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Lifelong learning, lifelong education and adult education in higher institutions of learning in Eastern Africa: the case of Makerere University Institute of Adult and Continuing Education

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This paper advocates for policy recognition of lifelong learning by institutions of higher learning and governments in Eastern Africa. Lifelong learning and lifelong education are two concepts that aim at widening access to and the participation of adult learners in the acquisition of new knowledge, skills, values and attitudes. There are many reasons for advocating for lifelong learning and education in higher institutions of learning in Eastern Africa. Firstly, the demand for higher education in Eastern Africa has increased phenomenally. Secondly, the need to cope with this fast-changing world calls for a continuous acquisition of new knowledge, skills and attitude. This paper looks at the concepts of lifelong learning (LLL) and lifelong education (LLE) in relation to the changes that are affecting the provision of university-based learning opportunities for non-traditional students in Eastern Africa, with examples from Makerere University Institute of Adult and Continuing Education in Uganda. In looking at the concepts of LLL and LLE, other concepts of lifewide learning and the learning society are also discussed. Adult learning and adult education are discussed as concepts that are used by adult educators in Eastern Africa with very limited understanding of what they really mean. The confusion in the use of these emerging and popular concepts in Eastern Africa is discussed. The paper presents some recommendations for higher institutions of learning in Eastern Africa to develop a clear understanding of and embrace lifelong learning.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Makerere University, Uganda

Publication date: January 1, 2011

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