Out of Education the Longest. There are several groups in this category.
One group are those who left school in the lower elementary grades, many to help out the family on the farm or in the business. Some left school early because of lack of finances and support. Many of these go to work and have not had the privilege to go back to school.
Some have finished Grade 9 and went to work after that. Since then, they have not gone to further their education such as getting a degree. A post-secondary degree will probably enhance their pay or promote them to a better-paying job.
Another group would be those who have finished education, mostly post-secondary education and have not had any studies after that. The demands of family and work have prevented them from further education and learning.
Some lack interest to further their education. They have finished a degree, which landed them a job, and that’s it. Some have not even bothered to read any book after they have finished their degree.
This is hard to imagine in developed economies where the resources are there but in many developing nations, the libraries aren’t well equipped nor are they accessible.
There are still others who have not at all attended school. Some are literate but others are not.
How do you reach out to these groups?
True, there are many courses now offered online that those who are interested to learn can take. How can you interest these people?
Many governments now encourage their citizens to continue learning as studies have shown the substantial benefits of a well-educated society. Not only will this attract companies and development but this also enhances social stability.
So, here are some ways to encourage further learning:
- Free continuing education for those who have degrees but been out of school for over 20 years. Or, tax breaks if they have to pay.
- Make learning accessible. Colleges have campuses in areas which are not served by post-secondary education institutions.
- Technical support for those who are interested in taking online courses.
- Skills bridging programs for those who have not finished elementary and secondary education. The TVET institutions in Cambodia have a good model of skills bridging.
- An all-out awareness campaign supported by career counselling to encourage those who need to upgrade to be in the workforce.
The above are merely suggestions. Before you decide on what to do, the key thing is for you to talk to these people. Identify the group you want to reach and go out to meet them. Go to their workplace. Meet them in bars. Meet them where you will find them and listen to what they have to say. They will let you know the most effective thing you can do for them.