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History : Department of Adult Education


Adult Education Department which is one of the oldest in the University of Ibadan was established on 1st October, 1949, a year after the founding of the University itself. When it was first established, the Department was known as the Department of Extra Mural Studies. This name was later changed to the Department of Adult Education and Extra Mural Studies. It acquired its present name of Department of Adult Education in 1964. The Department owed its establishment to the report of the Elliot and Ashby Commissions published in 1945, which recommended strong extra-mural activities for the new Universities that were emerging in the then British colonies in Africa. One remarkable aspect of the growth and development of the Department is the discernable shifts and changes in its orientation, programmes and modus operandi. Between 1949 and 1965 the Department focused on what could be characterized as real extra-mural work. In this direction, the Department organized in different locations throughout the country short-term programmes that consisted of lectures, seminars and discussion classes around topics of academic and cultural interests. The programmes were aimed at raising the peoples’ culture and broadening the minds of those who had some access to western education. Later, courses in English, Economics, Political Science, and Civics were started. These courses were meant essentially for a broad and general audience with no specific examination(s) in mind. Along the line, consumers of the Department’s courses became disenchanted with the all-purpose extra mural programme. They preferred instead, a programme that would yield the type of paper qualification that would be useful for employment, promotion and entry into institutions of higher learning. The pressure from the consumers led to the introduction of a programme of examination-oriented courses with topics drawn from the syllabuses of examinations like the GCE OL/ALL up till today, the Extra Mural Studies Programme unit of the Department prepares candidates for both the GCE O Level at four centres in Ibadan. Many prospective GCE candidates have availed themselves of the opportunities provided by the programmes. During the 1979/80 session, for instance, there was a total of 194 classes with a student population of 9,859. Related to this is the in-service training programme for the Junior and Intermediate staff of the University which the Department started in March, 1971, to prepare them for the GCE ordinary and advanced levels examination. The change to its present name of Department of Adult Education in 1964 marked a turning point in the orientation of the Department. It was reconstituted to do both extra-mural work and the teaching of courses leading to the award of Certificate, Diploma and First degree of the University. The Senate of University of Ibadan approved the M.Ed and Ph.D programmes for the Department in June 1973 and 1978, respectively. Other programmes of the Department includes; Literacy Promotion, Community Services and Development, Conferences, Seminars and Extra-Mural activities. The Department won the International Reading Association Literacy UNESCO prize in 1989 and also the UNESCO Chair in Application of ICT to literacy promotion in 1998.


To be a foremost Adult Education Department for the promotion of academic excellence geared towards meeting local and global societal needs.




Create a learning culture and environment for all categories of citizens; Ensure the inclusion and functionality of all vulnerable and minorities; Serve as a dynamic sustain of society’s salutary values, integrity, culture and tradition; Contribute to the transformation of the society through creative and innovative research; Expand the frontier of knowledge through provision of excellent conditions for adult and non-formal learning; Produce graduates who are worthy in character and sound judgment.


The Department operates on a pragmatic philosophy which provides broad academic and practical foundation in Adult Education that would enable the University to maintain direct contact with the community, prevent graduates from becoming a separate class divorced from the aspirations of fellow citizens spread their influence far and wide and give the public an understanding of what the university is doing.


The programme is designed to provide students with intellectual and professional skill which will help them to function effectively and fit into changing academic situation of the nation. The programme provides personnel for professional work in private and public sectors. b. Teachers for effective teaching and learning processes.