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The study attempted to investigate the influence of adult education on family planing in Ikeja Local Government Area of Lagos State. The study also reviewed relevant and extensive literatures under sub-headings. The descriptive research survey design was employed in this study in order to assess the opinions of the respondents with the application of questionnaire and the sampling technique. A total of 160 (one hundred and sixty) respondents were selected as samples representing the entire population of the study. Four null hypotheses were formulated and tested in this study using the Pearson Product Moment Correlation and the independent t-test statistical tools at 0.05 level of significance. At the end of the analyses, the following results were obtained: 1.Hypothesis one revealed that adult educational programmes will significantly influence family planning among couples. 2.Hypothesis two found that the socio-economic status of couples will have significant effect on their level of family planning. 3.Hypothesis three result shows that religious belief of couples will significantly have relationship with their level of family planning. 4.Hypothesis four show that there is a significant difference between the attitude of the educated couples towards family planning and those who are illiterates. All the null hypothesis were rejected. This shows that adult educational programmes has significance influence on the level of family planning among couples in Ikeja Local Government Area of Lagos State.




1.1 Background to the Study

Adult education has been given varying definitions by many scholars and organisations. UNESCO (1976) defined adult education as denoting “the entire body and organised educational process, whatever the content the level of method whether formal or otherwise, whether prolong or replace initial education in schools, colleges and universities as well as apprenticeship, whereby persons regarded as adult by the society to which they belong develop their abilities, which their knowledge, improve their technical and professional qualifications and bring about changes in their attitudes or behaviour in the two fold perspective of full personal development, participation, balanced and independent social, economic and cultural development.

“Adult Education is a process whereby persons who no longer attend school on a regular and full time basis (unless full home programmes are especially designed for adult) undertake sequential and organised activities with conscious intention of bringing about change in information, knowledge, undertakings of skills, appreciation and attitudes or for the purpose of identifying and serving personal or community problem”.

According to Onuoha (1990), programes that are adult education based are agricultural and farmers training programme, adult literacy programmes, occupational skill training, youth clubs, various community development programmes, programmes of instruction in health, nutrition, family planning co-operatives etc. These programmes, Onuhoa went further, are for the creation of awareness, passage of necessary information and the enhancement of individual development, growth and social well beings.

People have consciously or unconsciously engaged themselves in family planning throughout history. Abstinence either life long or temporary and prohibitions, forbidden intercourse during certain festivals, effectively curtail the fertility rate (the number of life birth for each woman during her life time) (Barns 1990). Also separation of husbands from their wives for long period of time either because of war or employment, curtail the birth rate and fertility.

According to Nnadi (1994) abortion has been used to limit family size and descriptions can be found in the herbal and other folklores of women and midwives of most societies. The deliberate abandonment of infants and young children even killing of new borns has not been uncommon in the past or even in some areas of the world today (Hooday, 1993).

Adult education programes especially on health matters like family planning is an important programme that is intended to touch the lives of the people, especially couples and other sexually active youths in the society. Family planning, using adult education programme enables the adults who are still sexually active to know when to engage in sexual acts, what system to use and the best method of contraceptives to apply in curtailing fertility or birth rate. Therefore, adults more especially couples who engage themselves in adult education programmes would in any case avail themselves of the opportunity of curtailing their family size, avoiding abortion and being able to space their child birth rate (Anyanwu, 1994).

1.2 Historical Background of Family Planning

The technique of family planning, over the centuries have simply been modified, Himes (1936) notes tat the earlier premature people used some magical nature powers to help women control pregnancies and to regulate birth. The Greeks employed crocodile drugs as diaphragm olive and cedar oil were use as jelly. Under Emperor Augustus, the Romans employed the laws to stimulate population growth. In Britain, especially, as time passed, several interpretations came to be attached to the notion of family planning. There were several arrests, detentions and imprisonment of people who dared practice of talk of family planning.

Amongst the martyrs include Kuwoeiton, Bradlaugh who were imprisoned for publishing the “Fruits of Philosophy” (an influential tract on birth control) and “preventive sexual intercourse” respectively (Brackett, 1962). The great depressing (1873 – 1876) however led to a change in mind concerning family planning both as a practice and social philosophy. Women had become emancipated and were therefore unwilling to bear the burden of unrestricted family sizes. There was a silencing of the English law following such publications as:

a.  The law of population by Annie Besant (1879)

b.  The wife’s handbook by Henry Allbult (1887)

c.  The Hygienic method of family limitation by the Malthusian League (1913).

These titles were used to attack the attitude of the government and politicians on matters of family planning or birth regulation in the British Empire. In London, by 1921 following the activities of Mrs. Stopes the first family planning was opened. The British Ministry of health granted labour women resolution to permit local authorities to provide family planning and birth control information and service to those who need them in 1930. In 1966, the British National Health Service accepted a recommendation of the Royal Commission on population that all forms of restriction against contraceptive advice to married women be removed to encourage voluntary parenthood.

In the United States of America, at first there were similar political repressive approach to matters of either birth control or contraception. This was more during the period of president Reynold and Roosevelt hence contraceptive and contraceptive information was banned. With the end of the First World War in 1918, signs of change stated to emerge especially during a presidential address by Jacob. The first birth control clinic was established by Margent Sanger in Brooklyn in 1916. Then followed the federal council of the church of Christ publication in 1925 of a report on the status of women. The American Medical Association for the first time accepted family planning as part of medical proactive and education in 1937. Then following in 1942, the formation of the planned parenthood federation of U.S.A. (United State of American).

The U.S. supreme court sitting in Connecticut in 1965 struck on the penalty that has been imposed by a statute out the use of contraceptives. There appeared another presidential request by Johnson and Nixon for a congressional support/approval for birth control and family planning activities within the United State (U.S. Times of 19th July, 1969).

In Nigeria, the nation of family planning started as a voluntary organisation (through internationally supported with the establishment of clinics in Lagos, Kaduna, and Enugu in 1964 under the umbrella of the Family Planning Council of Nigeria. By 1981, the activities has spread to all states of the Federation including the local government under review. Following a government recognition, there was a change in the name to the Planned Parenthood Federation of Nigeria (P.P.F.N).  

1.3   Statement of the Problem

Adult education is an important programme that enables adults learners and even young persons to be enlightened about issues in focus. Couples and others who do not expose themselves to adult education programmes especially on family planning, would have the problem of remaining in absolute ignorance and unawareness of the systems inherent in the control of birth rate. Many families who attend certain religious seeks do not avail themselves the opportunity of using contraceptives in order to stop the birth of children, rather they believe that they should not stop God’s creation of children. This enormous belief has created a lot of problems in the society today because people who are not exposed to adult education programme, who are not literate and attend one religion or the other go about having unspaced pregnancies and unguarded child births which has increased the population excessively and thereby causing inflation in the society. A meaningful family planning scheme can only be possible where couples and individuals are willing to adopt to change in modern family planning practices.

1.4   Purpose of the Study

The major purpose of the study is to investigate the influence of adult education on family planning, a case study of Ikeja Local Government Area of Lagos State. Other specific objectives include to:

(1)  Find out whether there is significant influence of adult education on family planning.

(2)  Determine whether those who exposed themselves to adult education programme on family planning have the problem of abortion or not.

(3)  Examine the difference between the family planning system of those who are exposed to adult education and those who do not.

(4)  Identify the types of contraceptives for family planning.

(5)  Find out the effectiveness or failure of some contraceptives as methods of family planning.

1.5   Research Questions

The following research questions will be raised in this study:

1.  Will there be any influence of adult education on family planning among couples?

2.  How can we determine the difference between the family planning of those exposed to adult education and those who are not?

3.  How can we identify the types of family planning and contraceptives?

4.  What are the effectiveness or failure of some contraceptives as methods of family planning?

5.  How can the problems of family planning be solved?

1.6   Research Hypotheses

The following hypotheses will be formulated in this study:

1.  Adult educational programme will not significantly influence family planning among couples.

2.  The socio-economic status of couples will not have any significant effect on their level of family planning.

3.  Religious belief of couples will not have any significant relationship with their level of family planning.

4.  There will be no significant difference between the attitude of the educated couples towards family planning and those who are illiterates.

1.7   Significance of the Study

The study will be beneficial to the following:

Teachers: The findings and recommendations of study will go a long way in helping the school teachers to have better understanding on the use of contraceptives and other effective systems or methods of family planning. With the study, teachers would be able to have greater insights into the best way to control child birth and the population. With the study, teachers themselves, would appreciate the impact of family planning on population control in Nigeria and the world in general.

Students: With the results of this study, students would be able to have fair knowledge of family planning using adult educational programme as a medium of information. Students who are already married would find this study very vital, as it help them to be exposed to various methods and systems of family planning and the control of child birth in their families.

The Society: The society and up-coming researchers would find this work very necessary, as it will be a veritable tool towards the knowledge and embarking upon family planning. Also it will serve as reference materials to the public and new researchers who would want to carry out further researches on this topic or related ones.

The counsellors: Counsellor will also find this study very beneficial because it will help them to help those who have problems as a result of birth control. With the findings and recommendations of this study, the counsellors, though not medical personnel would be able to identify some conceptives and the kind of work they perform in human life as measures of controlling birth rate.

1.8   Scope of the Study

The study will be limited to the influence of adult educational programme on family planning among couples in Ikeja Local Government Area of Lagos State.


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