ABET programmes offered by the Jabu Ngcobo PALC, which is situated in Imbali Township, Pietermaritzburg. This study focused specific attention on how the programmes offered at this centre addressed the learning needs of the learners and the community of the Imbali Township and its immediate surrounding areas. The literature reviewed covered numerous sources that informed and supported this study. Both qualitative and quantitative tools were used as part of the data collection process. Data was collected from the different stakeholders and role-players involved with the PALC. These include the Centre Manager, practitioners, current and ex-learners, community leaders and Departmental officials. The results of this study indicated the extent to which the learning needs of adult learners and those of the community are inadequately addressed by the PALC. Some suggestions are made on how Jabu Ngcobo PALC should adjust its programming in order to accommodate the learning needs of the community of Imbali Township where the PALC is situated. The results further provided baseline information that could be used by other PALCs and by the Department of Education and Culture in KwaZulu-Natal.