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CHAPTER ONE: INTRODUCTION

1.1 BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY

The origin of mass education in the north started in the late 1940s to early 1950s when the first bold step was taken with the establishment of the Northern Regional literacy Agency (NORLA) with head quarters in Zaria. The main objectives of the Agency was to raise the literacy level of northern Nigeria populace, hence it started with a vigorous campaign against illiteracy (YakidaJaluki).

The Agency served as a resources center for planning and material development. It received active support and cooperation of the regional government under the late premier, Alhaji sir Ahmadu Bello, the Sardauna of Sokoto who was personally in the fore front of the campaigners. He was doggedly followed by his ministers, the provincial commissioners, together with the Emirs, and chiefs.

As part of the activities of the Northern Regional literacy Agency (NORLA), it trained selected personnel as public enlightenment campaigners and posted them to various strategic locations all over the region. It also established basic literacy and material resources such as the primers for the delivery of adult literacy in the defunct northern Nigeria (Yahaya 1994 p.19).

However, the 1976 states creation, gave rise to the breaking down of the former northern Nigeria in to six states as Northwestern, north central, Northeastern, Benue, plateau, Kano and kwara, and this resulted to the fall in the activities of NORLA. Adult education was relegated to the background in favor of universal primary Education (UPE) at unbelievable colossal sums of money with little achievement *(Yahaya 1994 p.19). In 1976 the Peoples Redemption Party (PRP) government with its philosophy of redemption in Kano state acted as a messiah.

After studying the lapses and crime committed against adult literacy, the new government appointed a high powered committee to work out the system to redeem adult education as a whole from the near total collapse it suffered. It was realized than that, in order to succeed, adult education programmes must be rescued from the lethargic nature of local governments and steep bureaucracies of the ministries which gave it little attention.

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