AN ASSESSMENT OF THE IMPACT OF ADULT LITERACY PROGRAMMES
This study was conducted to assess the impact of past adult literacy programmes on the educational attainment of the indigenes of the ten (10) villages of Gumbi District in Wamakko Local Government Area of Sokoto State. Three populations were used. The first population was 361 educated persons in the ten villages; the second population was 425 ex-literacy programme participants, while the third one was 57 officials/community leaders. Three instruments were used in data collection. These were two self designed questionnaires and a survey form. The data collected was analyzed using simple percentages. The major finding of the study was that participation of grandparents and parents in adult literacy development programmes had positive impact on the educational attainment of their grand children and children. It was recommended that the stakeholders should ensure that as many people who are indigenes of the area as possible attain the highest possible level of literacy.
1.1 Background to the Study
The widespread belief that adult literacy is a panacea for human development has been justified in a variety of instances. The rapid economic development recorded after the 1930s economic depression and after the massive destruction occasioned by the Second World War after 1945 in North America, and Western Europe respectively, has been found to be principally due to human resources input other than any other factors. Prior to the Second World War, it was believed that only physical resources (capital) were responsible for rapid growth of some western nations of Europe. However, the post war experience of the war ravaged nations of Europe and their quick recovery suggested that there could be other factors than capital that hastened the recovery. Investigations disclosed that human skills available accounted for the variation in the economic growth and that the labour force requires adequate training for it to contribute effectively to the rapid growth. The revelation led to the “human capital revolution” and the recommendation to the newly independent countries that they should invest a substantial amount of their resources in the education of their citizens, if they are to grow rapidly after attaining their independence.
The Baha’i movement, a global non-sectarian spiritual movement that has been involved in literacy activities in a variety of ways with remarkable success in both the developed and developing nations such as Bolivia, Cambodia, Chad, Chile, Ghana, Guyana, Philippines, Russia and even USA discovered that literacy without which high levels of abstract thought and insight are impossible is fundamental to both individuals and the society. This is because literacy makes possible, the achievement of intellectual and social development. It is also a respiratory to humanity’s accumulated knowledge and a building block for innovation, creativity, social and economic development of any kind. It is essential to collective human development as not only those who cannot read and write are cut-off from their opportunity for development, but also society as a whole is deprived of the potential contributions individuals can make for the good of all.
Even though historians agreed that, Islam and literacy development came into Hausa land as far back as 15th century, written account on literacy development in the area under study has been scanty. It was for this reason that oral account from those who should know in the area was adopted:
The first oral account of literacy development in the area sought by the researcher was from Mallam Ahmadu Maishanu an aged ex-adult literacy instructor who claimed to be eighty (80) years old (he died in November 2010) who gave an account that agreed with what is in the books that the colonial masters took the issue of literacy serious around 1945 after second world war. Below is the English language translation of his narration made in Hausa language: