Is the curriculum used at two Ladysmith NGO sites relevant to the lives of their adult learners.
In this study the researcher investigated the relevance of the curriculum used at the two Ladysmith NGO sites to the everyday life experiences of their adult learners. This study falls under a qualitative interpretive research paradigm where semi-structured interviews with the ABET Level 1 learners were used as tools to elicit data. The techniques and participants used in this investigation enhanced the validity, reliability, objectivity and authenticity of this study. The key research question that was used to elicit data is: • How is the ABET Level 1 curriculum used at two Ladysmith non-governmental organisation sites relevant to the lives of their adult learner? The research sub questions are: ~ What constitutes the ABET Level 1 curriculum at two Ladysmith non-governmental organisation sites? ~ What are the adult learners’ personal experiences and perceptions regarding the relevance of what they learn, to their everyday life experiences? ~ In what ways do adult learners think they have been able to apply and transfer what they have learned to their everyday life situations? The reasons to undertake this study are that the black people, particularly those in the deep rural areas, in the past were denied equal access to educational experiences and the accumulation of skills and certain qualifications. The black people’s illiteracy affected their everyday life experiences, since they could not be on par with other racial groups. Moreover, many black people have not had opportunities for choice of work, personal development and political decisions. The national statistics reveal that about half of the South African adults have less than nine years of schooling and about two to three million have no schooling at all (Baatjes, 2006 and UNESCO, 2007). From this study emerged that the curriculum used at the two Ladysmith NGOs is relevant to some of the ABET Level 1 learners’ everyday life needs. The findings also indicated that some ABET Level 1 learners were satisfied and happy about the additional subjects such as crop growing and vegetable gardening, income generation life skills and many more others that were introduced to expand their curriculum. Almost all the ABET Level 1 learners stated that they have gained a lot of knowledge, skills and self-confidence after being part of the ABET Level 1 classes. These findings are supported by Openjuru, (2008).