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Literacy

  • R. N. Srivastava

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Before discussing the nature and function of literacy, it is necessary to say something about the diverse perspectives with people view literacy practices across different cultures. This is a more vital and more complicated matter than may initially appear. Theories developed about literacy within different academic disciplines and development campaigns have been built around premises that are essentially contradictory and which conflict with each other. For example, UNESCO's campaign to wipe out world illiteracy (in place since 1965) is based on the assumption that economic progress follows upon a change in an individual from illiterate to literate. Furthermore, UNESCO projected a view that directly correlated illiteracy with poverty, disease, and backwardness (UNESCO 1982). As it considered literacy to be a critical factor in the development of man and society, it claimed literacy as a “fundamental human right” (Coulmas 1984, Bamgbose 1984).

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Literacy

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