Work experiences of adult educators during the COVID-19 pandemic: A Case of the Department of Adult Education and Extension Studies at the University of Zambia
Keywords: Adult education, adult educators, emergency remote teaching and learning, COVID-19, University of Zambia
AbstractThis article is based on the experiences of adult educators in the Department of Adult Education and Extension Studies at the University of Zambia in performing their different roles during the COVID-19 pandemic. The article was motivated by the relevance of adult education in responding to emergencies of any nature. Adult education takes up a leadership role in guiding the process and providing necessary information and education to bring a situation under control. Additionally, sharing experiences is an important aspect of adult education for bridging the gap between theory and practice. In achieving this objective, a qualitative research design was employed to conduct interviews with academic staff in the Department at the University of Zambia main campus and Resident Lecturers in the provincial centres. The interview protocols were emailed to the participants following the COVID-19 public health guidelines. The findings show that experiences were personal and affected their teaching and research activities. The participants attempted to teach online though the majority were limited in technological skills and knowledge. The majority of the participants did not engage in any research activity, including desk research. The article concludes that the participants underutilised the potency of adult education in dealing with emergencies and crises.