ABSTRACTThe focus of this study is to investigate what influences adults’ participation in learning programmes in Uganda. Specifically, the study sought to answer the following questions: (1) What kind of learning activities are adult learners engaged in? (2) Why do adults engage themselves in learning activities? (3) What kind of barriers do adult learners face as they pursue their education? (4) What coping strategies are used by adults to persist in learning programmes?
This study was done in two adult learning centres in Uganda. A case study using qualitative techniques was conducted. Each of the five adult learners who were purposively identified was treated as a case.
Basing on my previous experience with adult learners and with particular attention to theoretical perspectives and previous studies, I used interviews to get views from learners, educators, as well as community members on how adults’ participation was appreciated in their communities.
Some of the findings of this study show that learners participated in activities that equipped them with skills to perform in their societies, community members had negative attitudes towards adults’ participation, and learners had heavy workload which affected their participation. However, through educator support in form of counselling, there was continued participation in the programmes.
The study concludes with some recommendations to respond to the findings which include; Provision of more professional educators, rescheduling teaching sessions and carrying out community sensitisation to reduce peoples’ negative attitudes towards adults’ participation.