Intergenerational Learning in URLCODA’s Literacy Classes in Uganda: An Examination of its Motivation, Methods and Materials

By Willy Ngaka.

Published by The Sustainability Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

This paper examines what happens in the adult literacy project of Uganda Rural Literacy and Community Development Association (URLCODA) that has attracted and sustained a considerable number of children. The examination focuses on the critical motivational factors which enable the participants to remain in a learning environment that appears to disregard the key assumptions behind pedagogy and andragogy, the teaching methods; and materials used. A brief description of the background and context of the study, the concept of mediation and the humanist theory of learning are given to locate the article in right contextual as well as conceptual/theoretical perspective. The findings of the study regarding the key factors that motivate the participants, teaching methods and materials used in the classes are discussed. The author notes that intergenerational learning is important because it facilitates restoration of the good aspects of the traditional/cultural values and practices often missed by formal education, and which are also disappearing among the people. The paper highlights the challenges faced in course of managing the programme and concludes that participants have various motivational factors and that there is no one best material and teaching method that can be used to facilitate intergenerational learning. It suggests that for such a programme to succeed, the managers need to conduct a thorough needs assessment of the different age groups before launching it. Learning in such circumstances should be structured in accordance with the identified needs of the different age groups so that they are able to realize tangible results in the shortest possible time and be motivated to remain on the programme.

Keywords: Adult Learner, Child Learner, Dynamics, Intergenerational Learning, Literacy Classes, Motivation, Sustainability of Interests, URLCODA

The International Journal of Environmental, Cultural, Economic and Social Sustainability, Volume 3, Issue 2, pp.95-102. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 545.807KB).

Dr. Willy Ngaka

Doctoral Candidate, School of Comm. Dev. & Adult Learning, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa

Willy Ngaka holds Master of Public Administration & Management of Makerere University, and Master of Adult & Community Education of the University of KwaZulu-Natal where he is currently completing his PhD programme. In Uganda, Mr. Ngaka lectures Literacy, rural development, qualitative research methods and project management at department of community education and extra-mural studies of Makerere University. He coordinates the project management component of the MSc. Programmes (in Development Studies, and Natural Resources Management for Sustainable Agriculture), a collaborative Masters Programme between the Agricultural University of Norway and Makerere University. He is a member of the International Association for Community Development, International Reading Association, Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply and the Golden Key International Honour Society (GKIHS). His Doctoral Research proposal on The Role of Literacy in Enhancing Capabilities for Participation in Uganda’s Plan for Modernization of Agriculture: Exploring the Experiences of Rural Subsistence Farmers in Manibe Sub County won the prestigious Elva Night Research Award for the year 2006, making him the first Ugandan and the 4th African Scholar to win it in the last 25 years. He is a peer reviewer for the International Journal of Learning and the International Journal of interdisciplinary social sciences (see


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