Non-formal education : assessment of need and development of a provision model.
The present debates over strategies to construct a non-racial democratic education system for South Africa concur that non-formal education is an indispensable complement of formal education. Formal education alone is not enough to develop the human resources of marginalized Third World people, whose capacity to participate and perform has been wasted over the centuries. Massive deficits in literacy, numeracy, vocational and technical skills among adults, school-leavers and school drop-outs, are clear problems to be tackled by non-formal education. In South Africa, non-formal education, as a component of education and training, is of recent origin. Research in the field is very limited. It is necessary to undertake scientific studies regarding key issues like adults' educational needs, programmes, available facilities and funds, and staffing needs required to maximize non-formal education's contributions to human resources development. This research aims to identify crucial issues in the provision of creative and viable non-formal education; to locate existing non-formal education resources and forms of network; to identify immediate and long-term non-formal education needs; and to develop a provision model for non-formal education. The study is set against the background of the development of non-formal education in selected European countries, some developing countries, and selected African countries. Non-formal education models are identified and described in Chapters Two and Three. This research focuses on the provision of non-formal education in the Pietermaritzburg region, in particular non-formal education providers, programmes or courses, trainers/teachers, trainees/learners, students' needs and the training of adult educators. Each of the above-mentioned areas is reviewed with the aim of making comparisons with the industrialized European countries in order to detect common and divergent trends which could have implications for the alleviation of the present situation in South Africa. It is also intended to develop a provision model for non-formal education in South Africa. The study samples comprised 400 learners/trainees, 200 teachers/trainers, and 100 managers, officials and principals of non-formal education institutions in the greater Pietermaritzburg region. The instruments used for data collection were two questionnaires and an interview schedule. Participant observation was also used. The study established the following major needs in non-formal education in the greater Pietermaritzburg region: strong links with a national system of adult education; efficient training system of adult educators; strong state commitment to the provision of non-formal education; proper networking amongst non-formal education providers; adequate INSET courses for non-formal education providers and teachers/trainers; a satisfactory system of funding non-formal education and more non-formal education centres in rural areas. The findings and conclusions led to the development of a provision model for non-formal education. The model has five major sequential components: (1) Establishing non-formal education needs through research, networking, and adult education organizers, etc.; (2) Constructing appropriate curricula/ syllabuses/courses and evaluating them during and after implementation; (3) Selection of non-formal education students based on relevant criteria; (4) Provision of appropriate training through suitably qualified trainers/educators and aided by a variety of support services; and (5) Placement of trained personnel in employment and monitoring their progress in the work situation.