Open Collections

UBC Theses and Dissertations

UBC Theses Logo

UBC Theses and Dissertations

Adult literacy and development in Sierra Leone : ideals and realities Bockarie, Abu Mohamed 1995-12-31

You don't seem to have a PDF reader installed, try download the pdf

Item Metadata

Download

Media
[if-you-see-this-DO-NOT-CLICK]
ubc_1995-982586.pdf [ 16.41MB ]
Metadata
JSON: 1.0055534.json
JSON-LD: 1.0055534+ld.json
RDF/XML (Pretty): 1.0055534.xml
RDF/JSON: 1.0055534+rdf.json
Turtle: 1.0055534+rdf-turtle.txt
N-Triples: 1.0055534+rdf-ntriples.txt
Original Record: 1.0055534 +original-record.json
Full Text
1.0055534.txt
Citation
1.0055534.ris

Full Text

ADULT LITERACY AND DEVELOPMENT IN SIERRA LEONE: IDEALS AND REALITIES By ABU MOHAMED BOCKARIE B.A. (Hons.), Fourah Bay College, University of Sierra Leone, 1977 Diploma in Education, Fourah Bay College, University of Sierra Leone, 1978 Diploma in Adult Education, Fourah Bay College, University of Sierra Leone, 1981 M.Ed., University of Ottawa, 1989 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY in THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES (Department of Educational Studies) We accept this thesis as conforming to the required standard  THEUNIVERSITYOF BRITISHCOLUMBIANovember1994 ® Abu Mohamed Bockarie, 1994  In presenting this thesis in partial fulfilment  of  the  requirements for an advanced  degree at the University of British Columbia, I agree that the Library shall make it freely available for reference and study. I further agree that permission for extensive copying of this thesis for scholarly purposes may be granted by the head of department  or  by  his  or  her  representatives.  It  is  understood  that  copying  my or  publication of this thesis for financial gain shall not be allowed without my written permission.  (Signature)  Department of  Educational  The University of British Columbia Vancouver, Canada  Date  DE-6 (2/88)  February  20,  1995  Studies  ABSTRACT Developing successful 'literacy for development programmes' for adults remains a critical issue for many Third World policy makers and educators. The purpose of this study was to describe and analyze Sierra Leone's educational reform policies and practices between 1970 and 1992 with regard to adult literacy in order to understand the factors associated with the successful and unsuccessful outcomes of adult literacy programmes. The chief theoretical perspective that informed the research concerned the socio-economic, educational, historical and political ecology of adult literacy work. Literacy work was problematized as a complex process deeply rooted in a nation's social, economic and political structures. A conceptual framework depicting three analytic categories of factors associated with the successful and unsuccessful outcomes of adult literacy programmes in Third World societies was developed from an extensive review of literacy literature. These categories were labelled as macro-level factors, meso-level factors and micro-level factors. The 'orchestration' or 'combination' of all three analytic categories of factors was viewed as critical in in uderstanding the factors associated with the success and failure of adult literacy programmes operating in the country. The basic method of data collection was semi-structured interview. Other data sources included policy documents, official statistics and observations. The study found that seven principal factors were associated with the success and failure of adult literacy programmes. It was the conclusion of the study that: (i) international forces, social-historical features of Sierra Leone society as well as organisational and administrative support were as critical to the success or failure of adult literacy programmes as were the educational features and circumstances of illiterate adults; (ii) contrary to the rhetoric expressed in policy documents and pronouncements, the solutions to Sierra Leone's underdevelopment problems were probably beyond the reach of increased literacy per se to remedy and; (iii) in their current form, adult literacy programmes were probably functioning as instruments of the  II  state and the nation's elites, contributing to the legitimation of government and elite authority. The implications of the study for policy, practice, theory and further research as well as the recommendations arising from it are discussed.  III  TABLE OF CONTENTS  Page ABSTRACT  ii  TABLE OF CONTENTS  iv  UST OF TABLES  vii  UST OF FIGURES  viii  ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS  ix  CHAPTER 1: INTRODUCTION AND GENERAL BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY The Research Problem Purpose and Objectives of the Study Operational Definitions Significance of the Study Structure of the Dissertation  1 1 5 8 10 12  CHAPTER 2: OVERVIEW OF UTERATURE AND CONCEPTUAL FRAMEWORK The Relationship Between Literacy and Development: Review of Selected Literature Overview of Mainstream Development Theories Literacy and Development: Overview of Selected Literature Literacy and the State Literacy and Access to the Labour Market Successful and Unsuccessful Adult Literacy Programmes in Third World Societies: Theoretical Interpretations Macro-Level Factors Meso-Level Factors Micro-Level Factors Conceptual Framework Concluding Summary  14  38 41 43 45 47 57  CHAPTER 3: RESEARCH METHODOLOGY AND PROCEDURES General Research Orientation or Approach Selection and Characteristics of Respondents Data Collection Methods and Procedures Intervievre Documents and Records Field Visits and Observations Related Field Experience Data Analysis Procedures Principal Research Questions Subsidiary Research Questions  59 59 64 68 69 70 71 73 73 77 77  IV  14 14 20 31 34  TABLE OF CONTENTS. Continued: Page CHAPTER 4: SOCIAL AND HISTORICAL CONTEXT OF SIERRA LEONE British Colonial Heritage The Socio-Economic and Political Context of Modern Sierra Leone Geographic and Demographic Chciracteristics Political and Administrative Structures Social Structure Economic and Labour Market Structure Concluding Summary CHAPTER 5: LITERACY AND DEVELOPMENT IN SIERRA LEONE: OVERVIEW OF POUCIES AND PRACTICES Education dviring the British Colonial era Review of Educational Policies and Practices up to 1970 Overview of Educational Policies and Practices: 1970 to 1992 The 1970 White Paper on Educational Policy The Education Chapter of the National Development Plan of 1973/74 through 1978/79 The Education Review of 1976: All Our Future The Education Chapter of the National Development Plan of 1983/84 through 1985/86 The 1991 Constitution Policy Pronouncements/Declarations Review of Educational Practices: 1970 through 1992 Concluding Summary CHAPTER 6: RESULTS Principal Research Questions Subsidiciry Research Questions Macro-Level Factors Perceived as Associated with the Successful and Unsuccessful Outcomes of Adult Literacy Programmes Meso-level Factors Perceived as Associated With the Successful and Unsuccessful Outcomes of Adult Literacy Programmes Micro-level Educational Factors Perceived as Associated With the Successful and Unsuccessful Outcomes of Adult Literacy Programmes CHAPTER 7: DISCUSSION, IMPUCATIONS AND CONCLUSION Summary of the Study Discussion of Findings Explanation of the Rhetoric-Reality Relationship in Adult Literacy Policy and Practice Limitations of the Study Implications Arising From the Study Implications for Policy Implications for Practice  79 79 82 82 83 87 91 97  100 100 102 109 Ill 114 117 120 121 121 123 131 135 136 136 136 191 220 242 242 248 267 276 280 280 283  TABLE OF CONTENTS, Continued: Page Theoretical Implications Suggestions for Further Research Recommendations Arising From the Study Concluding Remarks  287 290 293 296  REFERENCES  299  APPENDICES  314  VI  LIST OF TABLES Page  Table 1 Table 2 Table 3 Table 4 Table 5 Table 6 Table 7: Table 8 Table 9 Table 10 Table 11:  93 110 124 138 140 159 168 171 178 192 221  Vll  LIST OF FIGURES Page Figure 1  47  Vlll  ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS A piece of work of this magnitude is not completed without help and imwavering support from several people. In the first place, I extend my sincere and heartfelt thanks to Professor Kjell Rubenson, My Research Supervisor, for his guidance, supervision and encouragement. The process of successful completion of a dissertation is facilitated by a strong Research Supervisor and I was fortimate to have benefitted from the wisdom and insight of Dr Rubenson. The other Committee Members, Dr Tom Sork and Dr John Willinsky, also offered ideas to help broaden my outlook while, at the same time, helping to keep things focussed. I am equally thankful to them for offering me unfailing support and assistance. My thanks are also due to all respondents in this study, in particular; officials of the Sierra Leone government as well as adult literacy providing agencies/organizations. Without their willingness to co-operate and participate, this study would not have been possible. Several friends and colleagues have helped me through my studies at UBC. I want to acknowledge, with thanks, Mr and Mrs Seth Agbo, Malongo Mlozi as well as Mr and Mrs Reginald Nnazor, for their constant and invaluable support. I also especially value the friendship of several others, including Tom Nesbit, Alejandro Palacois, Rita Acton and Andrew Olal and family. Next I would like to acknowledge my Sierra Leonean colleagues here in Vancouver for supporting me by simply asking how things were moving rather than asking "when would you be finished?"; Dan Deorle and family; a very special friend and colleague in Freetown, Peter Koroma and his family, for providing support and encouragement from a very long distance away; the AMS Word Processing Office at UBC for offering me occasional professional computer assistance as well as the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada for the provision of funding support for my programme.  I am extremely grateful for the support and  encouragement received from my parents, brothers, sisters and scores of relatives and friends in Sierra Leone. Last, but by no means the least, I am thankful to my wife, Juliana, who persevered, cajoled, typed, edited and encouraged whenever each of these was required. She has been essential to my survival and this work would probably not have been possible without her.  IX  CHAPTER 1: INTRODUCTION AND GENERAL BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY The Research Problem Post-colonial Third World states face many basic problems. Economic, social and even political stability continue to be less certain and growth and development eire usually difficult to plan and assure. At the same time, the drive for individual and social development in these societies requires, among others, that traditional beliefs and practices continue to be reappraised in accordance with contemporary needs and trends. Of fundamental relevance is the development of a system of education realistically suited to the needs and resources of the state concerned. Following independence in the 1950s cind 1960s, the development of the education system became one of the top most priorities on the national agendas of Third World societies. The diagnosis of the situation of these "backward countries" pinpointed the lack of education as one of the important factors explaining the nimierous problems of underdevelopment. The interpretation of the problem was the rationale for the massive expansion of the formal education system. The basic assumption was that the pressing need for development on the part of these so-called underdeveloped countries could hardly be achieved vmless greater proportions of their population were exposed to the type of knowledge, attitudes and skills offered by the formal education system. By the mid 1970s, however, the limitations of the formal educational model had already emerged. Formal schooling, while promising long-term solutions, provided no short-term answers to development problems facing Third World societies. Consequently, one of the principal tasks of several Third World governments became that of re-structuring or reforming the educational system. In many of these coimtries, educational reform policies were formulated  and  implemented with the principal objective of making the system of education more relevant and suitable to the needs cind development aspirations of the nation concerned.  2 The Republic of Sierra Leone wcis no exception. In Sierra Leone, like elsewhere in the Third World, the problems associated vnth the formal schooling system as well as its relationship with the development process begem to intensify by the end of the 1960s. From about 1970, policy makers and educators started to stress the need for educational reforms in order to relate the nation's educational objectives to its overall development goals and aspirations. As well, it was observed that educational reforms would demonstrate some practical manifestation of the government's commitment to social, economic and political development through education. New educational policies and practices would therefore be required in order to reflect these concerns. Against this backdrop, the government of the All People's Congress (APC) party, which was in power between 1968 and April, 1992, formulated a series of educational reform policies, several of which were translated into new programmes designed to accomplish clearly defined objectives. Adult literacy, which was to be an integral peirt of adult education, emerged cis a national priority, second only to elementary/primary education. As well, adult literacy was viewed eis an educational strategy for development, aimed, in part, at enhancing economic growth, social equity as well as improvement in the lives of the nation's illiterate population. Other key policy issues spelled out in the reform documents included a definition of literacy; measures designed to promote recruitment efforts; a strategy for adult literacy; the issue of resource allocation; organisational, administrative and technical support, particularly the need for a national infrastructure for adult literacy; as well as a variety of educational issues, like the curriculum and instructional-learning resources (Ministry of Education, 1970, 1976, 1977; Ministry of Development and Economic Plarming, 1974). From about 1980 to the early 1990s, a few national studies dealing with various aspects of adult literacy work across the covmtry had emerged (Ministry of Education/Unesco, 1981; Bockarie, 1981; Malamah-Thomas, 1986; Mbang, 1986: Pemagbi, 1991, Thompson, 1988b, 1989; Ministry of Education, 1991, 1993). In general, these studies highlighted what they  3 considered to be a bewildering variety of problems facing adult literacy programmes, problems that were viewed as largely eroding the effectiveness of these programmes in their ability to deliver literacy skills to their clients. Among the key problems highlighted in these studies were low recruitment and completion rates; high drop out rates among instructors and learners; poor instructor qualifications and training; inadequate literacy resources; inadequate learner motivation as well as inadequate curriculum implementation. The key problems eissociated with the existing body of Sierra Leonean research and literatiire on adult literacy would appear to be twofold. Firstly, they have employed research approaches and processes that were either largely descriptive or strictly empirical, thereby limiting the utility of these studies for theorizing about the relationship between adult literacy and development as well as adult literacy and Sierra Leonean society at large. In other words, while they have generally highlighted problems, existing studies have failed to critically analyze these problems or offer a meaningful critique of the nation's educational reform measures in regard to adult literacy. In fact, as far as this researcher is aware, none of these studies has investigated the crucial issue of factors associated with the successful cind imsuccessful outcomes of adult literacy programmes within the Sierra Leone context. Secondly, these studies have focussed almost exclusively on the educational features of adult literacy programmes (i.e., curriculiun, instructional and learning issues); to the near exclusion of analysis of the influence of organisational factors as well as social and historical features or conditions of Sierra Leonean society on the outcomes of programmes. This de-contextualisation of adult literacy activities may have limited the explanatory power of these studies in terms of the problems encountered in adult literacy programmes which, in turn, may have restricted their usefulness, particularly in issues involving the successful formulation and implementation of educational reform policies and practices with regard to adult literacy.  4 This study sought to complement the existing body of research on adult literacy programmes operating in the country. The theoretical base for the study was developed from an extensive review of current reseairch and literature on literacy and development as well as successful and unsuccessful adult literacy programmes in Third World societies. From the review of literature, a conceptual framework depicting three cinalytic categories of factors associated with the successful and unsuccessful outcomes of adult literacy programmes was developed and used to analyze the nation's educational reform policies and their outcomes with regard to adxilt literacy. The analytic categories were labelled as macro-level factors, meso-level factors and micro-level factors. Macro-level factors were threefold, namely; social and historical conditions of a society; the influence of international forces on a society as well as issues of state policy and commitment. Meso-level factors involved issues of policy implementation;  specifically,  organizational, administrative and technical support for agencies/orgamisations and programmes. Micro-level factors were twofold, namely; educational issues involved in the delivery of literacy, like the curriculum, instruction and learning as well as a broad array of individual-level attributes and circvunstcmces of the nation's illiterate adults, like concerns about families, economic survival, jobs and attitudes towards literacy. The "orchestration" or "combination" of all three categories of factors was viewed as critical in understanding the successful and imsuccessful outcomes of adult literacy programmes operating in the country (ICAE, 1979; Youngman, 1990; Minnis, 1993; Mundy, 1993). In terms of reseaxch approach, the study embraced micro-level, meso-level and macrolevel perspectives thereby combining educational; organisational, administrative and technical as well as social-historical issues respectively in the research process. By grounding adult literacy work in the socio-economic, educational, political cuid historical experiences of Sierra Leone society, this study, in the researcher's view, is likely to constitute a more realistic piece of scholarly work and, in the process, offer meaningful and practical suggestions to help  5 minimise, or eliminate, the obstacles facing adult literacy programmes operating in the country. As well, the study would attempt to show how complex eind intercormected are social-historical; international; organisational, administrative and technical as well as educational factors in influencing the outcomes of adult literacy programmes. Such a study is probably timely as development theorists and international development agencies, like Unesco, continue to debate the effectiveness of literacy programmes in Third World societies and the relationship that exist between literacy work and the development process in these societies.  Purpose and Objectives of the Study The purpose of this study was to describe and analyze Sierra Leone's educational reform policies and practices between 1970 and 1992 with regard to adult literacy in order to provide some insights and vmderstanding into the factors associated with the successful and imsuccessful outcomes of adult literacy programmes operating in the country. The following were the specific objectives of the study: •  To describe and analyze the nature and structure of the nation's educational reform policies with regard to adult literacy.  •  To describe and analyze the nature cind structure of the nation's educational practices with regard to adult literacy.  •  To identify the principal obstacles associated with the successful outcomes of adult literacy programmes and make recommendations for minimising or, if possible, eliminating them.  •  To establish the extent to which there was a discrepancy between policy objectives in adult literacy and the outcomes of these programmes.  Educational policy constitutes the outgrowth of some fundamental social, economic and political forces. These forces generate political activity among a variety of interested groups and individuals with Vcirying ranges of influence. This activity affects and produces the formal and legal expressions of policy which represents a consensus of the values and choices of the more influential of those who participated in the process. This study was not concerned with the  6 overall process of educational policy making in Sierra Leone between 1970 and 1992 but rather, with analysis of the end product (i.e., policy documents) and the resulting actions and reactions in the form of programmes. The focus of the study was on the state, the nation's political economy as well as the organizational context of adult literacy programmes, including programme sites, as the places where individuals associated with adult literacy would be expected to interact (Torres & Schugurensky, 1993). When the concepts of "success" and "failure" are used in studies of educational programmes generally, they inevitably convey a variety of images and explanations depending on, say, the individual's perspective of the organizational cind socio-cultural context in which programmes are embedded, types or characteristics of the programmes themselves as well cis the underlying ideology of development espoused by providing organisations and/or programmes (Fingeret, 1990; Charnley & Jones, 1979). These studies have generally acknowledged that multiple definitions or measures of "success" and "failure" exist based on the perceptions of the different groups of stakeholders associated with literacy and adult education. For instance, government officials and agency/organization representatives may be more inclined to define "success" cmd "failure" in terms of the larger framework of their imderstanding of the general purposes, intended outcomes and objectives of programmes. Instructors would generally define both concepts in terms of their ability to help adult learners learn, in other words; to help learner's achieve the specific objectives they had set for themselves prior to their registration for the course and these may be cognitive, attitudinal or social. As well, adult learners may define "success" and "failure" in terms of the acquisition of new skills as well as their ability to utilize such skills in a variety of contexts, including their environments (Fingeret, 1990). Consequently, in view of the relative nature of definitions of "success" and "failure" in literacy and adult education literature, this study did not seek to describe and analyze Sierra Leone's educational reform policies and practices on adult literacy against the researcher's own  7 criteria of factors related to successful and imsuccessful outcomes. Rather, the issue of successful and unsuccessful outcomes of adult literacy programmes would be judged by the numbers of illiterate adults believed to have acquired literacy skills as reported in official statistics compiled by the Ministry of Education. A comparison with the target estimates outlined in the nation's educational reform dociunents would help put the statistical data into perspective. As well, the assumption was made that the successful and unsuccessful outcomes of adult literacy programmes operating within the Sierra Leone context could not be understood separately from: (i) the nation's social and historical conditions or features; (ii) the influence of international forces; (iii) the organizational and administrative contexts of programmes; (iv) learner cuid instructor circiunstances as well as their attitudes towards literacy and illiteracy; (v) the general educational environments of programmes and; (vi) the nature of interaction between instructors and adult learners in the instructional and learning processes. hi those societies of the Third World where adult literacy programmes have been judged successful, like Cuba, Tanzania, Nicaragua and Mozambique, the supportive role of the state has been considered very critical (Lind, 1986, 1988; Bhola, 1984a). In Sierra Leone, like elsewhere in the Third World, the state not only plays a dominant or overwhelming role in educational policy making, it is also legally responsible for the provision, financing, organization, administration, evaluation and cissessment of all educational programmes, including adult literacy. Partly in acknowledgement of its overwhelming role in education, expressions of state support and endorsements for adult literacy in Sierra Leone aboimd in official docimients and pronoimcements, some of which date as far back as the colonial era (Mambu, 1983; British Council, 1993). Yet as Bhola (quoted in Hamadache & Martin, 1986) cautions, mere state rhetorical endorsements and support for adult literacy are not enough. Rather, a "... more reliable measure would unquestionably be found in the extent of [state] financial, human and material resources ..." allocated to adult literacy activities (p. 22). Thus  8 a crucial issue that would be carefully examined and analyzed in this study relates to the extent and nature of actual state support provided for adult literacy; specifically, government education financial and other resources allocated to adult literacy; measures designed to promote recruitment efforts and their outcomes; the kinds of organisational, administrative and technical support available to adult literacy programmes as well as support provided in regard to curriculum implementation and instructional-learning resources. By the critical analysis of the actual extent and nature of state support, the study would be able to provide some insights into the discrepancy between the rhetoric expressed in reform policy dociunents in regard to adult literacy and the outcomes of these programmes. The focus of the study was on the views of four groups of stakeholders or social actors (i.e., government officials, agency/organization representatives, literacy instructors and adult learners) who would be normally associated vnth literacy and adult education in the country. The cLssimiption was made that the expectations, value orientations as well as general views and opinions of these groups regarding adult literacy work would veiry and, in some cases, even appear conflicting and contradictory. Consequently, the objectives, value orientations and general opinions of each group would be viewed as critical not only in terms of the ways educational policies would be formulated, but also in the ways literacy and adult education programmes would be organised and administered (Torres & Schugurensky, 1993).  Operational Definitions A number of key words used in this study have been operationally defined. They cire the following:  9 Literacy Policy The definition of policy used in this study is based on that offered by Anderson and Bakker (1969) in their historical analysis of secondary education in Sierra Leone. In this study, policy is viewed as a course of action regarding adult literacy as expressed in: (a)  Parliamentary acts relevant to adult literacy.  (b)  Rules emd regulatory fimctions of the government, through the Ministry of Education, in conformity with such acts.  (c)  Application and adjudication of acts, rules and regulatory fimctions by those officials and agencies with authority and responsibility for them.  (d)  Direct statements of a policy nature by government officials, like the President or the Minister of Education.  (e)  Appropriation of resources by the government, through the Ministry of Education, to adult literacy in the context of the proportions of allotment to various other subsectors of education (pp. 2-3).  Literacy Practice As used in this study, literacy practice refers to all those activities involved in the translation of educational reform policies in the area of adult literacy into concrete programmes. Such activities may relate to a wide variety of issues, like the allocation of resources; measures designed to promote recruitment efforts, including their outcomes; the kinds of organisational, administrative and technical support available as well as the educational environment of adult literacy programmes, like curriculum, instructional cind learning issues.  The State In the Republic of Sierra Leone, several government Ministries, like Defence; Agriculture; Health; Social Welfare and Rural Development, are involved in the delivery of adult literacy. While this phenomenon is acknowledged, the state as used in this study, is defined as the Ministry of Education which is, by law, the agency responsible for government guidance.  10 financing, organization, administration, evaluation and eissessment of all education programmes, including adult literacy.  Programme For the purpose of this study, a programme refers to all the classes or courses operated by an adult literacy providing agency/organization. Thus several programmes, cis agencies/ organisations present, are perceived to be operating across the country although only ten of these were invited to participate in this study.  Literacy The definition of literacy used in this study is based on that offered in The 1970 White Paper on Educational Policy produced by the Ministry of Education. That document defines literacy as the: ability to encode and decode combinations of letters into words in a meaningful way such that information can be received and conveyed through written material (Ministry of Education, 1970, p. 7).  Significance of the Study This study attempts to foster eui understanding of the factors related to the successful and imsuccessful outcomes of adult literacy programmes operating within the Sierra Leone context. By attempting to use research-based information to influence educational policy and practice with regeird to adult literacy in Sierra Leone, the study should be of value to the nation's policy makers and educators, particularly those concerned with the promotion of literacy among the nation's illiterate adult population. It is assumed that those whose responsibility it is to define educational policy and practice (i.e., policy makers and educators) will be able to carry out their tasks in a much more realistic and efficient way when the factors that enable, influence,  11 constrain and hinder success in literacy programmes are better imderstood, preferably, through research. As well, knowing about the complexity of the factors associated with successful and unsuccessful adult literacy programmes may be helpful to policy makers and educators in their attempt to optimize success in these programmes. Hopefully, the study will help broaden the knowledge of policy makers and educators about the factors associated with the successful and imsuccessful outcomes of adult literacy programmes beyond the narrow focus on mere government rhetorical endorsements in support of adult literacy or reforms in curricula, instructional and learning issues associated with these programme. The aissumption is made in this study that international forces, social and historical conditions of a society CLS well as organizational and administrative factors may be as critical in shaping the outcomes of literacy programmes as are the educational features of these programmes. The study provides an analysis of education reform policies and practices in the area of adult literacy that may be of value to further research dealing with other aspects of education in Sierra Leone, like each of the sub-sectors of schooling. As well, because of the relationship between educational policies and social forces, the study may be of value to future national research efforts in the social sciences in which the primary focus may lie in fields (health) other than education. By generating some theoretical propositions to help us better imderstand the specific factors associated vnth successful cind unsuccessful outcomes of adult literacy programmes, this study is likely to constitute a useful contribution to the debate on, and knowledge base for, literacy and adult education within the Sierra Leone context. As well, it may be of value to the continuing attempts towards a substantive theory on adult literacy, particularly in regard to Third World societies.  12 Although its focus is on adult literacy work within the Sierra Leone context, this study is potentially useful for comparative purposes. Since the situation or conditions facing adult literacy programmes in Third World societies are considered largely identical, the study may be helpful in providing a basis for research concerned with analysis of educational reform policies eind practices with regard to adult literacy in other Third World societies.  Structure of the Dissertation The remaining sections of this dissertation have been organised as follows: The review of literature for the study, including the conceptual framework, is presented in Chapter Two. The conceptual framework, which is derived from a synthesis of the literature on literacy and development as well as successful and unsuccessful literacy programmes in Third World societies, will guide the presentation and cmalysis of the findings of this study. Chapter Three presents the research design. It includes an examination of the research orientation and process, data gathering methods and procedures, data sources, data analysis and interpretation procedures as well cis some brief information on the respondents invited to participate in the study. The contextual framework is presented in Chapter Four. It deals with the broader social, economic, political, as well as historical forces of Sierra Leone society; those conditions that would, hopefully, be transformed by adult literacy activities and which, at the same time, would likely have a profound influence on the nature and structure of the nation's educational reform policies and practices in regard to adult literacy. Chapter Five presents a descriptive overview and analysis of (i) the nature and structure of the nation's educational reform policies between 1970 and 1992 vdth particular emphasis on adult literacy and; (ii) the nature cind extent of the nation's educational practices between 1970 and 1992 with particular emphasis on adult literacy. A concluding summary identifies the key  13 dimensions of adult literacy policy and practice that would constitute the focus for investigation and analysis. Chapter Six deals with the presentation and analysis of the findings of the study. The process is guided by the conceptual framework depicting the three analytic categories of factors associated with successful and unsuccessful outcomes of Third World adult literacy programmes developed for the study. Chapter Seven discusses the research findings; the issue of discrepancy between the rhetoric expressed in policy documents on adult literacy and the outcomes of these programmes; the limitations of the research; the implications of the study for policy, practice, theory and research as well as recommendations arising from the study.  14 CHAPTER 2: OVERVIEW OF LITERATURE AND CONCEPTUAL FRAMEWORK This Chapter is divided into two sections. Section one presents an overview of selected literature on literacy and development. It includes a review of literature on the role of the state in literacy work as well cis the relationship between literacy and the labour market. The second section presents a review of literature on successful cuid unsuccessful adult literacy programmes in Third World societies followed by the presentation of the conceptual framework developed for the study.  The Relationship Between Literacy and Development; Review of Selected Literature While the relationship between social, political and economic factors and literacy has been widely recognised in the literature, conceptualisation of their interaction remains a matter of immense controversy among scholars and researchers. Part of the reason for the controversy lies with the concept of "development" itself, since einy conceptualisation of the term must contain a diagnosis of the origins of the "development problem" as well as the appropriate strategy for its solution. In general, conceptualisations of "development" have tended to reflect conflicting and even contradictory positions based largely on differing cissumptions, among researchers and scholars, about the definition, nature emd objectives of the development process and, by implication, the nature, definition, causes and consequences of underdevelopment. Thus any meaningful review of the literature on the relationship between literacy and development, particularly in a Third World context, must start with a brief overview of the theoretical perspectives on the concept of "development."  Overview of Mainstream Development Theories An examination of the literature suggests that development concepts have imdergone some intensive scrutiny and re-appraisal over the last few decades, although, for this study, the  15 focus is on the review of the mainstream development concepts, namely; the modernisation and dependency perspectives. During the 1950s and 1960s, development was defined almost exclusively in terms of economic growth. The theories of "human capital" and "modernisation" set the premises of its relationship with literacy; people are the main wealth of a country, but it is necessary to transform that "raw material" through schooling if there was to be a significant impact on the development process (Bock, 1982; Hettne, 1990). In other words, "human resources ... constitute the viltimate basis for the wealth of nations ... [thus] ... a country which is not able to develop the skills and knowledge of its people, and to utilize them effectively in the national economy will be imable to develop anything else" (Harbison, 1973, p. 115). The essential input into the development process, according to this perspective, was viewed as capital, technology and education and the output was quantified in economic terms using such indicators as Gross National Product (GNP); Per Capita hicome; employment, infrastructure as well as modern industrial and agricultural production. The assumption was made that once the growth process gained momentum, an "invisible hand" would take care of the distributional dimension. In other words, the "trickle down" effect of growth would increasingly, though slowly, lead to a more equitable distribution of wealth. Consequently, during the 1950s and 1960s, Third World imderdevelopment was essentially viewed as a product of a niunber of socio-economic factors, in particular, the result of low economic productivity which was, itself, a reflection of the imderdeveloped and primitive nature of human resources in these societies (Bock, 1982). In other words. Third World societies remained underdeveloped because they lacked a sufficient number of citizens with the appropriate skills, attributes and values considered necessary in the modernisation process. Such assumptions were primarily responsible for the massive educational explosion in these societies during the 1950s and 1960s. Schooling was widely viewed as the principal way towards modern  16 economies as well as social, political cuid cultural change in these societies. As well, literacy was seen eis the instrimient that would shape the minds and behaviour of Third World people, so that they could better fit and reinforce the modern society. Adult literacy work, like education generally, was viewed largely as the acquisition of technical skills, ability and competencies. At the same time, the success of educational programmes, like adiilt literacy, was almost exclusively perceived as contingent on reforms in the educational features of these programmes (i.e., curriculum, instruction and learning issues) by qualified educational experts. At the international level, this perspective of development advocated the supply, by the rich and industrialised countries, of the: "missing components" to the developing countries and thereby to help them break bottlenecks or remove obstacles. These missing components may be capital, foreign exchange, skills or management ... a rationale for international aid, technical assurance, trade and investment (Kenneth Jones, 1986, p. 107). By the late 1960s, however, the evidence had become overwhelming that this conventional perspective on development had failed as: Poor countries remained poor, in fact some became poorer; while the rich grew richer. Although there was an increase in the middle and high income earners in the developing nations, the vast majority of the population remained in poverty (Blunt, 1988, p. 45-46). Consequently, from the early 1970s, these conventional development perspectives were seriously scrutinised and challenged by other scholars and researchers. The dependency school became one of the major critics. Scholeirs and researchers writing within the perspective not only questioned whether Third World societies would ever follow the development patterns set by industrialised societies but the need to instil modern traits and values in Third World individuals. The problems of Third World imderdevelopment, rather than being a problem of individuals, were viewed as historical and structural. In other words, these groups of scholars and researchers generally perceived Third World underdevelopment as a historical and structurally different kind of situation that was partly generated by, and attributed to, the nature of the relationship of  17 these countries with capitalist industrialised societies (Kitching, 1989; Blomstrom and Hettne, 1988). There are wide variations within the dependency school but the central thrust of authors writing within this school is the locus on the problems of Third World underdevelopment. In general, the dependency school maintains that there exists, in a given entity - say within the international system or in a country- a variety of units and subimits, some of which enjoy substantial resources while others do not. Since the units and subunits are believed to be structurally and historically linked to each other, development for one unit, known as the "centre", could signal imderdevelopment for the other, referred to as the "periphery", given the shift of needed resources in favour of the "centre". In other words, the "centre" is said to exploit the "periphery" to support its own development and in so doing, creates the latter's state of underdevelopment, a process Frank called the "development of imderdevelopment" (quoted in Hettne, 1990, p. 90). The "centre" may have been undeveloped at one point, but it was never systematically underdeveloped. Thus, reformulation of the development problem along the lines of the dependency perspective suggests the "peripheral" societies of the Third World are tied to a type of international capitalist system that yields a perpetual state of underdevelopment in these societies. In other words, domination and power relationship sustain underdevelopment in the "periphery" whose economic surplus is appropriated by the dominant and developed "centre". The penetration of capitalism is singled out as the principal cause of imderdevelopment, since the  "peripheral" Third World societies are unable to break the chains binding them to the  industrialised capitalist economies of the west  In other words, since " ... the 'periphery' is  deprived of its surplus, development in the 'centre' implies underdevelopment in the 'periphery'" (Hettne, 1990; p. 91). The development strategy advocated by this school is for the "peripheral" countries to disassociate themselves from the world market and stress self-reliant development.  18 While the modernisation paradigm drew on psychological reductionism for the explcuiation of individual and social behaviour in the development process, the dependency perspective adopts a sociological strategy that focuses on the transformation of social structures and units as well as institutions, all of which are generally construed as the real obstacles to the development process (Bock, 1982). There is, however, a major problem associated with the dependency school. By simply describing Third World underdevelopment in terms of external forces, the dependency perspective would, in general, appear to have failed to accoimt for national policy processes and other societal conditions that could undermine or promote development efforts in these societies. As some scholars and researchers (Cardosa & Faletto, 1979: Carnoy and Samoff, 1990) have pointed out, the problems of Third World underdevelopment must be interpreted in reference to both international factors as well as historical cuid political processes within these societies. In other words, this group of scholars and researchers suggest that Third World underdevelopment is not simply a reflection of international forces but also a result of particular historical and structural factors, specifically; the product of particular histories, social movements, nature and type of state and government, class allegiances as well as policy and practice choices, of the particular society concerned. From this historical-structural perspective, then, development becomes a question of empowerment and liberation for the oppressed segments of society or the international system. In other words, along with economic growth, development becomes an issue of social and economic justice for the poor, like the elimination of poor health conditions, malnutrition, illiteracy, inadequate agricultural and industrial output, poverty, disease and social inequality (Freire, 1985; Blunt, 1988). The poor and other vulnerable groups of society must then become both subjects and objects of the development process.  19 The basic objective of development programmes then becomes enabling the poor to participate in the transformation of their own conditions and environments. As well, rather than simply becoming "objects and passive recipients of knowledge", the perspective advocates the transformation of the poor "into the subject and active creator of knowledge" (Oakley & Marsden, 1984, p. 7). The result, it is hoped, would be the capacity of vulnerable groups in society to organize themselves into a "countervailing power [able and willing] to confront the already well established power configuration vnthin any particular context" (ibid, p. 26). Ultimately, these groups would be able to eventually question the social, economic cind political situation that supports sustained poverty; their lack of economic, political and social opportimities as well as opportunities for participation in economic, political and social institutions. The approach taken in the review of literature on literacy and development as well as successful and unsuccessful adult literacy programmes which follow is anchored in this historicalstructural perspective. The perspective acknowledges that literacy, like education generally, is not a self-contained code but rather, ties in with not only the social, economic, political, cultural, educational and historical structures of the society in which it is embedded but, in some ways, with international forces which stem principally from the nature of the relations of the society concerned with international capitalist societies. In other words, rather than a simple technical issue or practice requiring technical and technological solutions by education experts, the relationship between literacy and development, according to this perspective, is xmderstood as a complex process that is deeply rooted in the social and historical conditions of a society (Torres, 1990; Simmons, 1980). And like the relationship between literacy and development, the success or failure of adult literacy programmes depends on the interplay of a complex set of social, historical, international, organizational and administrative as well as educational factors.  20 Literacy cmd Development; Overview of Selected Literature The literature on literacy and its relationship to development is substantial. Yet prior to the 1980s, there was a dearth of research on literacy particularly in the Third World; a surprising phenomenon given its perceived relevance to social and economic development. King (1978) attributes this dearth of research to the observation that for a long time, literacy was viewed EIS a sphere of practice rather than one of research or analysis. In addition, Lind (1986) and Oxenham (1980) suggest that the paucity of literacy resecu:ch before the decade of the 1980s was probably due to the interdisciplincu:y nature of the field. In other words, the integral relationship that literacy has with other fields of study, like psychology, sociology, economics and politics, was viewed as having some constraining impact on research efforts in the field. As Oxenham (1980) explains it: The study of literacy ... is a young branch of investigation. Its growing pains are compounded by another fact of modern science, for which the ruling code-word is 'interdisciplinarity'. Literacy cis a phenomenon requires for its explanation the attention of at least eight academic disciplines. They range from studies concerned with micro electrical impulses of the human brain to those which examine the struggles between the governing few and the subordinated masses of great empires (p. ix). There has been a considerable resurgence of interest in literacy since 1980 and this dynamic derives, in part, from the sudden discovery of "pockets of illiteracy" in industrialised societies. This discovery has drawn attention to the fact that illiteracy is no longer just a Third World problem; a phenomenon that has, in turn, led to continued attention to, and research on, literacy and illiteracy in industrialised societies. Another factor responsible for the resurgence of literacy derives from the continuing desire among international development agencies (like Unesco) as well as Third World policy makers and educators to increase literacy rates among Third World populations. The continuing desire for industrialisation of Third World economies is widely perceived as requiring a literate, skilled, disciplined and socialised labour force. As well, more profound political and social transformation in Third World societies, particularly  21 those which have followed the socialist pattern, like Nicaragua, Tanzania, Mozambique, Ethiopia and Cuba, have motivated demand for increased literacy among the adult population. In general, the literacy practice of Third World societies has continued to draw attention to the dialectical relationship between literacy cind social, economic and political factors. In countries where mass campaigns have been launched, like Nicaragua, Tanzania and Cuba, literacy work was viewed as a means to a comprehensive emd integrative set of ends - social, economic and political- as defined by the state. In others that have opted for the selective and functional strategy, like India and Mali, literacy efforts have been integrated with work-related activities among selected occupational groups in the hope and expectation that it would facilitate increased production and productivity which, in turn, would contribute not only to increased incomes but to significcmt national economic growth and development. As well, international development agencies, like Unesco, have acknowledged the integrative role and nature of literacy in regard to a nation's political economy. Unesco, in peirticular, has continued to play a decisive role in the promotion of literacy as a factor and condition of social, economic and political development in Third World societies. During the 19608 and 1970s when the concept of functional literacy was worked out and the Experimental World Literacy Programme (EWLP) was launched, the emphasis, by Unesco, on the links between literacy and economic growth in Third World societies had clearly emerged. In recent years, Unesco has also emphasised the theme of literacy as "a basic human right" for the poor and disadvantaged members of society. Yet while the relationship between literacy and political, social and economic factors has been emphasized, few studies on adult literacy in Third World societies have analyzed the nature of that interaction. As Carron and Bordia (1985) put it, in the absence of research-based information, simplistic theoretical propositions have been often used by literacy exponents to explain its beneficial interaction with development. The result has been a lack of understanding  22 of the breadth and depth of the "literacy problem", particularly in Third World societies where illiteracy rates are greatest. Studies on adult literacy in Third World societies have been generally limited largely because of a paucity of research resources (Shaeffer & Nkinyanyi, 1983).  As well, major  research efforts undertaken on behalf of the Third World, like the Experimental World Literacy Programme (EWLP) undertaken by Unesco/UNDP during the 1960s and 1970s, while credited with making renewed efforts at examining Third World literacy problems, had results that have been described as "generally disappointing" (Jones, 1988). As the author put it, the study failed to clearly establish the beneficial impact of literacy on development and, internationally, Unesco has never been able to demonstrate the linkage between increases in literacy rates and the development process. In other words, it would appear that the EWLP study ended with very little information available for use in subsequent adult literacy programmes. In addition to the Unesco/UNDP study, a number of case studies on adult literacy have now emerged. Bhola's (1984a) work titled: Campaigning for Literacy, presents case studies of literacy campaigns in eight countries, including Cuba, Burma, Brazil, Tanzania and Somalia. Each of the coimtries which participated in the study, with the exception of Brazil, had undertaken a socialist revolution after which literacy was viewed as a broader process of social, cultural, political and social transformation. Countries that have undertaken a socialist revolution, like NiCcuragua, Tanzania, Mozambique cuid Ethiopia, have generally provided eloquent examples of the introduction of literacy in the hope of effecting social and economic change along with major political reforms. This is not to suggest that successful literacy work is the exclusive preserve of only socialist oriented Third World societies. In fact, Bhola (1984a) suggests that all societies are quite capable of ideological commitment and they have the power to sensitize emd mobilize public opinion in support of nationally defined issues. Consequently, even in capitalist oriented Third World societies where the authority of the state would be  23 usually restricted by constitutional means, authorities could challenge citizens to action and mobilise them in support of mass literacy if they so desired. The author cites Brazil as an example of sustaining commitment by the state to mass literacy through the institutional arrangement formalized as MORAL. While the Bhola (1984a) study provided comprehensive descriptive information about the literacy campaign undertaken by each of these countries, there was no attempt at theorizing about the relationship between literacy and the political economy of each nation or about the nature of the dialectical relationship which literacy bore to the development process of each society. In fact, in much of the literature on mass campaigns in socialists societies, like Bhola's study, there appears to be an underlying, implicit assumption of a deterministic relationship between literacy and the transformation of social realities in favour of subordinate classes. hi addition to Bhola's (1984a) work, a few other studies and literature have also examined national efforts to achieve greater literacy among the adult population, principally in Third World societies (Miller, 1985; Graff, 1987a; Amove and Graff, 1987; Wagner, 1987; Freebody and Welch, 1993). Some of these works have also examined the nature of the interaction between literacy and political, economic and social factors in Third World societies and, in general, the findings of these studies could be characterised as contradictory at best. Miller's (1985) work, for instance, provides some evidence of the existence of a theoreticallyinformed and field-operational model of literacy promotion within a Third World context. The Nicaraguan government had hoped that the campaign would influence the formal schooling system as well as the nation's overall development and, in some ways, it would appecir to have succeeded on both coimts (Lankshear, 1993). According to these authors, the beneficial effects of the campaign on commimity organisations and, consequently, on the development of the nation were probably incalculable. As well, the campaign was of special significance to the role of women in the future of Nicaragua. By creating em opportunity for women to participate in  24 large numbers and on equal footing with men, the campaign appeared to have changed the image of women and it also had profound effect on the nation's institutions. Graff's (1987a) study points out that the definition, roles and fimctions of literacy could not be understood outside their social and historical contexts. He questions the efficacy of the "literacy myth" and suggests that historically in industrialised societies, like England and Sweden, "it would be hard to demonstrate that the degree of literacy improvement was equalled by increases in indexes of well-being, democracy, and other social changes". He goes on to state further that "developments in literacy and schooling tend to follow, rather than precede or cause, economic and social development. This is not often recognised in most development schemes" (pp. 377-378). Yet a number of scholars of literacy work (Bhola, 1984a) continue to argue that the question is not which comes first, literacy or development, but rather that literacy really only takes root when there is a perceived need for its usage. Even in the context of Third World societies, examples abound in which a significant and rapid rise in literacy rates would appear to have made no meaningful impact on the economies or general living standards (Griffith, 1990; Street, 1984; Jones, 1988; Wagner, 1987). For instance, in a historical study on the relationship between literacy and economic development in Mexico, Fuller and Gorman (in Wagner, 1987) noted that higher literacy levels seemed to have had beneficial economic effects in urban areas, particularly in manufacturing and commerce. However, the growth of literacy seemed to have had adverse effects (other than a few rare cases) in the coimtryside. The authors also suggested that causal links between literacy and development must be viewed with circumspection. In addition, they mentioned that it was important to distinguish between the rise in literacy levels and the development of the schooling system; literacy rates having risen even before the introduction of the mass education system. The authors conclude that greater equality or socioeconomic development does not necessary result from mass literacy but from fundamental social structural changes in society. In essence,  25 they suggest that mass literacy becirs little relationship to changing patterns of inequality or socioeconomic development, especially in Third World societies. In the more recent past, some studies on literacy have focussed on class-based distinctions as well as gender issues in literacy work (James, 1990; Graff, 1987a; Stromquist, 1986, 1988, 1990). These studies have suggested that illiteracy was linked to contextual factors in which social class distinctions, general levels of socio-economic development, linguistic affiliations as well as marginalization of certain groups play significant and mutually supportive roles in the literacy process. In terms of gender issues, these studies suggest that the subordination of women is related to the sexual division of labour and to the control of women's sexuality which in turn affects their participation in literacy activities. Literacy work is generally viewed as male-dominated with the result that programmes have failed to acknowledge gender differences in education. Consequently, gender issues emerge as a primary concern in literacy programmes which must seek to avoid the perpetuation of female stereotypical roles. In other words, programmes should provide women with the skills and knowledge related to reproductive tasks, productive work, emancipation and empowerment (Stromquist, 1988). Gender-based studies have, in general, acknowledged that efforts to enable poor and marginalized women to become literate, especially in Third World societies, required the pressures of agencies/ organizations, individuals and even governments committed to large-scale social transformation. The work by Amove and Graff (1987) explores literacy campaigns from a historical perspective and shows that the notion of a campaign is not exclusively a 20th century phenomenon and may not be restricted to only socialist-oriented societies. By broadening the definition of literacy campaigns beyond the usual notion, the authors include many other undertakings that do not necessarily have those characteristics that are typical of the 20th century efforts, namely; (i) high level of national commitment to eliminating illiteracy; (ii) mobilisation of a society for social eind economic change in which mass literacy is one  26 component among many; (iii) national and local commitment of human and financial resources; (iv) flexibility of method according to context because of the need for maximum participation on the part of the entire population. The contributors to the case studies compiled by Amove and Graff (1987) present contrasting perspectives on the utility of mass campaigns. Some of them claimed that the campaigns were probably greatly overrated; that the costs outweighed the gains; that the incremental gains of campaigns were small by comparison to schooling literacy and that the campaigns had failed to establish the nature of interaction between literacy and development. Others, such as Bhola, concluded that "adult literacy is inherently progressive, and adult literacy is even radical in its assumptions and consequences" (p. 267). In other words, while it is by no means the panacea for all social and economic ills, literacy, according to some of these contributors, may build on the potential of individuals and collectivities and can empower them to reduce levels of hierarchies as well as transform the dynamics and structures of inequality to make societies more humane. The perspective taken in the studies mentioned above was identical to that taken by some of the contributors to the case studies on literacy compiled by Freebody and Welch (1993). As well, in spite of some major country-to-coimtry variations carefully documented throughout the study, most of the contributors pointed to the debt crisis and declining government spending on social services, including education, (in the case of Third World coimtries, due partly to structural adjustment) as well as dwindling external aid as having considerable adverse impact on schooling and adult literacy, particularly in Third World societies. The works of some of the contributors thus introduced a slightly different dimension to literacy work in Third World societies, namely; the influence of external aid as well as the impact, on Third World economies, of their integration into the capitalist world economies. In spite of the considerable progress reported by Unesco, some of the contributors pointed to problems that, in their view, were  27 making it extremely difficult to sustain international, national and local efforts for adult literacy activities, peirticularly in Third World societies. For several years, particularly during the 1960s and 1970s, studies on adult literacy in Third World societies focussed almost exclusively on the problem of "methods". As literacy work was viewed as an educational phenomenon, the central concern of researchers and educators was on the issue of appropriateness of methods. For instance, there was the Traditional or Laubach method which involved the teaching of the 3Rs, namely; Reading, Writing and Arithmetic. There was also the Functional Literacy method in which the focus of literacy training was on the acquisition of technical, vocational and cognitive skills designed to increase production and productivity. This method belongs to the "human capital" theory as well as the psychological orientation to development. There weis also the consciousness-raising or PsychoSocial method associated with Freire (1972). This method sought to overcome not only illiteracy but conditions of oppression of marginalised and poor groups in society. More recently, however, studies and literature on literacy have centred around the issue of strategies as well as the "kinds of literacies" or, better still, the "approaches to a definition" of literacy. With regard to strategies, three trends have now emerged. Firstly, mass literacy efforts have been viewed as two-pronged, namely; the expansion of primary schooling and adult literacy provision. While in industrialised countries, the issue of illiteracy is viewed as a continuum for children cind adults alike, many Third World societies have kept the discussion on schooling euid adult literacy separate. A selective strategy has been used in societies where resources and political commitment appeeur weak or lacking. It involves the identification and selection of special or priority groups and/or regions (like women, workers and rural areas) for literacy training. A number of countries, like Nicaragua, Tanzania and Ethiopia, have employed the mass campaign strategy which, as Bhola (1984a) puts it, views literacy work as "business  28 not as usual" (p. 35). This strategy has sought to mobilise entire nations for literacy which is viewed as part of the broad package that promises concrete social change in favour of the poor. With regard to the "kinds of literacies", the debate continues about literacy as either a functional instrvmient or as a liberating, empowering and self-fulfilling instrument (Hamadache & Mcirtin, 1986; Freire, 1985). In other words, literacy is viewed either as a set of basic skills, abilities or competencies or as a mechanism for a higher quality of life (Hxmter, 1987). Literacy has also been viewed as a social practice or a special pattern of socialisation. The study by Scribner euid Cole (1981) identified three different kinds of literacies among the Vai each of which was tied to a particular context of use. Literacy, then, has now been seen as a social construction and as a condition determining and being determined by the social order. Cognitive claims made on behalf of literacy have now been generally related to the context and practice of literacy. Literacy has also been defined as a particular structure of discourse; in other words, manners in which people communicate (Scollon & Scollon, 1981). In recent years, references have been also made to "Green Literacy". This is viewed as literacy that equips learners with daily skills of survival and improvement of their economic and social conditions vnth a sense of care or respect for factors that enhance ecological harmony (Usang, 1992). Yet still, literacy work has been viewed as either adaptive-oriented or transformativeoriented (James, 1990) Adaptive-oriented programmes which are identical to Street's (1984) technical or autonomous model of literacy, view illiteracy and literacy as essentially educational issues. Illiterates are viewed as having "deficits" which need some correction, through their participation in literacy programmes, to enable them to contribute to their own, and by implication, the nation's development. Transformative-oriented programmes, like Street's (1984) ideological model, view literacy and illiteracy as reflections of broader social, historical and structural realities of society. Literacy programmes are viewed as helping illiterates critically assess and understand the social and historical context in which they live. In other words, such  29 programmes assiune that "the meaning of literacy depends upon the social institutions in which it is embedded ... .[and] that the teaching of reading and writing depends upon a whole set of socio-economic, cultural and political structures" (Street, 1984, p. 8). The studies and literature reviewed above do not necessarily suggest that there is no relationship between literacy and political, social and economic factors of society or that literacy work should follow or not precede development. Rather, what they show is that the nature of the interaction between literacy and the development process is extremely complex, deeply rooted in a nation's social, economic and historical structures. In this sense, literacy work must be viewed " ... as part of a larger process of change, not as a mere fine-tuning of the individual's outlook and technical skills" (Jurmo, 1989, p. 23). In other words, it must be problematized as a historical phenomenon or examined within the particular interplay of social, economic and political forces which come to bear upon it. As Himter (1987a) explains: Illiteracy is not an isolated phenomenon. It can neither be understood nor responded to apart from the complex of social, political and economic issues of which it is but one indicator ... Poverty is the imderlying cause of illiteracy. Without any proven will or ability to break the chains of poverty, no government has been able to make significant progress towards universal literacy ... Literacy caimot be imderstood as a remedial programme designed and delivered by zealous missionaries to those 'in need'. Rather, literacy levels will increase where there is a commitment to goals of equity and justice cind where the educationally disadvcuitaged are able to be involved in shaping their own learning within the context of reshaping the social, political, economic and cultural environment within which they live. If we begin with programmes that promote participation and direction by learners, that degree of opeimess can become a first step toward the larger, more socially and economically inclusive change that will provide the basis on which imiversal literacy can be realized (pp. 4-7). In another piece of scholarly work. Hunter (1987b) also cautioned against viewing literacy work as an exclusive educational problem. Rather, she suggests, literacy work must be perceived as a complex web of social, historical, political, economic and educational issues. As she put it: The practitioner who defines literacy as a set of skills or as the ability to use skills within work, community or cultural settings is in dcinger of placing the entire burden of change on the individual adult learner. The people with limited skills  30 become the focus of needed cheuige. On the other hand, when literacy is seen in the context of social realities, social, political and economic structures aire identified as the focus of needed change. Access to knowledge and the power to create and to use social knowledge become the crucial issues (p. 26). As noted in the review of the theoretical perspectives on development presented earlier, the approach to literacy and development as well as successful and unsuccessful adult literacy programmes taken in this study was based on the historical-structural perspective. Unlike human capital and modernisation theories of development, this perspective views the relationship between literacy and development, like successful and unsuccessful literacy programmes, as grounded " ... in a historical structural analysis of the processes of economic, social and political structures of society" (Torres, 1990, p. 40). In other words, the problems of literacy programmes in Third World societies, like Sierra Leone, are viewed as complex and deeply rooted not only in the socio-economic, political, historical and educational experiences of the nation concerned but also in the extent of the nation's participation in the capitalist world economy. Consequently, the analysis of the relationship between literacy eind development in Third World societies, like the factors cissociated with successful and unsuccessful literacy programmes in these societies, must involve a deeper cuialysis of a nation's social, economic, political, historical and educational features as well as the influence of international forces on the outcomes of programmes. Based on the review of literature on the relationship between literacy and development presented in this section, the historical structural perspective was considered to be of great potential importance for a more convincing analysis and understanding of the factors associated with successful and imsuccessful outcomes of adult literacy programmes in Third World societies, like Sierra Leone. The review of literature presented in this section v«ll conclude with an overview of literature on the role and nature of the state as well as the relationship between literacy and the labour market. Analysis of the nature and role of the state as well as the relationship between literacy and the labour market may be critical to ajiy understanding of the issues pertaining to  31 educational reform policies and practices in Third World societies, including the factors associated with the successful and unsuccessful outcomes of adult literacy programmes.  LiteracY and the State Probably because of the limited successes enjoyed by some Third World societies, particularly in terms of increased literacy rates among their populations, literacy work has now been widely viewed not so much as an educational issue but as cui issue of state or political commitment. In this sense, the work of literacy programmes could not be fully understood without some analysis of the educational role of the state which, in general, provides and controls literacy activities in Third World societies. As well, it is at the level of the state that decisions eire made about literacy policy and practice. In fact, in Third World societies generally, literacy programmes organised and implemented by agencies other than the state (churches, mosques, trade unions and commimity based groups) are relatively insignificant in quantitative terms of enrollment nimibers, and even these programmes would, in general, be shaped by state authority. As M'Bow (in Hamadache & Martin, 1986) points out. Third World "governments have a key role to play in a field where the establishment of objectives, the choice of strategies and the mobilisation of the nation's energies, of its material, financial and human resources to make literacy cin instrument for the achievement of the necessary social changes cire primciry essentials" (p. 22). It is largely because of this dominant role of the state in determining issues of educational policy and practice that researchers and adult educators would be normally expected to examine its nature and role. In general, explanations of the state's role in literacy involves some examination of the theories of the state, defined as "explanations of how political men and women interact individually and collectively" (Carnoy & Levin, 1985, p. 36). For instance, in peurticulcurly capitalist societies, the state is viewed as a consensual, collective representation of its members.  32 This "common good" or apolitical theory of the state relates to the modernisation and human capital perspectives of development and it postulates the state without an ideology of its own. Literacy work, like the state which provides and controls it, is viewed as a neutral endeavour in the sense that programmes would be presumed to be working in the general interest of all the citizens involved in them, particularly the learners. In other words, there is no attempt to analyze the p>olitical and economic context of these programmes since the programmes are not expected to question the social, political and economic structures in which they are embedded. For instcince, by viewing literacy as exclusively an educational issue and illiterate individuals as having "deficits" that need to be corrected or fixed in order to enable them to fit into mainstream society, most fimctional literacy programmes would be informed by the "common good" or apolitical theory of the state. Such programmes would generally focus on issues of production and productivity raising skills. This "common good" theory of the state and its role in literacy and schooling is at odds with the class-based perspectives of the state which view the state as an arena of conflict among different groups in society. This perspective suggests that there is the potential for both increases in social reproduction and legitimisation of the status quo as well as democratic growth (Carnoy & Levin, 1985). For instance, the state may be seen as a complex set of public institutions which the dominant classes in society seek to control or influence in order to advance their own agendcis. Although other classes would sometimes succeed in influencing the state (e.g. to extend trade union or student rights), their relative weakness puts them at a disadvantage. Thus state intervention in educational programmes, like adult literacy, tends towards strengthening the legitimacy of the dominant classes and towards sustaining the existing economic system. Literacy programmes, like education generally, become an important element in the legitimisation of social hegemony as well as extension of state or elite authority. Graff's (1987a) work suggests that, historically, this has been the role performed by literacy. It was used, in age  33 after age, to solidify the social hierarchy, empower elites, and ensure that people lower in the hierarchy accepted the values, norms cind beliefs of the elites, even when it was not in their selfinterest (or class interests) to do so. Today several Third World states, including particularly those that have opted for the selective literacy strategy, have continued to use literacy programmes to build support for the existing economic, social and political order (Mehran, 1992). In these societies, adult literacy programmes appear to have been co-opted by the state and employed as instruments of social legitimisation as well cis the extension of state authority. Yet the potential for democratic grov^h within the system means that literacy work could have "unintended consequences" beyond those anticipated by the state. As well, some Third World states have attempted to represent the interest of marginalised and poor groups in society. In countries like Nicaragua cuid Mozambique, for example, literacy programmes were designed to expand the capacities of marginalised and poor groups to be involved in the making of social, economic and political decisions affecting their lives. Yet such programmes have been few probably because of concerns, especially among state officials, of the unintended consequences of mass literacy. In general, government involvement in literacy, particularly in Third World societies, has been designed to reinforce existing social, political cUid economic order in the societies concerned (Freire, 1985). Thus in this study, analyzing the role of the state in literacy, particularly as it relates to the nature and structure of its educational reform policies and practices in the area of adult literacy, was considered critical. For instance, what is the nature euid role of the state in relation to education generally and literacy and adult education in particular? What is the nation's prevailing development ideology as advocated by the state? What is the nature of the relationship between literacy emd development? What is the nature of the state's relationship with industrialised societies or with the capitalist world economy? The answers to these and  34 related questions would provide the framework for analysis and discussion of the nature and role of the state in regard to literacy and adult education.  Literacy cmd Access to the Labour Market Ever since the laimching by Unesco of the Experimental World Literacy Programme (EWLP) in selected Third World societies and the sudden discovery of illiteracy in industrialised societies, the "literacy problem" has continued, in some ways, to focus on the issue of the economy, specifically, the cost of illiteracy as well as the relationship between literacy and access to the labour market. In industrialised societies, in particular, a number of studies have attempted to analyze the relationship between literacy or illiteracy and the economy. In general, these studies and literature have noted that increaisingly sophisticated technology was requiring an ever-increasing threshold of basic education among the productive population; an observation that continues to inform much of the discussion on literacy or illiteracy in industrialised societies. For instance, Thomas (1983) has pointed to national economic stagnation and decline as one consequence of an illiterate Canadian workforce. In addition, Harman (1987) notes that modern workplaces are "large, sophisticated, complex arenas no longer capable of sustaining themselves with word-of-mouth orientation and informal on-the-job training" (p. 22). He estimates that during the mid 198C)s, American businesses spent about $210 billion annually on employee training and education, including "a major and concerted effort to upgrade various aspects of literacy" (pp. 38-39). As well, Kozol's (1987) work attempts to quantify some of the macro-costs of illiteracy and semi-literacy to the United States by indicating the ways by which literacy and illiteracy may be intertwined with the nation's economy. But the debate on the relationship between literacy or illiteracy and a nation's economy has not been confined to industrialised societies alone. Fisher (1982) presents a comparative  35 analysis of societies with higher illiteracy rates (i.e., higher than 66%) with those with higher literacy rates (i.e., less than 3 4 % illiterates). He concludes that: The indicators examined ... point in the same direction; the 'have nots' in terms of literacy are also worse off in terms of life expectancy, infant mortality, educational provision, communications, nutrition, health services, food production and income: their industry is less developed, their agriculture is less productive. But this is only part of the tragic reality, for within these countries with high illiteracy rates where neeirly everyone is deprived: the illiterate is even worse off than his compatriots; his living conditions are worse, and his life is one of drudgery (p. 161). While some of these studies have acknowledged the correlation between worker literacy level and his or her job performance, there are still others which suggest that correlation may not be dependent on labour market conditions per se nor is it entirely restricted to the literacy backgroimd of workers. In fact, Graff (1987a) makes the point that, historically, literacy had no significant relationship with employment. Rather, literacy programmes stressed behaviours and attitudes that were viewed as appropriate to good citizenship and moral behaviour, largely those perceived by the elites in society. Other studies have also offered some thought-provoking views on the role of literacy in the labour market. Levine's (1986) study suggests that some employers screen and test job applicants for literacy which, he admits, put semi-literate emd illiterate applicants at a distinct disadvantage. However, his study also foimd that for certain employees, "job design appears to have been deliberately premised on a worker without reading and vtnriting competencies" (p. 144). He noted that on the shop floor, "reading and writing constituted minuscule aspects of... those semi-skilled and unskilled job categories located towctrds the bottom of each plant-wide hierarchy."  Such a situation, the study suggested, "did not square with the considerable  importance the recruitment policies of large employers attach to the selection of a literate workforce" (p. 136). In an effort to help us understood the relationship between literacy and access to the labour meirket, Levine's (1986) study distinguished between "job literacy" and "employment  36 literacy". The former, he indicated, concerned a "set of job tasks that require the worker to read cind write" and did not appear to have been universal in the industries he studied. The latter he defined as "the employers perceived need to document aspects of the relations that exist between themselves, employees, trade imions and the state" (p. 139) and is therefore required of every worker whether or not he/she uses "job literacy" in performing his/her tasks. The study suggests that, beyond the actual need for job or employment reading and writing, literacy was used by employers as a proxy indicator for other attitudes and behaviours that they viewed positively. The literates had successful records at school and so they were "trainable". Heir man (1987) makes the same point. Literacy alone was not what employers sought in appliccints; "in so far as gaining access to work is concerned, it appears that certification is more important than literacy" (pp. 33-34). In this coimection, he points to the escalation of stated prerequisites for given jobs which go far beyond the skills actually required and which place such jobs further and further from the reach of the semi-literate and illiterate. "The supply of candidates with higher levels of formal schooling has so increased that employers have raised the ante .... supply has influenced demand" (p. 54). What these studies and literature suggest is that the literacy required by employers differs among occupation and types of firms; however, particularly in less skilled occupations, literacy and schooling backgroimds may not be as significant as other attributes. There are still other studies and literature that have continued to question past assumptions about the role of literacy in the labour market. Carnoy (1980), for example, has observed that the labour market is segmented into primairy (i.e., white-collar, managerial and professional workers) and secondary sectors (i.e., blue-collar labour and agricultural workers). He suggests that workers caimot freely move between the two "segments". Thus literacy and schooling may improve access to jobs only in a limited sense (i.e., within each segment). In other words, it would appear likely that this segmented nature of the labour market (and the  37 accompcuiying inadequacy of occupational opportimities it generates) is not the result of illiterates or other secondary sector employees lacking "deficits". Rather, the problem may relate to the systematic structural inequalities inherent in the entire social, economic and political system (Bock & Papagiarmis, 1983). If one accepts this argument, as this researcher does, then it is imlikely that the acquisition of literacy skills by secondary sector employees, particularly those in Third World societies, would remedy the situation. In fact, since the literacy taught in most Third World adult literacy programmes is generally perceived as inferior education (in comparison to schooling), it is even likely that such programmes would only reinforce the segmented nature of the labour market in these societies. The work by King (1980) is particularly relevant for Third World societies. He notes that, in general, linkages between educational institutions and employment agencies are non-existent. In addition to the segmented nature of the labour market in these societies. King suggests that literacy may after all not be viewed as absolutely necessary for employment in the relatively large and viable informal urban and rural sectors of the economies in these societies. It is perhaps this sector, the study notes, that has been vndely neglected in discussions on the relationship between literacy and employment in Third World societies. In Sierra Leone, like elsewhere in Africa, adult literacy work, at least in the thinking of  38 state officials, agency/organization representatives and even literacy instructors, would normally be designed for learners engaged in informal sector economic activities as well as secondary sector employment. It is thus posited in this study that, in some ways, the success of these programmes would depend on the perceptions of these groups regarding the usefulness of literacy skills in their daily occupational activities. If, in general, they viewed the acquisition of literacy skills as critical to their daily survival or their political, social cuid economic wellbeing, they would more likely be willing to participate in these programmes. Alternately, it was assumed that the reverse would occur if literacy skills were viewed as irrelevant. Thus a key issue that would be examined in this study relates to the structure and performance of the nation's employment market, in particular; the perception of respondents regarding the relationship between literacy skills and access to the labour market. This brings to an end the discussion on the overview of literature on the relationship between literacy and development. The next section presents a review of literature on successful cuid unsuccessful literacy programmes. It is followed by the conceptual framework developed for the study.  Successful and Unsuccessful Adult Literacy Programmes in Third World Societies; Theoretical Interpretations When the concepts of "success" and "failure"  are used in studies on adult literacy  programmes generally, they inevitably convey a variety of images and explanations depending on: (i) the socio-cultural and political contexts in which programmes cire embedded; (ii) the imderlying ideology of development and its relationship with literacy; (iii) the nature and character of the programmes themselves and; (iv) the larger framework of purposes and objectives of programmes (Fingeret, 1990; Charnley & Jones, 1979). These studies have generally acknowledged that multiple definitions or measures of "success" and "failure" exist  39 based on the perceptions of the different groups of stakeholders associated with literacy and adult education. For instance, government officials eind agency/organization representatives may be more inclined to define "success" and "failure" in terms of the larger framework of their imderstanding of the general purposes, intended outcomes and objectives of programmes. Instructors would generally define both concepts in terms of their ability to help adult learners learn, in other words; help learner's achieve the specific objectives they had set for themselves prior to their registration for the course and these may be cognitive, attitudinal or social. As well, adult learners may define "success" and "failure" in terms of the acquisition of new skills as well as their ability to utilize such skills in a variety of contexts, including their environments (Fingeret, 1990). Consequently, in view of the relative nature of definitions of "success" and "failure" in literacy and adult education literature, this study did not seek to provide universal definitions of "success" and "failure"; nor was the researcher attempting to analyze Sierra Leone's educational reform policies and practices with regard to adult literacy against his own criteria of factors associated with "success" and "failure". As noted in Chapter One of this study, the issue of successful and unsuccessful outcomes of adult literacy programmes would be judged by the nimibers of illiterate adults believed to have acquired literacy skills as reported in official statistics compiled by the Ministry of Education. A comparison with the target estimates outlined in the nation's educational reform documents on adult literacy would help put the statistical data into perspective. As well, the eissumption was made that the successful and unsuccessful outcomes of adult literacy programmes operating within the Sierra Leone context could not be understood separately from: (i) the nation's social historical conditions or features; (ii) the influence of international forces; (iii) the organizational and administrative contexts of programmes; (iv) lecirner and instructor circumstances as well as their attitudes towards literacy  40 and illiteracy; (v) the general educational environments of programmes and; (vi) the nature of interaction between instructors and adult learners in the instructional and learning processes. An extensive overview of the literacy literature indicates that three analytic categories of interrelated factors are generally considered critical to the successful or imsuccessful outcomes of adult literacy programmes in Third World contexts. These have been labelled as macro-level factors, meso-level factors and micro-level factors. In the context of this study macrolevel factors are threefold. Firstly, they relate to historical-structural features of a society; those that pertain to the political, socio-economic, historical and traditional conditions governing the society and which have the ability to enable or constrain literacy efforts. Secondly, such factors relate to the influence of international factors on adult literacy activities. As well, macro-level factors pertain to the issue of political or state commitment to adult literacy which could be articulated  in several ways, including the formulation  and  implementation of literacy policy. (Lind, 1986, 1988; Unsicker, 1987; Bhola, 1982, 1984a; Hamadache & Martin, 1986; Noor, 1982; Ryan, 1985a; Mundy, 1993). Meso-level factors are described as "... those that determine the administrative implementation of the policy-related factors ..." (Lind, 1988; p. 22); in the case of this study, the organisational, administrative and technical support available to agencies/organisations and programmes across the country. Both macro-level and meso-level factors are also referred to as the "external" features associated with the successful or imsuccessful outcomes of adult literacy programmes in the sense that they lie outside the immediate province of these programmes and yet exert considerable influence on the outcomes of these programmes. Micro-level factors are of two types. Firstly, they relate to educational issues; issues that pertain to the curriculum, instruction and learning in literacy programmes (Lind, 1988). As well, micro-level factors relate to a broad array of individual-level attributes and circumstances of illiterates and, in some cases, even instructors. Such attributes and circumstances may involve concerns about families, jobs, economic survival as well as  41 personal security. They may also pertain to personal motivation for literacy, individual attitudes and perceptions towards literacy and illiteracy as well as family structure cind characteristics (Youngman, 1990; Minnis, 1993). While cautioning that the specifics could vary among countries and that "each coimtry must devise a programme that takes account of its own special circumstances" (Hamadache & Martin, 1986: p. 33), the literature emphasises the importance of integrating elements of factors within and among all three analytic categories in order to enhance the prospects for the successful outcomes of adult literacy programmes. Since the presentation and analysis of data for this study would be framed aroimd these three cmalytic categories, the Chapter shall examine each of them.  Macro-Level Factors Macro-level factors associated with successful or imsuccessful outcomes of adult literacy programmes are, in general, not products of careful research. Rather, they emerge primarily from experience (i.e., opinion-based). As mentioned in the preceding paragraph, such factors are of three types, namely; social-historical features of a society; international forces; and state or political commitment. In Third World societies generally, the influence of social-historical features, like socio-economic, political, traditional eind historical conditions of a society as well as international forces, like external aid, on the outcomes of literacy programmes have been judged as considerable. In other words, while these factors do not directly determine literacy policy, they have the potential to either enable or constrain the successful implementation of these polices, say, in terms of the resources likely to be available, the strength of state commitment or even recruitment efforts. At the same time, such broad social and historical conditions of a society (i.e., its social, political, historical, economic and traditional features) as well as the influence of international forces on that society may have some direct bearing on the  42 personal circumstemces and attributes of illiterates, and this, in turn, may influence their perceptions of, and participation in, literacy activities. Consequently, such factors constitute a major focus for analysis in a study like this one. In Third World societies, like Mozambique, Tanzania and Nicaragua, where literacy work has been judged successful, the issue of state or political commitment has been considered critical (Bhola, 1984a). As WBov/ (quoted in ICAE, 1979) puts it: ... Victory over illiteracy can only come from the political resolve of the country concerned. There is clear evidence that whenever a government has tackled the problem because it was a precondition of other social changes, the results have been favourable (p. 7). The articulation of state or political commitment in support of adult literacy is generally borne out of the utterances of state officials and, at the same time, it may be contained in relevant policy documents and publications. State or political commitment to literacy must, however, not be restricted to mere rhetorical utterances of state officials on the relevance of combatting mass adult illiteracy or the formulation of comprehensive literacy policies. Rather, a more reliable measure of state commitment is in the extent to which it is translated into practical terms at the programme level. State literacy policies, for instance, must be accompanied by efforts towards transformation of other social, economic and political structures of society in order to reward the acquisition of literacy skills. As well, the articulation of state commitment must be reflected in, among others, the establishment of technical and administrative agencies for literacy promotion; measures designed to promote recruitment efforts, the allocation of government education resources to literacy efforts as well as the design and establishment of postliteracy programmes for continuity in the education of new literates. Thus in this study, the perceived influence of these macro-level factors on adult literacy activities would be closely examined and einalyzed. For example, how have social, historical and international forces influenced literacy activities? What is the nature and character of the  43 literacy policies formulated and implemented since the 1970s? In what ways have the priorities attached to literacy and adult education been reflected in the allocation of state education resources by the Ministry of Education? In what ways have the measures designed to promote recruitment efforts influenced participation in adult literacy activities? These and related questions would provide the framework for analysis of the enabling or constraining influence of macro-level factors on the outcomes of adult literacy programmes.  Meso-Level Factors Meso-level factors refer to those "... that determine the administrative implementation of the policy-related factors ..." (Lind, 1988; p. 21). In other words, these factors relate to organisational, administrative and technical issues involved in adult literacy work and, in this study, they were specifically viewed as: (i) the plarming models for literacy adopted by the agencies/organisations, including the Ministry of Education; (ii) general administrative strategies for adult literacy programmes and; (iii) the issue of co-ordination and collaboration of agencies/organisations and programmes. Three categories of agencies/organisations are generally involved in the implementation and promotion of adult literacy programmes in Third World countries, namely; governmental (e.g. Ministries),  quasi-governmental  (e.g. imiversities  and  pcirastatal  agencies)  and  nongovernmental.(e.g. churches and mosques) organisations and agencies (Townsend Coles, 1977). This multiplicity of agencies/organisations and, by implication, programmes in these societies has led to increasing calls for co-operation and co-ordination for successful literacy work. Co-operation, involves the participation of agencies, like the mass media, not directly involved in providing literacy but whose support may be critical for positive results (ICAE, 1979; Noor, 1982; Ryem, 1985a). It also means the involvement of learners or their representatives in the plarming eind organization of literacy programmes (Jurmo, 1989; Lind, 1988). As is the case  44 in India, co-operation has also been used to refer to the availability of professional and institutional support (from, say, the university and other research institutions) for adult literacy work, particularly in such critical areas as material and curriculum development, staff training and research. In addition to co-operation with other agencies that may not be directly involved in providing adult literacy, co-ordination and collaboration among literacy providers and their programmes are also considered critical to successful literacy work. In other words, in Third World states where literacy work has been judged successful, the significance of some form of co-ordinating mechanisms has been repeatedly emphasised. As Hmayounpour (1975) put it: The principal determinant of the success of a literacy programme whether mass or selective in scope, is its capacity to mobilize the required resoiirces and implement effective co-ordination and control mechanisms. Questions of method, while important, are secondary to organisational requirements. This lesson suggests that much more attention needs to be paid to developing and maintaining effective organisational mechanisms (p. 17). ICAE (1979) regards co-ordination as critical to the success or failure of adult literacy programmes because it "... lies at the heart of literacy programs ..." and, as well, provides an opportunity for a "... clear delineation of roles and responsibilities" without which "administrative mix-ups are inevitable and may even mean failure for a literacy program" (p. 17). The literature identifies two categories of co-ordinating mechanisms for adult literacy work in Third World countries. On the one hand are countries, like Mali and Jamaica with, a single national semi-autonomous co-ordinating mechemism that has "... a clear mandate for its operation, status within government, and a budget sufficient to carry out co-ordination ..." (ICAE, 1979, p. 18). Along with the single co-ordinating body, however, sub-committees exist charged with the responsibility to provide direct service to literacy at regional and local levels. This suggests a recognition for some form of flexible educational infrastructure that encourages participation as well as decentralisation and delegation of authority. The second form of coordination mechanism is fovmd in coimtries that"... have recognised that a mutual development  45 and sharing of resources by all educational sub sectors is vital for systematic national growth" (Noor, 1982, p. 170. hi such countries, National Ministries of Education have assumed direct responsibility for the co-ordination and administration of all educational activities, including literacy and adult education. There are, however, other coimtries that, for a variety of reasons, have cissigned the task of co-ordination and administration to Ministries besides National Ministries of Education. Among such coimtries, the author includes Bolivia, Brazil, Columbia, Ghana, Haiti, Indonesia, Libya and Peru. In such cases, however, the Ministries would normally continue to maintain regular contacts with National Ministries of Education, primarily to acquire technical assistance (say in the form of curriculum development) and quite often, the author adds, there are in place inter ministerial steering and co-ordinating committees to ensure some adequate networking at the highest level of decision-making.  Micro-Level Factors As noted earlier, micro-level factors, as used in this study were of two types. Firstly, they relate to individual-level attributes cuid circumstances and the extent to which they are viewed as enabling or constraining literacy activities, particuleirly in regard to recruitment cind participation efforts. Such attributes cind circvunstances would relate to family situations, jobs, issues of economic survival as well as personal security. They may also pertain to issues of personal motivation for literacy, individual attitudes and perceptions about literacy or even family cheiracteristics. While they are described as individual-related, such attributes and circumstances cire clearly derived from the broad social and historical features or conditions prevailing in a society (Youngman, 1990; Mirmis, 1993). Micro-level factors were also viewed as the educational features of adult literacy programmes, specifically; curriculum, instructional and learning issues. The significance of these educational features stems, in part, from the fact that, together, they constitute the actual tools designed to help learners acquire the levels of  46 literacy skills set out in policy documents. In other words, these features are associated with issues that affect the cognitive outcomes of adult literacy programmes, specifically those that directly or indirectly affect learning in adult literacy classes. The literacy literature identifies several micro-level educational factors associated with the successful outcomes of adult literacy work. These are described as instructional-learning methods and processes; curriculimi content and implementation; availability and appropriateness of instructional-learning resources; instructor qualification and training; timing and duration of classes; transport facilities (peirticularly in urban centres); the issue of language of instruction cind learning as well as appropriateness of physical facilities or instructional-learning environment.  Conceptual Framework The conceptual framework underlying this study revolves around two central ideas. Firstly, the existence of considerable interaction both within and among the three analytic categories of factors that are associated with the successful and unsuccessful outcomes of literacy programmes. In other words, the three analytic categories of factors must be examined in relation, rather than in isolation, to each other. Secondly, literacy work is viewed not as an end in itself but as a development strategy; specifically, as a means to a comprehensive set of ends; economic, social-structural, and political (Bhola, 1984a). Figure 1 depicts a model showing the three analytic categories of factors associated with the successful and unsuccessful outcomes of adult literacy programmes in Third World societies and the perceived relationship that the successful outcomes of these programmes might have on the development process in these societies. The model is informed by the theoretical interpretations of successful and imsuccessful literacy programmes presented in the preceding  Fig. 1 A Model Depleting Three Interactive Analytic Categories of Factors associated with the Successful and Unsuccessful Outcomes of Adult Literacy Programmes In Third World Societies.  External features of Adult Literacy Programmes: largely relate to issues of "Structure" and "Organization"  Internal features of Adult Literacy Programmes: largely relate to issues of "Interaction"  Socialhistorical conditions, international forces and issues of state policy Organizational, administrative and technical support  Educational issues as well as individual-level attributes and circumstances  Denotes factor interaction Associated with Influences participation in  -p.  48 segment of the section above. Since Third World adult literacy programmes are generally designed with some social, economic and political orientation in mind, the model presupposes that literacy work must be accompanied by transformation of other structures of society (like the labour market as well as other social, political and economic institutions) in order to enable new literates to be involved in the making of social, political and economic decisions affecting their lives which, in turn, would, hopefully, promote social economic and political development. This perspective has been generally supported in Third World literacy literature (Easton, 1989). Easton's work suggest that the failure of Third World adult literacy programmes was, in general, a reflection among adult illiterates in these societies about the very limited utility of literacy skills in their environments. Consequently: Strategies for better local accvunulation and reinvestment of economic surplusessuch as the institution of locally and democratically managed marketing and credit structxires-can ... create radically new conditions for the acquisition and uses of literacy because they multiply the number and importance of transactions to be managed and create new structures of accoimtability (p. 440). This is the point emphasised in the conceptual framework developed for the study. Unless there are genuine attempts by Third World governments and educators to transform those social structures that promote and perpetuate inequalities as well as disempower socially subordinate groups (who are usually the target groups for these classes) adult literacy classes eure less likely to have large scale or durable success. Thus in spite of the narrow quantitative definition of "success" and "failure" adopted in this study, life after the successful completion of literacy tests and exams was viewed as equally critical cis new literates encounter and successfully complete literacy related tasks in their lives as well as in their environments. The acquisition of literacy skills then becomes the initial step in the educational hierarchy as, ideally, new literates would be able to continue their schooling; acquire jobs and/or promotions; engage in some income generation projects or some other types of social, economic or political activity of their preference. Literacy skills axe, in essence,  49 perceived to have some influence on the: (i) personal achievement of new literates (i.e., increase in confidence associated with literacy or improvement in self-reliant practices); (ii) affective social achievement (i.e., improved family life and relationship; (iii) socio-economic achievement (i.e., improved civic participation or getting a better job) and; (iv) enactive achievement (i.e., the application of literacy skills to a wide range of development related activities (Charnley & Jones, pp. 176-177). On the left of the model are the three analytic categories of factors that are collectively associated with the successful and imsuccessful outcomes of adult literacy programmes in Third World societies. The three analytic categories are labelled ets macro-level, meso-level eind microlevel factors. As used in this study. Macro-level factors are viewed eis the enabling or constraining influences of social historical structures (i.e., social, economic, political, historical and traditional features or conditions of a society) and international forces on adult literacy activities. As well, such factors related to the issue of state or political commitment; in particular the allocation of state education financial resources as well as the kinds of measures designed to promote recruitment efforts. Meso-level factors are viewed as threefold, namely; literacy plarming; administration of programmes CLS well as co-ordination and collaboration of programmes. Micro-level factors refer to both educational features of programmes (i.e., curriculum, instructional and learning issues) as well as a broad array of individual-level attributes and circumstances as manifested by illiterates and, to some extent, literacy instructors; attributes and circumstances that are likely to influence their perceptions of, and participation in, adult literacy activities. From this overview of selected literature on the factors associated v^th the successful or unsuccessful outcomes of literacy programmes and the conceptual framework imderlying this study, it becomes clearly evident that in societies of the Third World where literacy work has been judged as successful, focussing on a single set of factors does not adequately explain the  50 complex and intercoimected nature of the literacy process itself. Consequently, instead of a single factor or set of factors, there are several guiding principles which in their "orchestration" or "contribution" explain the successful or unsuccessful outcomes (ICAE, 1979). This is the perspective taken in this study which is designed to provide some insights and understanding into the factors associated with the successful and unsuccessful outcomes of adult literacy programmes operating vnthin the Sierra Leone context. As noted in the overview of literature, one macro-level factor associated with the successful or unsuccessful outcomes of literacy work in societies of the Third World relates to the perceived impact of historical structures; those conditions (like political, economic, social, historical forces) that have shaped (and continue to shape) the society in question as well as its literacy activities. What this implies is that although these historical structures do not directly determine literacy policy, they have the ability to influence policy, say, in terms of the strength of state or political commitment; recruitment efforts as well as the availability of resources for literacy efforts. In short, the larger social-historical context of a society comes to bear on the outcomes of the literacy effort. Consequently, this study shall describe and analyze the historical structures of Sierra Leone society in an effort to put literacy work into context. In societies of the Third World, in general, the economic crisis, size of the foreign debt and changes in the capitalist world economy have combined to reduce education spending. With education spending shrinking and formal schooling expanding, literacy and adult education programmes which serve groups with hardly any political clout are sometimes condemned to see their resource capacity and quality reduced, which automatically leads to the issue of state or political commitment. The driving force for adult literacy in Third World societies, as noted earlier, comes primarily from the state. Besides the fact that the state plays a dominant and overwhelming role in educational policy-making, including adult literacy, it is also at the level of the state that  51 decisions are made about policy implementation, including the role that would be assigned to other agencies/organisations in literacy. It is the state that is responsible for the design and establishment of postliteracy programmes in order to guarantee new literates the opportimity to continue their learning. It is the state (through its leaders) that provides both the means and incentives for participation in adult literacy activities. As well, in several countries, the works of both quasi-governmental and nongovernmental orgcuiisations are occasionally subsidised with the resources of the state. In some cases, like in Mexico, Tanzania and Nicaragua, the state has not only provided technical and administrative agencies for adult literacy activities but it has also offered incentives and rewards (moral, political, material and economic) for recruitment in literacy activities. Usually, the state heis very clear objectives which literacy work is expected to serve. Such objectives may be ideological and/or economic cuid could include areas like nation-building and national unity, empowerment of individuals, social and economic development as well as legitimisation of the regime in control. Thus in this study, the issue of state commitment is central, particularly with regard to the allocation of government education financial resources as well as the creation and maintenance of a literate sustaining environment usually through the establishment of programmes for postliteracy. Another element of state commitment that is examined and analyzed in this study relates to the measures designed to promote recruitment efforts among instructor and adult learners; sometimes known as motivation for literacy. It has already been noted that it is the state that provides the motivation for literacy through incentives and rewards for recruitment and successful completion in adult literacy activities. This issue of motivation at the levels of the learners, communities and even the government has been considered central to Third World adult literacy efforts. King (1978) explains it in this way: Because of the nature of the clientele the touchstone of most literacy analysis is motivation examining the nature of the constraint upon participation in literacy classes, the reasons for dropping out so soon, the resistance of particular groups such as women ... The issue is not just the individual motivation, but the  52 motivation of the government or agency concerned. Indeed the two are intimately coimected, since it is the appeirent lack of individual motivation for literacy that impels literacy experts to concentrate on motivation or commitment on the national level. Outside of the context of an ongoing national campaign, it is undeniable that literacy is the one level of education in the Third World where people are not clamouring for greater access or more provision (p. ii). It is therefore not surprising that many Third World governments and literacy agencies/ organisations have continued to emphasize the need to design specific measures to promote recruitment efforts, particularly among adult leeurners. In several societies of the Third World, literacy has been generally perceived by the state, agencies/organisations and, in some cases, even individuals, as one of the several factors that would improve socio-economic and political conditions and support the development of htmicm and material resources. Consequently, in countries where a skilled and literate labour force has been considered critical, adult literacy programmes have been accompanied by the introduction of irmovations and improvements in agriculture and industrial production. In Nicaragua and Tanzania, for example, remarkable success in literacy work is said to have been achieved by linking literacy with concrete programmes for socio-economic and political change (Freebody & Welch 1993). In this sense, literacy work was perceived as playing a role in social and economic organization and modernisation. The assumption was made that illiterates would be motivated by the potential inherent in literacy and so, they would see some need for acquiring literacy skills. However, in as much eis literacy acts to transform socio-economic conditions, it may also be influenced by these conditions. According to Oxenham (1980) "it may be the case that the greater the degree of illiteracy in a society, the less will be the concern of the illiterate about being illiterate" (p. 6). He points out that although literacy is perceived as a means to a comprehensive set of ends: If the ends are not perceived or being perceived, are not of much importance to the perceiver, then there is neither ground nor motivation to acquire the means to them. It wovJd follow then that any pressure to promote literacy would usually accompauiy some larger purpose: literacy would be for something (Oxenham, 1980, p. 6).  53 The point which follows from this is that larger socio-economic and political reforms are critical to the successful outcomes of adult literacy programmes. But while this may be so, it has not always been clear that such reforms alone will necessarily provide the needed motivation for literacy. For instcuice, in many Third World countries, there is often a prevalence of certain countervalues brought about by the almost overnight material and financial successes of "prosperous illiterates" whose achievements challenge education and literacy as assets. And as Oxenham (1980) points out; "it is patently possible for societies of himters, gatherers, subsistence cultivators, nomadic cattle herders, and even traders as in the case of the Kikuyu of Kenya and the market mammies of West Africa, to get along to their own satisfaction without being able to read and write at all" (p. 7). And offering such people the opportunity to read and write, Oxenham continues, does not necesseurily mean that all of them will jump upon the literacy bandwagon, given the fact that there may be a general indifference to literacy or as Fingeret (1983) put it, illiterates may be able and willing to trade their skills for literacy. It is, consequently, in this context that some analysis of the measures designed to promote recruitment efforts has been viewed as critical in this study. How have these measures influenced recruitment efforts? What kinds of constraints are perceived to have been placed on recruitment efforts? hi the review of liter at vire, meso-level factors were described as those that relate to good plaiming, administration and co-ordination of adult literacy programmes. Such activities must involve some participation of learners, commimity leaders and agencies, like the mass media, that may not be directly involved in literacy but whose participation may be critical to the success of programmes. In some coimtries of the Third World, particularly those that have launched mass campaigns, it is the state, as implementer of literacy policy, that establishes administrative and educational agencies to promote adult literacy. Yet other states, especially those that have opted for the selective literacy strategy, have allowed for the increased involvement of other agencies/organisations (besides government Ministries) in adult literacy  54 activities although ultimate authority in the field still continues to reside with the state itself. But the involvement of these 'other' agencies/organisations has quite often led to a proliferation of programmes; thereby raising concerns about the need for co-ordination and collaboration among agencies/organisations cind programmes. Thus in this study, the works of state and other agencies/organisations responsible for literacy plaiming, administration cind co-ordination would be closely examined in order to determine the extent of their perceived effectiveness and efficiency cus well as the perceived impact of their activities on the outcomes of adult literacy programmes in the country. The Ccise has been made that the successful outcomes of adult literacy work depends, in part, on the extent to which curriculum, instructional and learning issues are responsive to national and local conditions. A number of studies and literature have emphasized the importance of a variety of micro-level educational issues like; (i) the importance of starting instruction and learning from the needs of adult learners; (ii) the need to make the curriculum as concrete as possible using resources of practical relevance to learners; (iii) the availability and appropriateness of instructional-learning resources, like blackboards, pencils, pens, textbooks. Teachers' Guides as well as other forms of instructional and learning aids; (iv) instructional and learning methods and processes that are conducive with adult education principles; (v) suitability of venues available for classes; (vi) hours and days classes are convened as well as programme duration; and (vii) an acceptable language for instruction, learning and preparation of literacy resources (ICAE, 1979; Noor, 1982; Cairns, 1982). In this study, analysis of micro-level educational issues would focus on some of these issues, as perceived by each of the four groups of respondents, in particulcir; the availability of a national adult literacy curriculum and the extent of its implementation across programmes in the country; the issue of the physical and material conditions of adult literacy classes; the issue of instructional-learning resources; the issue of instructional-learning methods and processes; the issue of instructor  55 training and qualification as well as timing (and duration) of literacy programmes. Ryan (1980) suggests that the timing and duration of programmes constitute major problems in Third World literacy programmes. The learning opportunities offered in literacy courses are limited by time...Many adults require more time to achieve literacy than classes provide. On the other hand, increasing the duration of courses by dividing them into stages has usually had the effect of increasing drop-out (p. 63). The choice of English as the language of literacy is viewed as problematic in this study given that some studies cuid literature have shown that instruction and learning in the mother tongue is critical in the acquisition of literacy skills. As Lind (1988) put it; "... the complicated learning tasks involved in adult literacy acquisition in a non literate society obviously increases if the mediiun of literacy teaching is a second language" (p. 24). In other words, it is now widely acknowledged that literacy classes are more likely to succeed when the medium of instruction is the mother tongue as "the use of the vernacular creates interests in learning, contributes to lower drop out rates, and instills pride in traditional culture and oral literature as has been foimd in programmes in Mali, Nigeria, Peru ..." (ICAE, 1979, p. 62). In spite of this acknowledgement however, Third World societies, like Sierra Leone, have experienced difficulty in the adoption of mother tongue literacy largely because of the multiplicity of languages along with the expenses that are likely to accompany such a practice. As Baucom (1978) puts it: First of all, it can be a very expensive proposition ... Some coimtries may have ten, twelve, fourteen or more different spoken dialects or languages. The cost of writing books, training teachers and conducting literacy programmes in each of these languages can be overwhelming ... It is doubtful if groups of limited size will ever be able to support a reading literature. As a result, all reading materials will have to be subsidised perpetually or become the property of an elite ... Another drawback ... is that the people themselves might display resistance to learning literacy in the home language. If there is a widely used standard language, it may well be that this is the language the people want to learn to read (p. 40).  56 Hamadache euid Martin (1986) echo similar sentiments. Illiterates may be imwilling to acquire literacy in the mother tongue: because of the prestige of the official language, which is the language of the political, administrative and legal authorities and the medium used in formal schooling. In addition, there are both practical reasons (access to employment, administrative operations, etc.) and cultural reasons (access to the press and the literature available) (p. 80). Clearly because of these problems associated with literacy instruction and learning in the mother tongue, Ryan (1980) suggests that: For pedagogical reasons, it may be best to begin with the mother tongue ... or more accurately with a language which the learner commands fluently ... but this best choice will often prove a practical impossibility or, if possible, may lead to a dead end if there are no opportunities and incentives to regularly read and write in the mother tongue. The practical implication ... is that many learners will be seeking to achieve literacy in languages which they do not command fluently. Thus, the literacy class is going to be engaged in two district forms of instruction: a second language learning and literacy training (p. 67). Thus in this study, the perceived impact, on adult literacy programmes, of instruction and learning in a second language is examined. Sierra Leone is a multilingual society and although English is the official language, it is spoken by only about 2 0 % of Sierra Leonecms. The nation is a predominantly non-literate society cuid it may not be easy to teach this widely unknown language to illiterates. In addition, in Third World societies generally, recruitment in literacy programmes, unlike schooling, is largely considered voluntary which raises the issue of the importance of timing and duration of classes. In Sierra Leone, for example, the substantial majority of illiterate adults (who constitute about 80% of the total population) would normally be engaged in rural and urban informal economic activities. Unless classes are scheduled with the nature of these activities in mind, there are bound to be serious problems with recruitment efforts. Also, about 80% of the nation's population is muslim which suggests that religious commitments, particularly during the holy month of Ramadam when moslems cire expected to go without food and water throughout  57 the day, may have serious implications for class attendance, especially for potential adult learners.  Concluding SummarY This Chapter has presented an overview of selected literature on the relationship between literacy and development as well as the factors associated with successful and imsuccessful outcomes of literacy programmes in Third world societies. Human capital cind modernisation theories of development were criticised for stripping literacy work of the context in which it is embedded. By viewing literacy work as basically an educational problem, these perspectives, it was argued, may be limited in terms of their explanatory power of both the relationship between literacy and development sis well as the factors associated with successful and unsuccessful outcomes. Consequently, an offshoot of dependency theory; specifically the historical structural perspective, was used in framing this study. This perspective suggests that Third World imderdevelopment, like the factors associated with successful and unsuccessful literacy programmes, is a reflection of both international and national factors. Literacy work, according to this perspective, is viewed not as a simple educational problem but as a complex process that is deeply rooted in the social and historical structures of a society as well as in international forces. Based on EUI extensive review of the literature on successful and unsuccessful literacy programmes from this perspective, a conceptual framework depicting three analytic categories of factors was developed. These were described as macro-level, meso-level and micro-level factors. Macro-level factors were viewed as threefold, namely; social and historical features or conditions of a society; international forces as well as issues of state or political commitment. Meso-level factors pertained to issues related to adult literacy plaiming; administrative strategies for programmes as well as issues relating to co-  58 operation, co-ordination and collaboration among agencies/organisations and programmes. Micro-level factors referred to both the educational features of programmes (i.e., curriculum, instructional and learning issues) as well as broad array of individuallevel attributes as well as circtunstances of illiterates cmd, to some extent, even instructors; attributes and circumstances that were likely to influence their perceptions of, and participation in, adult literacy activities.  The case was made that the three analytic categories must be examined in relation to, rather than in isolation of, each other. As well, while the study defined "success" and "failure" in quantitative terms (i.e., successful completion of literacy courses by adult learners through an exam system), the assiunption was made that life after the successful completion of literacy tests cmd exams was viewed cis equally critical as new literates encountered and successfully completed literacy-related transactions in their lives as well as in their environments. In analyzing Third World education systems, Sadler (quoted in Crossley and Vulliany, 1984) observes that "... we should not forget that the things outside the schools matter even more than the things inside the schools, and govern and interpret the things outside ..." (p. 196). In this study, 'the things outside' were viewed as social, historical, international as well as organisational and administrative factors (i.e., macro-level and meso-level factors) and 'the things inside' pertained to educational issues (i.e., micro-level factors) as well as individual-level attributes and circumstances of the nation's illiterate adults and, to some extent, literacy instructors as well. By combining both 'things', this study sought to bridge the gap between national studies and literature that have focussed on curriculum, instructional and learning issues and those that have stressed either organisational or social and historical concerns. These issues are further examined in the reseeirch design which follows in the next Chapter.  59 CHAPTER 3: RESEARCH METHODOLOGY AND PROCEDURES General Research Orientation or Approach Some educational researchers have suggested that the strategy employed in any piece of scholarly work must, in part, grow from the larger theoretical and conceptual framework which organizes how the particular phenomenon under investigation is viewed. The framework, in turn, is derived from the researcher's assumptions about the nature of knowledge itself; research purpose and objectives; the kinds of questions that would be cinswered; beliefs about the relationship between the researcher and the issue imder investigation as well as the appropriateness of the procedures employed in data collection, analysis and interpretation (Yin, 1994; Feagin, et al., 1991; Merriam 1988; 1989; Nelson et al., 1992). The research orientation employed in this study was Icirgely derived from the propositions referred to above. From the onset, the study was premised on a research strategy that focussed on the analysis of educational reform policies and practices in the context of a Third World society and while "... the logic of this type of research derives from the world view of qualitative research" (Merriam, 1988, p. 16), this study embraced both qualitative and quantitative data gathering methods. Studies that embrace such multimethod strategies have been viewed as pertinent in research efforts designed to analyze the extent to which a discrepancy existed between Third World educational policies and the practices of schooling in particular contexts (Crossley & Vulliamy, 1984; Walker, 1985; Maliyamkono, 1980). The use of qualitative research strategies have been viewed as rare among Third World educational researchers, including even those whose studies have been conducted in terms of analysis of educational reform policies and practices. In fact, some scholars have maintained that several Third World reseeirchers have, quite often, embraced conventional quantitative research strategies even in those instances when either a qualitative strategy or a combination of quantitative and qualitative research strategies was viewed as more appropriate and relevant  60 to the phenomenon under investigation (Shaeffer & Nkinyanyi, 1983; Shaffer, 1986). Without denying the value of such quantitative oriented studies, it must be observed, however, that the findings of some of them may have been far less insightful, particularly in regard to issues of successful and imsuccessful educational reform policies and practices. By their exclusive reliance on complex statistical research methods and procedures for data analysis and interpretation, these conventional quemtitative studies appeared to have failed to capture the perspectives of their respondents. As some researchers have pointed out, it is extremely difficult to imderstand human behaviour vnthout some reference to the meaning and purposes people attach to their activities (Denzin & Lincoln, 1994; Merriam, 1988). As well, such studies may be of very limited value to Third World policy makers cuid educators since they have been unable to reveal the extent to which organisational factors and social structural factors have enabled or constrained educational reform efforts. In other words, the principal limitations of these quantitative oriented studies derive from their inability "... to provide a richness and depth to the description and analysis of the micro events and larger social structures that constitute social life" (Feagan, et al., 1991, p. 6). The nature of this study, in particular its purpose and objectives as well as the questions it sought to answer, consequently dictated the choice of a combined qualitative and quantitative research orientation. The purpose of this study was to describe and analyze Sierra Leone's educational reform policies and practices between 1970 and 1992 with regard to adult literacy in order to provide some insights and understanding into the factors associated with the successful cmd unsuccessful outcomes of adult literacy programmes operating in the country. The research orientation, consequently, sought to describe, analyze and interpret the organisational and broad social context in which adult literacy programmes were embedded (i.e., orgcuiisational and social structural context) as well as one which was designed primeirily to illmuinate the processes of interaction and the meaning it had for a group of stakeholders or  61 social actors (i.e., agents) associated with adult literacy activities. In other words, the research strategy was one that sought to combine the interactionist and interpretive perspectives at the micro level with the more sceptical and critical organisational as well as social structural perspectives at the meso-level and macro-level respectively in the research process. A narrow concern with organisational issues or social structure in this study was likely to have precluded a better understanding of the processes of interpretation by which these organisational issues or social structures were produced as well as the ways by which they could be transformed. At the same time, a micro-level interactionist and interpretivist study of educational features of literacy programmes was likely to have failed to take into accoimt those organisational and structural factors that could have constrained or enabled individual or social action. Consequently, a micro-level analysis of the educational features of adult literacy programmes was enhanced by analysis of the organisational and structural elements or conditions. As well, analysis of the organisational and structural factors was enriched by analysis of the educational features of these programmes. Thus the analysis of micro-level issues (i.e., educators features) with meso-level issues (i.e., organisational and administrative factors) as well as macro-level (i.e., social and historical features) was likely to have yielded far more insightful and convincing accounts of the factors associated with the successful and unsuccessful outcomes of adult literacy programmes within the Sierra Leone context. By combining these levels in the research strategy, the study was able to shy away from either an exclusive positivistic view or technocratic analysis of literacy programmes or a moral or ideological exhortation regarding adult literacy. Instead, the strategy ensured a critical examination and analysis of organisational issues and social structures without neglecting events and actions of human agents associated with adult literacy activities (Silverman, 1985). As Lloyd (1991) states, it is only through the combination of these perspectives in the research process that researchers would be able to investigate "... all aspects of the social totality ... for their mutual influence and casual relationships" (p. 215).  62 The literature has acknowledged the diverse purposes of educational research, among which are the improvement of educational practices (at the levels of both policy and programme implementation) the generation of new, or contribution to existing, theoretical propositions as well as the testing of theory (Hammond, 1989, Husen, 1988). Alongside the general objective of contribution to existing theoretical propositions on adult literacy in Third World societies, this study sought, as one of its objectives, to provide information that would, hopefully, help to improve adult literacy practice within the Sierra Leone context. Studies, like this one, which seek to improve educational practice have also been referred to as decision-oriented studies (Lind, 1988). Two crucial features associated with such studies, like qualitatively oriented research generally, relate to; (i) the way the researcher's influence on the processes of investigation, analysis and interpretation of the findings are addressed and (ii) the interplay among the theoretical propositions informing the study, the research data as well as the research purpose cmd objectives in the generation of new, or contribution to existing, knowledge with regard to the subject imder investigation. The debate about the nature of the relationship between the researcher and the phenomenon imder investigation remains, probably, inconclusive. Yet as Lind (1988) points out "the belief in social science as a neutral social inquiry has been challenged and the role of the social context and the researcher as a person are now generally acknowledged" (p. 32). Consequently, the issue of relationship between the researcher and the subject under investigation is best handled through "... explicitness, opeimess and honesty regarding the [researcher's] premises". In order words, the "value premises" of the researcher should be made explicit in the research process in order to avoid "hidden biases" (Lind, 1988, p. 32). As Myrad (quoted in Lind, 1988) puts it: a 'disinterested social science' has never existed and, for logical reeisons, caimot exist. The value connotation of our main concepts represents our interest in a marmer, gives direction to our thoughts and significance to our inferences. It poses the questions without which there are no answers ... Value premises should  63 be explicitly stated and not hidden as tacit assumption ... They should thus be kept conscious ... this is our only protection against bias in research, for bias implies being directed by acknowledged valuations (p. 33). Consequently, with regard to the issue of researcher influence on the subject under study, two particular areas of sensitivity in the study should be acknowledged. The first relates to some prospect for bias and subjectivity on the part of the researcher because of his long standing involvement in literacy and adult education work in the coimtry, Icurgely through his association with the Sierra Leone Adult Education Association (SLADEA). The second was whether respondents interviewed could be expected to interact vrith the researcher in his current role of researcher rather than the previous and future role of a colleague adult educator. The first question involved the extent to which data collected for this study could be heavily influenced by the scope of the views and biases of the researcher himself, given his knowledge and understanding of the adult literacy situation in the country. In the second case, the question was whether respondents would wittingly or unvnttingly collude during interviews to give the researcher what they assimied he wanted to hear. Partly in an attempt to address the issue of reseeircher biases, some opportimity was provided for respondents to scrutinize the interview data generated in the study in order to verify that the researcher's representation of the interview data were actually that offered by them. With regard to the issue of interaction with respondents, the researcher's overall impression was that they were, for the most part, quite unconcerned with his previous association with SLADEA, particularly as the office had long being filled. The interview sites were usually at agency/ organization offices, literacy sites or other venues determined by respondents. And once agencies/organisations had been identified, the researcher had very little control over the selection of instructors or adult learners who would participate in the interviews. The fact that agencies/organizations were, for the most part, willing to put their dociunents and records at the reseeircher's disposal, even at short notice, as well as to readily accept him as observer at their  64 meetings would suggest that they were quite comfortable with him as a researcher. The overall impression was that respondents co-operated out of kindness and a general interest in the study. With regard to its epistemological orientation, the process of knowledge generation adopted in this study was one that viewed knowledge creation as an interactive process in the sense that the researcher, his/her theoretical perspectives informing the study as well as the phenomenon under investigation influenced each other. Thus the study was conducted through a process of constcuit interaction among the research data, theoretical perspectives on successful and unsuccessful adult literacy programmes as well as research purpose and objectives. Given the study's predominant qualitative orientation, it would seem obvious that the researcher would interact with respondents about their perspectives on adult literacy activities which was the focus of the study. Little, if any, research that seeks to analyze educational reform policies and practices, particularly in Third World contexts, could be conducted without some kind of data collection from and with people in a position to have an important outlook on the topic under investigation. Thus, through the reseeirch process the researcher interacted with respondents, not to study them, but primarily to have some insights cuid understanding of the factors they associated with the successful cind unsuccessful outcomes of adult literacy programmes within the Sierra Leone context.  Selection and Characteristics of Respondents In all, a total of fifty-five respondents participated in this study. Preliminciry contacts with them was through a letter which outlined, in some detail, information about the study, including the procedures for maintenance of respondent anonymity; the issue of data confidentiality; the right to withdraw at any time as well as a request for completion of a consent form indicating a willingness to participate in the study (see Appendix 1). Since the researcher was out of the country, a local contact person was retained to assist with the prelimineiry arrangements. In the  65 two week period following the researcher's arrival in Freetown in November 1992, meetings were held with respondents, mainly state officials and agency/organization representatives, to discuss the study, generally, including dates for interviews; other data collection methods and procedures; selection of instructors and adult learners who would participate in the study as well as the literacy sites that would be visited for observations. In general, the researcher had no control over the selection of instructors and learners for the study as responsibility for that was assigned to the participating agencies/organizations. The focus on understanding and gaining insights into the factors that were associated with the success and failure of adult literacy programmes dictated a need to select a sample from which as much data as possible could be generated. Thus the sampling selection was designed to assure variety, but not necessarily representativeness. As well, the selection was weighted by considerations of access euid the opportunity to learn most about adult literacy programmes. The sampling was purposeful or purposive, comprising some of the most important agencies/organizations and individuals who, in the judgement of the researcher, were among those who knew most about literacy work across the country (Merriam, 1988; Linderman, 1990). According to Goetz and Le Compte (1984), this form of sampling procedure requires that the researcher establishes a basic criteria necessary for units to be included in the study after which he/she proceeds to find a sample that matched these criteria. The researcher creates a "... recipe of the attributes emd proceed [s] to find or locate a unit that matches that recipe" (p. 77). Thus in addition to the principal criterion of the opportunity to leeirn most about literacy programmes in general and the factors that were associated vnth the success and failure of these programmes, in particuleir, a minimum of six years involvement in literacy activities was required on the part of agencies/organisations invited to pcirticipate in the study. The selection of the research sample, primarily agencies/organisations and government officials, was guided by the researcher's experience; some assistance from the contact person based in Freetown as well as  66 references to recent national studies and literature on literacy and adult education. Once selected, agencies/orgcuiisations, in turn, helped in the selection of their instructors and adult learners to participate in the study. As well, agencies/organizations were responsible for the selection of sites and classes that were visited and observed during the data collection process. Among government officials, the basic criteria for selection was knowledge euid involvement in adult literacy activities, especially at the level of policy formulation and implementation. hi terms of breakdown of respondents into categories, there were five state officials (representing about 10% of respondents), ten agency/organization representatives (or 18% of respondents), twenty literacy instructors (or 3 6 % of respondents) and twenty adult learners (or 3 6 % of respondents). With regard to gender breakdown of respondents, one state official (or 20%), four agency/organization representatives (or 40%), eight instructors (or 40%) and eleven adult learners (or 55%) were females. Two instructors and adult learners were drawn from programmes organised by each of the ten participating agencies/or gcmisations. The majority of state officials (i.e., four) were drawn from the Ministry of Education, the government agency that is directly responsible for issues pertaining to the formulation and implementation of educational policies, including literacy and adult education. To these officials generally, like the government, literacy and adult education work was perceived as helping to solve problems of production and productivity; efficiency of workers as well as issues of illiterate marginality. Some, but not all, of them were perceived by the researcher to be highly educated, reasonably well paid and belonged to the upper class of Sierra Leone society. The basic characteristic of the ten agencies/organisations invited to participate in this study reflected, in general, the broad categories of literacy providing agencies/organisations operating in the coimtry as presented in the previous Chapter. Two of these were government agencies, namely; The Ministry of Education and The Ministry of Health. Two were quasigovernmental agencies, namely; The Sierra Leone Labour Congress and The Sierra Leone Ports  67 Authority. The remaining six were nongovernmental organisations (NGOs) which was symptomatic of the active role played by NGOs in the provision of adult education, including literacy. Two of the NGOs, The Christian Extension Services and The Canadian University Services Overseas (CUSO), were branches of foreign organisations which were involved in the direct provision of adult literacy. The other four were national NGOs, namely; The Crystals Youth Club, The Sierra Leone Adult Education Association, The People's Educational Association as  well  as  The  Provincial  Literature  Bureau  cmd  Bunumbu  Press.  These  ten  agencies/organizations were judged to have been among the major providers of adult literacy programmes across the country. Like government officials, agency/organization representatives emphasised an economic orientation to literacy activities. In some ways, the situation of representatives, as measured by income, schooling and status, was viewed as largely contingent on that of the agency/ organization to which they were attached. Thus in some of the agencies/organizations, representatives were perceived as well paid; highly educated and enjoyed a high socio-economic status. The reverse was equally true of representatives of other agencies/organizations; poor schooling, low pay and low socio-economic status. As noted eeurlier, the selection of instructors and adult learners who participated in this study wcLS the responsibility of agencies/organizations, hi general, however, literacy instructors were elementary/primary school teachers who supplemented their incomes by teaching adult classes during the evenings, even though several of them did not appear to have had the necessary training and qualification for adult instruction. Instructor salaries Vciried considerably depending on the agency/organization for which they worked. In general, however, instructor salaries ranged from about 10% to 15% upwards of the minimum salary. The majority of adult learners receive very little or no fixed incomes. They would be normally engaged in informal sector economic activities (fcirm ajid non-farm activities) or in  68 secondary sector jobs in the modern sector (security persoimel, cooks and drivers). In general, adult learners appeared to be living under social structures dominated by individuals or groups that exercised control over their conditions of life. Those on fixed incomes receive, on average, about 5% of the minimum salary.  Data Collection Methods and Procedures A crucial methodological consideration in the research approach for this study was the need to employ a variety of data gathering methods and procedures in order to compile the study. This combination of multiple data collection methods has often been seen as a strategy that adds rigour, breath and depth to a study (Merriam, 1988; Feagin et al., 1991). The basic method of data collection for the study was semi-structured interviews involving the use of openended questioimaires. The authenticity or credibility of the interview data were confirmed through a combination of data gathered through other methods and procedures, like records and documents, including those produced by international development agencies of relevance to Sierra Leone; official statistics compiled by the Ministry of Education, particularly in regard to recruitment efforts and funding as well as field notes recorded from observations at literacy sites visited as well as deliberations at meetings to which the researcher was invited as an observer. This combination of data collected through other methods and procedures served to check the interview data as well as to ensure that the widest possible sources were drawn upon and that the study was made as comprehensive as possible. The reseeurcher's personal experience in literacy and adult education work in the country was also an important method of data collection. A more detailed examination of the various data gathering methods and procedures employed in this study is as follov^:  69 Interviews The basic method of data collection for this study was semi-structured interviews involving the use of open-ended questiormaires. Guidelines for the interviews (see Appendix 1) were mailed to respondents in advance of the interviews which were all recorded on cassette tapes. The interview questions were wide and varied cind the process lasted for about two hours. The objective of the interview process was to get the views of respondents about adult literacy work generally and, in particular, the factors that they associated with the success and failure of adult literacy programmes operating in the coimtry. In the case of literacy instructors and adult learners, the interview questions were modified (see Appendix 1) to enable them to discuss issues for which their knowledge and understanding were judged by the researcher to have been appropriate and adequate. The interviews with adult learners were conducted in Krio which, as brought out in the next Chapter, is the nation's lingua franca. This researcher, himself a Sierra Leonean, understands and speaks Krio fluently, suggesting that, in this particular case, language was hardly a major barrier. The interview process was based on the theoretical assumption that interviews are products of "situated understandings grounded in specific interactional episodes" (Denzin & Lincoln, 1994, p. 353) and, reflect the mood, voices and feelings of individual respondents (Marcus & Fischer, 1986). The interview practice adopted in this study was thus aimed at empowering respondents to produce their own narrative accounts which, in turn, were viewed as adequate representations of a more "realistic" picture of adult literacy activities within the Sierra Leone context. While each interview commenced with some clear knowledge of the issues on which the resecircher was seeking the perspectives and comments of respondents, he was able to let the order and time spent on each issue evolve during the process, usually through a conversational style. In some cases, respondents introduced elements that had not been anticipated but which  70 appeeired to have added new dimensions to the study. Usually, towards the end of each interview, the researcher took time out to check the groimd covered using a shortened version of the interview guidelines for that purpose. At the end of each interview, an appointment was set up with the respondent to allow for some discussion of the interview data; a measure that wcis viewed as one way of enhancing the credibility of the interview data.  Documents and Records Another data gathering method employed in this study, besides interviews, was documents and records, mainly those produced by the Ministry of Education as well as agencies/ organisations. The kinds of documentary materials included the nation's educational reform policies with respect to literacy and adult education; National Development PIEUIS; research and evaluation reports; reports on conferences, meetings and workshops; programme and course plans cind proposals (like mission statements) as well as yearly reports compiled by the Ministry of Education and other agencies/orgcmizations. Besides national documents, another important source of documentary data came from the work of international development agencies, like Unesco, as well as journal articles and other types of scholarly literature on literacy and adult education in Sierra Leone. Records included attendance registers, official statistics on literacy and adult education, peirticularly in regard to fimding and recruitment efforts; cuid minutes of meetings. The overview of educational reform policies and practices with regard to adult literacy presented in Chapter Five was, in essence, derived from the review of these documents cmd records. The use of documents and records as data sources was derived from the view of the two as narratives which were much closer to speech. Consequently "the researcher analyzes the narrative ... and dramatic structures of a text [and records] ... for a close interpretive reading  71 of the subject matter at hand" (Denzin & Lincoln, 1994, p. 358). As well, documents and records are widely viewed as important data sources in a study, like this one, since they: can ground an investigation in the context of the problem being investigated. Analysis of this data source lends contextual richness and helps to ground an inquiry in the milieu of the writer. This grounding in real-world issues and day-today concerns is ultimately what the naturalistic inquiry is working toward (quoted in Merriam, 1988, p. 109). The use of documents and records as data gathering methods helped to provide an opportunity for confirmability (or other wise) of the interview data since they were viewed as providing a "truer" indication of the "meanings" attached to the nation's educational reform policies and practices in regard to adult literacy. As well, examination of official statistics on literacy and adult education helped put respondents' views on political commitment in support of adult literacy, a major focus of this study, into some proper context. While the study was about cinalysis of the nation's educational reform policies and practices with regard to adult literacy between 1970 and 1992, much greater emphasis was placed on the examination of documents and records covering the period from the mid 1970s through the early 1990s. In general, the selection of documents and records was guided by access; the opportimity to learn most as well as concerns about confirmability of interview data.  Field Visits and Observations Another importemt data collection method or procedure employed in this study was observations of literacy classes during field visits to programme sites; deliberations arising from meetings as well as informal discussions during visits to agency/orgeinization offices. While in Sierra Leone for data collection, the researcher requested, and was granted, permission by the Ministry of Education and agencies/orgcinisations to attend some of their meetings as an observer. The intention was to enable him to listen to some of the deliberations at these meetings, eind where necessary, to record highlights of the deliberations that pertained to issues  72 related to the study. In all, a total of about seven such meetings were attended, three of which were convened by the Ministry of Education. The issues discussed at these meetings, and on which notes were recorded, included government support for literacy and adult education; the issue of the economy and adult literacy; administration of programmes; instructional and learning resources; instructor training and qualification cis well as drop out rates from programmes. In addition to pctrticipation at meetings, the researcher made frequent visits to agency/orgcinization offices during the data collection process. Informal discussions with agency/ organization staff (usually those not participating in interviews) often took place during some of these visits. The discussions, which were recorded as field notes, generally pertained to various dimensions of adult literacy activities relevant to the study and they consequently constituted another importcuit method of data collection. With regard to field visits to literacy sites, a total of ten programme sites were visited and about twenty class sessions were observed; with each visit, including observations, lasting for about two and half hours. The general procedure was to undertake field visits only after the interview with the agency/organization representative had been conducted and some additional information about the programme acquired through examination of records and documents. The selection of the sites visited as well as the clciss sessions observed were done in consultation with the respective participating agencies/organisations. The basic purpose of the field visits to literacy sites was data gathering and so, while some impromptu informal discussions occurred, interaction with respondents during the process was generally reduced to the minimum. Observations of class sessions were recorded as field notes and the kinds of evidence generally gathered pertained to the research questions as well as the need for confirmation (or other wise) of interview and documentary data. The kinds of information gathered during observations related to the extent of availability of instructionallearning resources (blackboards, chalk, books, pens, pencils, etc.); instructional and learning  73 methods used in classes; attendance and drop out rates through examination of registers and other programme records where these were available as well as the general nature of the instructional-learning environment (type of seats available and venue for classes). Field notes recorded from deliberations at meetings and visits to literacy sites have been used to enrich the findings of the study.  Related Field Experience The final data source for this study was the researcher's experience in literacy and adult education work in Sierra Leone. The long association of this researcher with the Sierra Leone Adult Education Association, one of the leading national nongovernmental organisations (NGOs) providing adult literacy (and a participant in this study) provided him vdth an opportunity to deepen his understanding about a variety of issues relevant to the adult literacy activities, including the factors that could be associated with the success and failure of these programmes. Such experience was clearly useful not only in regard to data collection, but also in analyzing, presenting, and interpreting the data. Patton (1980) has pointed to the reseaircher's experience as a valuable data source as well as an important component of data triangulation.  Data Analysis Procedvures Researchers have identified a variety of techniques to help "make sense" out of qualitative data, like the kinds collected in this study. These techniques have included Patton's (1980) interpretive approach with its emphases on the relevance of patterns, categories and bcisic descriptive imits of data; the network strategy of Bliss et al., (1983) which focusses on categorisation; the quasi-statistical approach of Miles and Huberman (1984) with emphasis on a procedure referred to eis "pattern coding" as well as the integrative spiral strategy or approach of Dey (1993) which emphasises description, categorisation, coimection and interpretation of  74 data. In spite of the differences in approach and language, the general emphasis among these authors is on how to categorise or classify qualitative data as well as to establish coiuiections within and between the categories or classifications generated in order to provide some meaningful understanding and interpretation of the data. Such tasks, in essence, constitute the central theme in the analysis of qualitative data. Bcised on the works of these and other authors, some standard procedures or processes for analysis and interpretation of qualitative data have now emerged and these could be summarised as: (i) continuous reference to, and reflection on, data during field work or the data collection process; (ii) compilation of some analytic field notes as useful theoretical propositions on the phenomenon under investigation emerges during data collection; (iii) following data collection, shifting through bits of data in order to classify them or identify emerging patterns, themes or ideas for categorisation. This would require the development of some conceptual framework to render the data imderstandable; (iv) the development and testing of the views emerging from the categories of data (i.e., emerging themes, patterns and ideas) in order to search for patterns, themes emd ideas; (v) clcissification of concepts generated in order to make connections among them (i.e., internal relationships within concepts are examined aind applied back to the data to see if there is a real empirical fit) to help produce some accoimt of the analysis and (vi) subject the theoretical propositions generated from the data to the literature reviewed for the study in order to determine how the findings help in the generation of new knowledge (or contribution to existing knowledge) in regard to the phenomenon imder study. These, in essence, were the procedures followed in the analysis of data for this study. The analysis process was viewed as an on-going activity thereby making it both formative and siunmative (Bogdan & Biklen, 1992). In other words, some data analysis was done during field work although the bulk of the work was deferred until the end of data collection. The importance of the analysis-in-the-field strategy stemmed from the opportunity it provided to direct the data  75 collection process in a more productive maimer. In other words, it paved the way for some preliminary search for patterns, common themes or ideas arising or emerging from the data. According to Burgess (1988), it is through this preliminary process of searching for patterns, themes and ideas that: some direction is given to further investigation, to further observations being made and further field notes being established ... often the activities that are observed in the setting are followed up in other settings. In this way, initial ideas are followed through so that patterns ... emerge (pp. 26-27). In addition to the opportunity to direct the data collection process, the cinalysis-in-thefield strategy also allowed for the taking of some preliminary measures designed to ensure the credibility of the research findings (Guba & Lincoln, 1989; Lather, 1986). Almost immediately after each interview (usually within two weeks), crucial portions of the interview data were highlighted or siunmarised and forwarded to individual respondents along with a request for another meeting. The idea was to grant respondents some opportunity to verify that the researcher's representation of the interview data (as presented in siunmary form) were actually those offered by them. While the original intention was to accomplish this task with each of the fifty-five  respondents, only about 2 4 % of respondents  (i.e., two state officials,  two  agencies/organisations, five instructors and four learners) were able to pairticipate in such meetings. The majority of respondents were busy and the time available for data collection was generally too short. Yet even among respondents for whom formal meetings were not possible, verification and clarification of interview data were usually sought and attained through other measures, including telephone conversations. Through these measures, an additional nimiber of twenty respondents were contacted  (i.e., two state officials, five  agency/organization  representatives, seven instructors cuid six adult learners), bringing the total participation rate in the data verification and clarification processes to about 6 0 % of respondents. The analysis of the interviews, the principal method of data collection, started with the formal trcuiscription of the recorded cassette tapes. Thereafter, relevant portions of data in the  76 interview transcripts for each of the fifty-five respondents were isolated using as guidelines both the conceptual framework as well as the research questions for the study. The objective was to search for patterns, common themes or ideas that fitted into the three analytic categories of factors brought out in the conceptual framework. The isolated bits of data (and the emerging themes and patterns) were then assigned to their respective analytic categories based, largely, on the judgement of the researcher. For instance, bits of data pertaining to political and economic issues were viewed as macro and thus assigned to that category. As well, data bits regarding organisational and educational issues were viewed as meso and micro respectively and thus assigned accordingly. Yet while data units were assigned to their respective categories, they were, at the same time, closely examined in order to determine the cormections that existed among them. The sorting emd assigning of data imits into their respective categories were accompanied by the linking of the units with respondents within each of the four groups in order to determine the number of people belonging to each group that mentioned each data portion. Because of the imeven spread of the total niunber of respondents, it was decided that rather than a majority of total respondents, a majority of respondents belonging to each of the four groups would have had to mention something before it was viewed as a factor and thus worthy of mention in the presentation and analysis of the findings of the study. Each factor mentioned in the interviews would then be einalyzed in terms of whether the majority of respondents within each group related it to the success or failure of adult literacy programmes operating within the Sierra Leone context. As mentioned earlier, the credibility and trustworthiness of the analysis of the interview data were checked through the use of the other data sources for the study, like official statistics, field notes recorded from observations and deliberations as well as records and documents. For instance, official statistics were used to check the credibility of the interview data regarding the issue of political commitment in support of adult literacy, particularly in regard to government  77 financial allocations cis well as measures designed to promote the recruitment of instructors and adult learners. In this sense, quantitative data were used to check the credibility and trustworthiness of the qualitative analysis of the interview data. In addition, records and documents, like attendance registers as well as field notes, were useful in checking the credibility of other aspects of interview data. In the final analysis, the results of this study were integrated, analyzed, interpreted and discussed against the backdrop of the literature reviewed as well as the research purpose and objectives. As well, the findings explained the meaning of the work for theory generation as well as for educational reform policies cmd practices on adult literacy vrithin the Sierra Leone context cuid, perhaps. Third World societies in general. The Chapter concludes with a statement of the research questions for the study.  Principal Research Questions 1  What factors are perceived by state officials, agency/organization representatives, literacy instructors and adult learners as associated with the successful outcomes of adult literacy programmes operating in the coimtry?  2  What factors are perceived by state officials, agency/organization representatives, literacy instructors and adult learners eis associated with the failure of adult literacy programmes operating in the country?  Subsidiary Research Questions In what ways, and to what extent, have social-historical conditions of Sierra Leone society and international factors influenced adult literacy activities across the country? To what extent has political commitment in support of literacy, as espoused in reform policies, been reflected in concrete allocation of government education financial resources to literacy and adult education programmes? To what extent have the measures designed to promote recruitment efforts succeeded in encouraging the general public to successfully participate in adult literacy activities as literacy instructors or adult learners? In what ways have the organisational, administrative and technical support available to programmes influenced adult literacy activities?  78 How have issues relating to the curriculiun as well as instructional and learning resources influenced the outcomes of adult literacy programmes? In what ways have instructional and learning methods and processes influenced the outcomes of adult literacy programmes? The next Chapter presents the social and historical context of Sierra Leone. It describes the broad social, political, historical, economic and traditional conditions of Sierra Leone society; those conditions that would not directly determine the nation's educational reform polices and practices with regard to adult literacy but which, nonetheless, would have the potential ability to enable or constrain literacy efforts. It is in this sense that the imderstanding of the nation's social and historical context was considered critical in the study.  79 CHAPTER 4: SOCIAL AND HISTORICAL CONTEXT OF SIERRA LEONE This Chapter presents a descriptive overview of the broad social and historical forces that have influenced (and continue to influence) Sierra Leone society; those forces or conditions which would, hopefully, be transformed by the educational reform policies and practices with regard to adult literacy cind which, in turn, would likely have a profound impact on the outcomes of the nation's educational reform efforts. As mentioned in the literature reviewed for this study, these factors do not directly determine state education policy but they are, nevertheless, likely to influence the extent of state and individual commitment to literacy both in terms of, say, the allocation of resources, attitudes towards literacy as well as the ability of individuals to spend time teaching or learning. The Chapter begins with a brief overview of the nation's political economy during the British Colonial era.  British Colonial Heritage European contacts with modern Sierra Leone began during the 15th century with visits by Portuguese explorers and traders on their way to and from India. These early Europeans set up trading posts where European manufactured goods, like household utensils, clothes and weapons, were exchanged for gold, ivory and, later, slaves (Biims & Biims, 1992). In spite of these initial contacts, however, actual European influence and presence only came towards the end of the 18th century when the "Freetovra Peninsular" was founded by British Philanthropists as a home for freed slaves from Europe and North America. The settlement, which became known as the "Province of Freedom" was expected to form a nucleus for the spread of European civilisation and Christiemity not only among the people of the Sierra Leone hinterland but throughout the west coast of Africa. Christian Missions were sent to the Peninsular to assume responsibility for this proselytizing mission and, at the same time, serve ELS forerunners of British  80 colonial rule which began with the declaration of the "Freetown Peninsular" as a British Crown colony in 1808 (Wyse, 1989). Initially, British Colonial Authorities conceived of the 'Freetown Peninsular' as an agricultural settlement but they were quick to realize that the settlers (i.e., ex-slaves or liberated Africcins), who numbered aroimd 70,000 by 1864, were ignorant of tropical agriculture (Wyse, 1989; Corby, 1990). Consequently, commerce became the alternative economic activity as settlers were encouraged to travel to the hinterland where they exchanged manufactured goods with tropical products, like palm oil, palm kernels, kola nuts, timber, piassava and gold. Trade with the hinterlcind eventually expanded leading to the development of a cash crop economy during the first half of the 19th century (Kallon, 1990). Following the recognition of the "Freetown Peninsular" as a British Colony at the Berlin Conference of European Powers in 1884 to 1885, along with the continuing expansion of trade with the hinterland, it soon became clear to the British that the economic and commercial survival of the Freetown settlement depended on colonial control of the interior. Consequently, a British Protectorate was declared over the Sierra Leone hinterland in 1896 in the face of strong local resistance. The current borders of Sierra Leone were determined towards the end of the last decade of the 19th century through Agreements with the French and the Americans, both of whom had interests and influence in neighbouring Guinea cind Liberia respectively (Kallon, 1990). The consolidation of British rule in the country was followed by increased exploitation of Sierra Leonean labour based on a system of obligatory cash crop cultivation and industrial work, both of which were reinforced by colonial laws and tax regulations (Wyse, 1989). The need for money to pay taxes and to pay for commodities and services introduced by the British forced Sierra Leoneeins to pick up employment as producers of cheap raw materials - palm oil, palm kernels, ginger and piassava - for British industries. Furthermore, with the discovery of  81 diamonds, gold, iron ore and platinum in parts of the Protectorate during the decades leading up to 1950, Sierra Leoneans were also employed in newly established subsidiary firms of British industries which were granted exclusive rights to the exploitation of these minerals. In an attempt to enlarge the market over which profitable trade with the Protectorate could be conducted, the British constructed a railway during the 1930s. This was followed in the 1950s with a "lorry revolution"; in other words, the construction of some semblance of a road network across the coimtry (Kallon, 1990). By the 1950s, the colonial economy had come to be based on the provision of services, cash crop production as well as mineral exploitation. The British benefitted from the system by acquiring cheap raw materials and minerals for British industries. Administratively, the British established a dual system of administration, one for the "Freetown Peninsula" which was re-named the colony, and cuiother for the hinterland then referred to as the Protectorate. The colony was to be directly administered by Colonial Authorities who were required to govern according to British laws, customs and traditions. In the Provinces, however, the British introduced a system of "Indirect Rule". Traditional rulers remained in charge of administration but they were to be supervised by British officials whose advice in all matters of administration were to be strictly followed. Traditional authorities who disobeyed the colonial administration were severely punished and such punishments included swift removal from office and installation of rulers with no traditional authority to govern as well as public flogging and imprisonment (Abraham, 1978). The dual system of administration was also reflected in the designation accorded to Sierra Leoneans. Those from the Protectorate were referred to as "British-Protected Persons" while Sierra Leonecuis living in the Colony were regarded cis British subjects. The distinction in administration between the Colony and the Protectorate ultimately disappeared during the 1950s in the face of considerable opposition from the nation's educated elites, particulcirly those from the Protectorate, so that by independence in 1961, a uniform system of administration had emerged. Yet the initial administrative dualism  82 between the colony and the Protectorate during the colonial period would appear to have had some far-reaching development implications for Sierra Leoneans living in both administrative areas; a trend that seem cleeurly noticeable up to this day.  The Socio-Economic and Political Context of Modem Sierra Leone  Geo<;iraphic and Demographic Characteristics The Republic of Sierra Leone is located on the west coast of Africa. It is bounded to the north and north-east by the Republic of Guinea; to the south and south-east by the Republic of Liberia and to the west by the Atlantic Ocean. The covmtry has an area of about 27,925 square miles (or 73,320 square kilometres), which makes it one of the smallest independent states on the African Continent; about the size of Scotland and one-tenth the size of Texas (Institute of Education, 1991). The climate is tropical with two clearly defined seasons, namely; a hot dry season from November through April and a heavy rainy season from May to October. Three population censuses have been conducted since independence; in 1963, 1974 and 1985.  Based on the 1985 census estimates, the nation's population comprised 3,520,212  inhabitants and it was composed of 1,774,157 females and 1,746,055 males (Sarif, 1989). The population was estimated at about 4.145 million in 1990, representing an increase of about 18% on the 1985 estimates (Binns & Binns, 1992; Sarif, 1989). About 8 0 % of the nation's inhabitants live in scattered rural settlements of less than 1000 inhabitants which is likely to pose serious problems with respect to the provision and accessibility of social services, including adult literacy programmes. Freetown, the nation's capital, occupies less than 10% of the total Icuid cirea of Sierra Leone but it accommodates about 13% of the entire population, due, in peirt, to rural-urban migration. The national population growth rate is estimated at 3 % per aimum and, as well, the age structure of the population is youthful with an estimated median age of 19  83 years (Sarif, 1989). The youthfulness of the population is likely to increase the demand for social services, including education, to support the increasing number of children. Life expectancy at birth is estimated at 4 6 for men and 50 for women, making it one of the lowest in the world. As well, child and infant mortality rates calculated at 1,000 births cure estimated at 165 cmd 2 7 3 respectively, thereby making them the highest in the world. It is the combination of these factors and others discussed in this Chapter that have made Sierra Leone one of the poorest countries in the world (Biims & Binns, 1992).  Political and Administrative Structures In April 1961, the United Kingdom transferred political power to Dr. Milton Margai, leader of the SLPP (i.e., Sierra Leone Peoples' Party), a political organization dominated by the "traditio-modern" elites (i.e. chiefs and the educated middle class) of Sierra Leone society (Lavalie, 1985). When Dr. Margai's died in 1964, power passed into the hands of Albert Margai, the new leader of the Party. With its base firmly rooted in imperfect modern chieftaincy, the leaders of the SLPP did not develop a strong centralised political organization that could mobilise the broad mass of the people and impose its ideology on the state. It was partly as a result of this that the party lost power to the APC (i.e.. All Peoples' Congress Party) in the General Elections of 1967. Siaka Stevens, the leader of the All People's Congress Party, became Prime Minister in 1968 cuid following the declaration of Republican status in 1971, he became Executive President; a position he held imtil his resignation in 1985. After Steven's resignation, power passed into the hemds of his hand-picked successor, Joseph Momoh, who had previously been elected the new leader of the APC. At independence in 1961, the goals and objectives of the new state were clearly defined in its constitution and these have, in general, remained essentially the same in the subsequent constitutions of 1971, 1978 and 1991. They were defined as:  84 a free, peirliamentary and democratic society; a just and egalitarian society a unified, strong and nationally conscious society; acceleration of national economic growth and development; a land of bright prospects and equality of opportunity for all citizens (Government of Sierra Leone, 1961, pp. 1-3).  Thus for both the APC party as well as the SLPP before it, political idealogies would, at least in theory, be guided by these ideals. In this sense, both parties saw themselves as agents of national integration and development as conceived within the framework of the goals and objectives of the new state. This was particularly importemt in view of the fact that political conflict across the coimtry, particuleirly during the years immediately following independence, became "tribalised and regionalised" with the Mendes in the south and the east supporting the SLPP and the Terrmes cind Krios in the north and west supporting the APC. In fact, while the declaration of the one-party state by the Government of the APC in 1978 has been viewed as a betrayal of the nation's constitutional ideals, justification for the measure derived, in part, from the desire to unify emd integrate the various tribal and regional factions across the country (Sesay, 1989). In the Republic of Sierra Leone, except for the first seven years immediately following indef)endence when the SLPP was in power imtil 1967 and a year of military rule up to April 1968, the APC party remained the most dominant political force directing the nation until its overthrow in a military coup in 1992. The APC party was established in 1960 with a leadership consisting of a class of "commoners", like clerks, drivers, elementary school teachers and trade imionists (Lavalie, 1985). The leadership of the Party was younger and it came from lower cleiss backgrounds than the well established SLPP leadership. As well, the APC party, like the SLPP, professed to be an ideologically based party but unlike the SLPP, the APC party had a clearly  85 defined socialist outlook, at least in theory. The constitution of the APC Party (quoted in Stevens, 1984) declared that the Party was dedicated to the creation of Sierra Leone as: a welfare state based upon a socialist pattern of society in which all citizens, regardless of tribe, colour or creed, shall have equal opportimities and where there shall be no exploitation of man by man, tribe by tribe or class by class (p. 411). In addition, the constitution of the All People's Congress (APC) party sought to: narrow the social, cultural and economic gaps between the different segments of our population, to make possible their imification and integration and to build a national consciousness transcending ethnic and regional loyalties (quoted in Stevens, 1984, p. 411). The basic goal of the Party was declared as the maintenance of: The welfare of the people of Sierra Leone within the framework of social justice, dignity, security and personal freedom ... [recognising]..that the achievement of these aims involves higher health and education standards, improved housing and public amenities, full employment, increased productivity, and the most efficient use of the coimtry's resources (quoted in APC Secreteiriat, 1982, p. 256). Later constitutions, party and electoral documents appear rather ambiguous about the socialist character and objectives of the APC Party. This has led to the claim that while professing to be a 'non-marxist party' of African socialism, the APC party failed to adopt a well-defined socialist ideological stance in practice. In fact the Party's Five-year development plans did not contain any blueprint that would usher in the projected welfare state. Rather the plans were based on a capitalist economy thereby further accelerating the integration of its economy into the western capitalist mainstream. For instance in its 1973 election document, the party noted that its ideology was now "liberal socialism". As the document (quoted in Sesay, 1989) put it: "we believe that labour must be rewarded ... the harder people work, the greater would be their rewcurd" (p. 207). In fact, President Steven's himself denied his party's claim to a socialist ideology by declaring that he "wcis too old to be a communist". In his autobiography, the President noted that: It is very well for people in the west to say that I am a communist or I am a liberal, but in the Third World we Ccumot afford this sort of luxury ... As I have  86 stated before, my party does not owe anything to a particular ideology ... it is a party of practical aims ... The APC does not stand for communism or conservatism, it stands for Sierra Leone and her people (Stevens, 1984, p. 270). Thus in spite of its socialist theoretical orientation, the APC party, like the SLPP before it, followed a capitalist ideology in practice. And probably because of the party's ambivalent stance regarding its socialist orientation, issues pertaining to class hardly feature in government docvunents or in discussions with Sierra Leonecins generally, including policy makers and educators, even today. In other words, there appeeirs to exist a lack of critical awareness of social class distinctions and gender-based issues in Sierra Leone society generally as well as in the field of education, including adult literacy programmes. Under President Momoh, the All People's Congress party developed and promoted a philosophy of "constructive nationalism" which involved: the principle of putting the interest of the nation over and above the interest of individuals and factions ... [and thus] serve as an effective counter to the pcirochial and sectional tendencies in our society. Our goal is to develop a truly pluralist society with liberty and freedom for all (Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, 1987, p. 3). In general. Sierra Leone politics during the era of the APC party was essentially a very personalised affair. In other words, the peirty was a loose alliance bcised upon factional loyalties and personal interests rather than ideologically oriented claques. The APC party's initial objective - that of a socialist oriented party-was imdermined by its policies in office, personal enrichment, and strategy of incorporation. The peirty's propaganda activities sought to legitimise, if not eulogize the governmental roles and policies of President Stevens, and later President Momoh, and their cabinets (Riley, 1983; Riley & Parfitt, 1987). For administrative purposes, the nation is divided into four main regions - the Western Area (i.e., the former colony), the Northern, Southern and Eastern Provinces (i.e., the areas previously referred to as the Protectorate). Freetown, the nation's capital and seat of government, lies in the Western Area. The three Provinces are divided into districts which are further  87 subdivided into 148 chiefdoms. In addition to Freetown, other large iirban centres are Makeni in the north, Bo in the south as well as Kenema and Koidu in the east.  Social Structure While commitment of the All People's Congress party to a socialist ideology wcis lacking in actual practice, its rhetoric, particularly during the early years in office, often implied a class concept of Sierra Leone society. In his address to the National Delegate's Conference of the APC party in 1970, President Stevens reaffirmed the commitment of his party and government to the establishment of a society bcised on wealth creation and fair distribution, including social and economic justice. In the past, too few have been enjoying too much of our national wealth; euid too many have had to make do with too little ... It is the objective of this government to ensure that this gap is narrowed; to see that fair shares prevail; for vnthout this, we run into the same old patterns ... of the strong exploiting the weak. This we will not tolerate ... My government has three aims in all we do and every Minister in the government has been instructed to subject every meeisure he takes to the test of these policy aims which cire ... to increase our national wealth; to set aside a proportion to build for the future for our children cmd grandchildren; to create a society based on social justice (The APC Secretariat, 1982, p. 356). President Steven's address implied the need for some direct state intervention in the economy, especially mining, manufacturing and commerce, in support of the poor as well as the development of the nation's productive forces. Yet recent studies and literature have suggested that the practical measures instituted by the APC party under President Stevens only succeeded in concentrating the nation's wealth and resources in the hands of the privileged few. In this sense, the measures would appear to have actually militated against poverty groups thereby further exacerbating further inequality (Kaplan, et al., 1976; ILO/JASPA, 1981). President Momoh, Steven's successor, acknowledged "... this growing disparity and inequality in the opportimities open to our people ..." and, like his predecessor, committed his government and  88 party to social and economic justice for the disadvantaged (Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, 1986, p. 5). While the issue of CIELSS hardly appears to feature in discussions with Sierra Leoneans generally, including policy makers and educators, some limited literature on the nature of class formation in the country has, nevertheless, emerged. Mukonoweshuro (1986) suggests that in the Republic of Sierra Leone, ethnicity and ethnic factors have not been the principal determinants of class formation. Rather, the present class structure of Sierra Leone society dates back from the colonial era, when the upper echelons of society comprised the colonial bureaucracy and the Lebanese traders who controlled the nation's commercial activities. Today, the colonial bureaucracy hcis been replaced by the nation's senior bureaucrats who, along with the alien commercial Lebanese minority, constitute the nation's upper class. Next to them, on the social scale, is the petty bourgeoisie of civil servants, teachers, doctors, lawyers and several others. The numerically small working cleiss remains, like in the colonial era, exploited but the members appear to be insufficiently organised or ambivalent to form effective labour movements to support their interests (Luke, 1984). In the rural areas, the peasant farmers form the majority of the population, cuid, in general, they comprise the bulk of the nation's population. Sierra Leone is a society with great cultural diversity (Kaplan, et al., 1976). Eighteen ethnic groups or tribes exist across the covmtry. According to the 1985 census estimates, the Mendes (in the south-east) and the Terones (in the north) together account for more than 3 0 % of the nation's population. Other ethnic groups include the Kissis, Krios, Limbas, Konos, Susus, Madingoes, Sherbros, Yalunkas and Fullas. The commercial and official language is English and Creole (i.e leinguage of the krios) is the lingua franca. There has been some research towcirds developing a written form and grammar for the four principal or official languages - Mende, Tenme, Limba emd Creole - but this has yet to provide a base for substantial written material for the nation's literacy activities. The result has been the continued emphasis on the use of a  89 neutral language (i.e., English) for the acquisition of literacy skills both in and out of the schooling system. With respect to religious beliefs, about 8 0 % and 2 0 % of Sierra Leoneans regard themselves as Muslims or Christians respectively (Konteh, 1991). The strong Islamic influence among ethnic groups, particularly those in the Northern Province, like the Temnes, has had some serious implications for Western education in some parts of the country. In spite of the adherence to Islam and Christianity, traditional religious beliefs and practices remain strong among the various Sierra Leonean ethnic groups. In general, fatalism is still prevalent in the world view of the masses of Sierra Leoneems, particularly illiterates, as witchcraft, magic and sorcery are widely practised. People in the rural areas, in particular, often resort to herbalists and juju men (i.e medicine men) during illness or in moments of crisis and death of children is mostly attributed to witchcraft or magic rather than malnutrition or disease. There is also the fatalistic belief that God will always provide food for mauikind. Consequently, no one can die because of mere himger or malnutrition and so there is no need deliberately to limit family size. In addition to these beliefs and practices, secret societies (referred to eis bush schools) continue to feature in the socio-cultural fabric of all ethnic groups. In general, there are no marked differences among the various ethnic groups in the area of land ownership. Among almost all ethnic groups, like the Temnes, Mendes and Limbas, ownership of land and other categories of property is communal; in other words, land and property belong to all members of the family. The term "family" usually refers to members of extended family, which includes kinsmen of two or more generations, linked by blood or marriage and residing in the same household. In the extended family, the oldest male member or the grandfather is accorded a great deal of respect and deference, because he is presimied to be nearer the ancestors whose protection is considered vital for the living members.  90 Besides the issue of property ownership, there is another element of Sierra Leone society that is interesting to examine and this relates to the general position of women. Among most of the ethnic groups, sex, age and kinship determine the division of labour. In Sierra Leone, like elsewhere in sub-saharan Africa, women traditionally bear the responsibility for the majority of tasks involved in reproducing the life of the village. In addition to beaxing and caring for children, they prepare food for the household, fetch water, look after the welfare of their husbands and do about two-thirds of the farm work. There cire however no laws baiming women from any profession. In addition to being characterised by its almost exclusive reliance on female farming. Sierra Leone is a society where polygamy is generally considered a normative form of marital arrangements. Four kinds of marriages exist; christian, muslim, civil and customary. The majority of marriages in the coimtry are customary, contracted according to the customs and practices of particular ethno-cultural groups. Unlike Muslim marriage where the man is allowed four wives, in customary marriage, a man may have as many wives as he can afford. Customary and Muslim marriages are common among rural illiterate adults who, in general, perceive polygamy to be related to labour power, increased production cmd, therefore, wealth (Institute of Education, 1991). Patriarchy, patriarchal and, in some cases, maternal relations chciracterize social relations among the majority of ethnic groups in Sierra Leone society. For most of these groups, kinship and lineage coimections form the structure for many interpersonal relations and provide the basis for the formation of groups that carry out and control a remge of social, political and economic activities that are functions of other institutions in Western societies (Kaplan, et al., 1976). The size and composition of kinship and lineage groups vary. For most ethnic groups, like the Temnes and Limbas, persons related to each other through their common patrilineal descent from a male ancestor form kinships and lineages. In some cases, however, descent through both  91 males and females is important although there is generally a strong orientation to partrilineality. In most of these ethnic groups, marriage is perceived as a social contract not between individuals but between two lineages. Consequently, the wife or wives of the man and those of his brothers and patrilineal uncles cure conceptually and linguistically wives of the lineage. In this sense then, women are generally perceived as having absolutely no rights. While women carry the heavier farming workload, they have no right of ownership to what they produce or to other forms of household property. Traditionally, power and authority are vested in the hands of the husband who exercises absolute control over what is produced and distributes it as he pleases. Both the wives and children are considered the property of the husband and, in general, the wives have very little social and economic alternatives opened to them except, perhaps, to endure the exploitation and oppression from their husbands. As well, a man's heirs are primarily his brothers in order of age down to the eldest son of the eldest brother in the next generation; in other words, inheritance and succession follow the male line. But while practically all ethnic groups view women as the property of their husbands, there cire no laws banning women from any profession. Among the Krios as well cis educated men and women from other ethnic groups, women have the right to own property as well as other forms of production, say in the form of monthly wages and salaries. Indeed meuiy educated women occupy key positions in government, the private sector cind in traditional law and medicine.  Economic and Labour Market Structure The Republic of Sierra Leone shares the features of a peripheral and dependent capitalist economy with other former British G^lonies on the West Africa. In terms of structure, the nation's economy (along with the employment opportunities it generates) is composed of a relatively small and shrinking modern or formal sector; a well-developed, fairly large and growing informal urban sector as well as a rviral or traditional sector which includes both farm and non-farm  92 economic activities. Modern sector economic activities include mining (i.e., gold, diamonds, bauxite and rutile); manufacturing, Icirgely in import-substituting products, like cigarettes, beer and beverages; commerce and services. The informal urban sector supports a variety of smallscale enterprises, like clothing manufacture; machine and vehicle repair; shoe-mending; tailoring; carpentry; personal service providers, like cooks and security persormel as well as petty service and retailing activities, like street hawking. The traditional or rural sector comprises agricultural and non-agricultural economic activities, like fishing, forestry, cash crop production, subsistence farming, black-smithing, cassava processing, gara dyeing, woodcarving and basket making (Central Statistics Office, 1987, 1990). In general the traditional or rural sector has been characterised by its predominantly primitive nature; in other words; the almost exclusive use, by most peasant cultivators, of rudimentary farming techniques; the complete lack of technical skills among the majority of peasants; an extremely high illiteracy rate in the rural areas where the overwhelming majority of peasants live as well as the very low levels of productivity among peasants, almost all of whom produce mainly for subsistence. The leading crop in the country and the staple diet of the population is rice. Among the fruits produced are vegetables and spices grown for home consumption and local sale. Other fruits grown include oranges, grapes, mangoes, potatoes, CcLSsava, maize, yams, groimdnuts and sorghum. Cash crops include cocoa, coffee, palm oil, palm kernels, piassava and ginger. Table 1 brings out the sectoral distribution of the nation's economically active population or labour force (12 years old and over) based on data compiled by the Central Statistics Office (1987, 1990, 1991). In 1985, the modern sector of the economy generated slightly below twothirds of the GNP and employed less than one-fourth of the labour force. The relative stability of this sector over the period between 1974 and 1985 was due in part to the remarkable growth in service-sector employment throughout the 1970s and early 1980s. In terms of labour force  Table 1:  Sectoral Composition of the Economically Active Population or Labour Force (12+ years) Based on Data Compiled by the Central Statistics Office  Economic Sector 1.  2.  3.  4.  1963  1974  1985  1990  183,972  212,352  134,401  201,344  % of labour force  20%  19%  18%  14%  Estimates of contribution to GDP  75%  77%  61%  59%  732,324  805,168  485,468  934,763  % of labour force  77%  73%  65%  65%  Estimate of contribution to GDP  25%  23%  21%  23%  Data unavailable  Data unavailable  89,624  172,572  As % of labour force  ~  —  6%  12%  Estimates of contribution to GDP  ~  —  18%  18%  31,264  88,400  37,458  129,429  3%  8%  11%  9%  945,380  1,106,000  746,951  1,438,097  Modern/Formal Sector  Traditional Rural Sector  Informal Urban Sector Activities  Unemployed As % of labour force  5.  Totals  Source: Central Statistics Office (1987, 1990, 1991)  94 participation rate, the traditional or rural sector dominated the nation's economy throughout the period, generating on average about a third of the GNP and employing about two-thirds of the labour force. The informal urban sector employed about 12% of the urban labour force and contributed about 6% to the GNP in 1985, the first year during which such data were compiled. Official imemployment rates for 1963, 1974 and 1985 were estimated at 3% 8% and 11% respectively. In the modern sector, however, unemployment rate was estimated at about 40% in 1985 (Institute of Education, 1991). In 1990, the nation's labour force was estimated at about 1,438,097 workers, representing an increase of about 93% over the 1985 figures (Central Statistics Office, 1990, 1991). Of this figure, modern sector employment was estimated at about 14% of the labour force, down from 18% in 1985. The contribution of this sector to the nation's GNP, however, remained fairly stable, estimated at about 59%. Traditional or rural sector employment held steady at about 65% of the labour force, while in the informal urbeui sector, the labour force jumped from 6% to about 12%; indicating its immense potential for urban sector employment in the country. The contribution of both sectors to the nation's GNP was estimated at about 23% and 18% respectively, indicating a remeirkable improvement in the case of the informal urban sector. Official unemployment was estimated at about 8% of the labour force, down from 11% in 1985. In the modern sector, however, the unemployment was estimated at about 50% in 1990 (Kallon, 1990). In terms of performance since independence in 1961, the nation's economy, which remains dependent on, and integrated with, the capitalist world economy, appeared to have fared impressively well during the 1960s and early 1970s. There was considerable expansion in the modern sector of the economy during the period largely as a result of favourable world market forces and prices of the nation's mineral exports, like gold, diamonds, rutile, iron ore and bauxite as well as its cash crops, like cocoa, coffee, palm kernels, palm oil, ginger and piassava  95 (Kallon, 1990; Weeks, 1992). With the expansion of the modern sector of the nation's economy came a steady increcise in modern sector employment as well as in state revenue, averaging, ciround 10% aimually during the period (Kallon, 1990). And as state revenues increased President Stevens and his APC party government steadily increased fimding for infrastructural services so that by the mid 1970s, the government, under President Stevens, became the largest modern sector employer (Hayward, 1989). With the advent of the oil crisis in the 1970s, the nation's economic situation began to stagnate and by the mid 1980s, economic decay had set in (Hayward, 1989). The problems of the economy were viewed as both external and internal. Externally, the problem was due to the nation's continued dependence on the capitalist world market for both oil or energy as well as technology in a period of rising prices and a declining terms of trade and falling world market prices for its shrinking exports. This integration into, and dependence on, the capitalist world market made the nation and its economy vulnerable to external pressures and factors as determined by forces over which the government had very little or no control. The problems of the economy were also internal, namely; large scale mismanagement of the nation's resources; a fiscal crisis due to increaised smuggling of minerals eind the development of a parallel economy which undercut the nation's revenue base as well as rampemt official corruption by government officials under President Stevens (Kallon, 1990; Riley, 1983; Parfitt and Riley, 1987). By the mid 1980s, the nation's economic crisis have become virtually endemic (Hayward, 1989). A 1990 report by the government acknowledged the severity of the nation's economic problems and its devastating impact of Sierra Leoneans, particularly illiterate peasants and the working class. The sluggishness of the economy is fully reflected in other indicators of performance: per capital GNP, measured at $US 3 9 0 in 1982, is estimated to have declined to $US 244 in 1987. Present GNP is not expected to have increased. Exports, which stood at $US 130 million in 1985, are believed to be in the range of $US 105-110 million for the current financial year (FY 1989/90) ... There has been a noticeable increase of some 2 0 per cent in imports, elevating  96 the trade deficit to $US 56 million ... Inflation continues to be high in excess of 100 per cent aimually during the decade [1980s] ... The worst sufferers are the small fcirmer with no surplus to sell, the small trader and the self-employed small entrepreneur ... The inflation and depression have had serious social implications (Government of Sierra Leone, 1990, pp. 5-6).  When President Momoh took office in November, 1985, he promised to end official corruption and mismanagement of the nation's resources as well as to rebuild the nation's crmnbling economy by cutting waste through the removal of "ghost workers" on the government's payroll. The new President also promised to develop the nation's growing informal sector, particulcirly the rural or traditional economy. A few years after taking office, however, the euphoria and optimism that had greeted his assumption of office turned into disillusionment when it became obvious that the economic crisis was deepening still further and official corruption was reaching alarming proportions (Biims & Biims, 1992). At the insistence of the International Monetary Fimd (IMF), President Momoh launched a structural adjustment programme in 1986 in an effort to combat the economic and fiscal crises. The programme involved the taking of drastib policy measures in the area of the economy, including the removal of subsidies on rice, gas and kerosene; decontrol of prices of basic consumer goods; the floating or devaluation of the leone, the nation's currency; retrenchment or massive lay off of public sector employees as well as increases in the prices of the major export crops. A fairly recent study concluded that the position of the poor had worsened under structural adjustment while that of the elite and business community had remarkably improved (Longhurst, et al., 1988). In fact, the rise of modern sector unemployment, estimated as 50% in 1990 (Kallon, 1990), has been largely attributed to structural adjustment which, as noted earlier, involved the retrenchment or lay off of public sector workers. The economic decay and structural adjustment measures would appear to have dampened job prospects for schooling crraduates, including those from the university. Today, hcirdly any new modern sector jobs are created by the economy besides teaching and even this profession would  97 appear to be on the verge of saturation. The fact that university graduates are now being recruited to teach in elementeiry/primary schools, a phenomenon that was unthinkable only a few years ago, suggest that this is probably the case. The nation's economic crisis was further compoimded in March 1991, when rebel troops from neighbouring Liberia invaded parts of the Eastern and Southern Provinces. As the war dragged on. President Momoh was accused of deliberately prolonging the conflict (by refusing to adequate arm the nation's military on the war front) in order to delay the holding of multi party elections as provided for imder the new 1991 constitution. The crisis finally came to a head in April, 1992 when a group of young soldiers, demoralised by the lack of government support for the war efforts, overthrew the government in a bloodless coup. The new government, which remains in power, promised, like President Momoh's government before it, to rebuild the nation's crumbling economy, put an end to official corruption as well as the mismanagement of the nation's resources. The extent to which these objectives would be realized remains to be seen.  Concluding Summary This descriptive overview of the nation's social and historical context has highlighted the socio-economic, political, historical and traditional conditions of Sierra Leone society; conditions which the nation's policy makers and education plaimers hoped would he transformed by, among others, the acquisition of literacy skills. At the same time, however, these conditions, while not directly determining educational reform policy, were likely to have a profound influence on the outcomes of literacy activities across the coimtry. For instance, the youthful nature of the population was likely to increase the demand for schooling to support the increasing literacy needs of children and young adults at a time when the nation's political economy probably limited the ability of the state to increase the financial and other resources available to  98 educational programmes, including adult literacy. As well, the devastating impact of the economic crisis on the peasant population is likely to affect their ability and willingness to spend time lecirning. The same could also be true of potential instructors with regard to their ability or willingness to spend time teaching. It is also likely that the rebel war, which is believed to have led to the destruction of life and property in several villages across the country, would create problems for literacy work, particularly in terms of recruitment efforts as well as resources available for adult literacy activities. Furthermore, traditional and cultural factors, including the prevalence of strong fatalist beliefs among the masses of Sierra Leoneans, especially peasants and, to some extent, even the working class, might influence their perceptions about literacy, especially if the literacy taught in adult clcisses was viewed as inadequate in terms of the provision of genuine opportimities for their social and economic advancement. Politically, policy makers and educators continue to view mass literacy as critical to the achievement of the goals cind objectives of the new state. For instance, literacy continues to be viewed as an instrument of national integration and imity in a country with so many diverse ethnic groups as well as regional and tribal organisations which appeared to have mushroomed during the decades of the 1970s and 198C)s, in spite of the declaration of the single-party state. The increased production and productive capabilities resulting from the acquisition of literacy skills, it is hoped, would result in increeised wealth, from cash crop production, for both peascuits and the nation. In the case of peasants the expectation was that their integration into the market economy would ultimately mean a rise in their economic and social status. Clearly then, to its different social actors (especially policy makers, agencies/ organisations and instructors) and purely from a developmental perspective, adult literacy work, like schooling generally, continues to be viewed as critical in the life of the nation, economically, morally, socially and politically. This study was not concerned with the investigation of the actual impact of literacy on the nation's social, economic and political conditions or on the socio-  99 economic and political lives of new literates. Rather, the study was interested in understanding respondents' perceptions of the enabling and constraining influences of these social and historical conditions on the outcomes of adult literacy activities. The next Chapter presents a descriptive overview of the nation's education reform policies and practices between 1970 and 1992, with emphasis on adult literacy.  100 CHAPTER 5: LITERACY AND DEVELOPMENT IN SIERRA LEONE: OVERVIEW OF POLICIES AND PRACTICES This Chapter presents a descriptive and analytic overview of the nature and structure of Sierra Leone's educational reform policies and practices with regard to adult literacy from 1970 through 1992. The first section presents a brief overview of literacy work during the British colonial era as well as the educational policies and practices that emerged immediately following independence in 1961. It is then followed, in section two, by a descriptive and analytic overview of the nature and structure of the nation's development ctnd educational reform policies with regard to adult literacy since 1970; in particular, the goals and objectives of such policies as well as the broad themes that inform them. The section concludes with an overview of the nature and structure of the nation's educational practices at the levels of both schooling as well as literacy and adult education. A concluding smnmary of the Chapter is then presented.  Overview of Educational Policies and Practices UP to 1970 Education during the British Colonial era. As noted in the previous Chapter, British official presence in Sierra Leone started with the armexation of the "Freetown Peninsular" as a crown colony in 1808 but colonial occupation was not completed until the end of the 19th century in the face of strong local resistance, particularly from the hinterland peoples. Following the imposition of colonial rule, the authorities sought to re-structure and develop the nation's economy and education system to serve British Colonial commercial, industrial and administrative interests (Fyle, 1986; Banya, 1993; Kallon, 1990). To perform this fimction effectively, a class of Sierra Leoneans was required; a class that would be created by the education system. Thus, like elsewhere in colonial Africa, British involvement in education was designed to serve one key function, namely; to provide the human resources needed to service the lowest  101 echelons of the colonial administrative machinery as well as the colonial economy (Sunmer, 1963). In other words, the objective of colonial education was to develop the capability of Sierra Leonean workers and other functionaries, without running the risk of creating a critical and thinking people. The emphasis was on increasing the production and productive capabilities of workers employed in the industrial and agricultural sectors of the colonial economy. In regard to employment in the colonial administration, the volume and quantity of education given to Sierra Leoneans were the barest minimum necessary for such auxiliary posts as clerks, interpreters, preachers and pupil teachers. As Lord Macauley (Misra, 1961), one of the chief architects of British Colonial policy, put it in reference to India: "we must at present do our best to form a class who may be interpreters between us and the millions whom we govern - a class of persons Indian in blood and colour, but English in taste, in opinions, in morals and in intellect" (p. 49). This notion of British colonial education was not restricted to India alone but to all other British Colonies, including Sierra Leone. In general, the educational system introduced by the British in Sierra Leone was designed to keep colonialism functioning and lucrative. Education was extremely limited and tightly controlled by the colonial authorities. In the hinterlemd areas, for example, education was limited to the "ruling class", mainly the sons of traditional rulers who were generally viewed as natural allies of colonial authorities and whose children, it wcis hoped, would less likely be critical of colonial rule. In this way, education would "Europeanise" the Sierra Leonean so as to make him/her more profitable to the colonial power, imposing a social order which facilitated economic domination and exploitation without threatening colonial rule (Corby, 1990). The "native" Sierra Leone was to receive enough of "white culture" and Christian principles to enable him/her to become obedient and disciplined but not enough to become skilled, independentminded cind active. In short, the interest of British Colonial Authorities in education was limited to the extent that it might enhance the production and productivity capabilities of Sierra  102 Leoneans and that it did not raise mass expectations of salciried employment and other privileges reserved for the few (Sunmer, 1963; Thompson, 1988a). Unfortunately, the high illiteracy rate across the coimtry suggests that this elitist conception of education continues to be the trend in the country up to this day.  Review of Educational Policies and Practices up to 1970. The contradictions inherent in British Colonial exploitation, especially in the area of the education of an African elite to service colonial administrative and economic interests was to eventually lead to independence in British Gslonial Africa during the 1950s and 1960s. After the Second World Wair in Sierra Leone, and peirticularly during the 1950s, an increasing nimiber of Sierra Leoneans demanded, cuid, to a large extent, received an academically oriented education which was widely viewed as carrying some lucrative financial and other rewards. It was this new type of education that ultimately produced a new Sierra Leonean elite; those Sierra Leoneans who by virtue of their schooling, held occupations that enabled them to accumulate power and prestige in society as well as become the ruling class after independence (Corby, 1990). In 1958, only three years to independence, the first all-Sierra Leonean cabinet of SLPP (Sierra Leone People's Party) politicians was formed. Having won two General Elections in 1951 and 1957, the SLPP, a party that was dominated by the nation's intelligentsia and which professed a capitalist oriented ideology, led the country to independence in 1961 (Lavalie, 1985). British Colonial education had, to a large measure, a heavy influence on the government of the new state since its members were, after all, among its direct beneficiaries. One area where this influence was readily obvious was in the nature and structure of the education and development policies that were formulated by the SLPP government immediately following independence in 1961. Four instruments guided the nation's development and education policies  103 during the decade of the 1960s, namely; (i) The White Pctper on Educational Development in 1958; (ii) The Ten Year Plan for the Nation's Economic and Social Development. 1961/62 through 1971/72; (iii) The Report of the Education Planning Group of 1961 and; (iv) The Development Programme in Education. 1964 - 1970. commonly referred to as the Sleight Report. The central themes expressed in each of these educational policy instruments were derived from the broad goals and objectives of development as spelt out in the first National Development Plan produced by the Ministry of Development and Economic Plaiming (1962). The development goals and objectives were described as:  political:  the promotion of national unity and consciousness as well as a parliamentary system of government in Sierra Leone society.  economic:  the acceleration of national economic growth and development.  social:  the attainment of a standard of living where all Sierra Leonecuis, irrespective of tribe, religion, political affiliation or geographical region, are able to satisfy their basic needs, particularly with regard to health and education.  cultural:  the promotion of a positive national identity through the development emd maintenance of a climate conducive to intellectual and artistic creativity, (pp. 1-3)  These goals and objectives, themselves informed by the goals and objectives of the new state mentioned in the previous Chapter, were ultimately embraced by policy makers and educational planners as the necessary foundation for national policies and practices in education. In other words, education was assigned a key role and responsibility in the achievement of these development goals and objectives. In all the policy dociuuents referred to above, including the National Development Plan, policy makers and educational plarmers placed considerable emphasis on the development of the nation's human resources through formal schooling. The 1958 White Paper, for example, declared as government's long term  104 goals, the quantitative cind qualitative expansion of the formal schooling system as well as the introduction of "fee-free primary education" since this educational sub sector was widely viewed cis the basic foundation for the eventual achievement of universal literacy across the country. In addition. The White Paper noted that the ultimate objective of educational policy was viewed "not as the narrow one of individual enlightenment but a steady and beneficial development of the goals of the social, economic, cultural, religious and political structure of the territory" (Ministry of Education, 1958, p. 1). The key educational policy objectives outlined in The 1958 White Paper, namely; the expansion of the schooling system, development and training of himaan resources as well as the emphasis on elementary/primary schooling as the agent for mass literacy, were generally maintained in the other policy dociunents. For instance, in both The Sleight Report as well as The Report of the Educational Planning Group of 1961. policy makers and development/ education planners continued to emphasize the important role of education in the nation's development; then understood largely as investment in human capital. The Sleight Report (in Samuels, 1969) put it in this way: The economic and social development of this country depends to a tremendous extent on the quality of the country's resources. As the citizenry becomes more literate and knowledgeable, chances for constructive cliange are improved. A child may improve his performance by learning to read and vnrite. He can add to his knowledge of the social and political processes by reading newspapers. As a child learns he wants to know more. The ability to read and write vnll also heighten his interest in the world around him, and will also make him more willing to accept change, when he understands what the changes are all about, (pp. 14-15) The importance attached to formal schooling as a national development strategy was also underlined in The Ten Year Plan of Economic and Social Development for Sierra Leone. 1961/62 through 1971/72. which noted that: The entire educational system is part of the total investment in hmnan capital, along with the provision of medical and health facilities, sanitation and water supply, etc. But education, seeking as its aim the development and discipline of mind and hand, occupies an honoured place among those other types of  105 investment cis a basic requisite for economic and social development (Ministry of Development and Economic Plaiming, 1962, p. 74). The document further noted that "government's short and long term aim in education is equality of educational opportimity for all and that [educational] growth will be determined by the need for skilled manpower as well as the reduction of foreigners in some specific positions ..." (pp. 74-76). The "special positions" were widely imderstood as those in certain segments of the nation's economy, public service as well as education, particuleirly in the area of teaching (Sumner, 1963). Thus the major thrust of the educational reform measures introduced during the period immediately following independence came from the need for educational expansion; increasing the national literacy rate CLS well as the desire for the development and training of the nation's hiuuan resources. In spite of the 153 yeeirs of British Colonial "civilising mission" in Sierra Leone, only about 7% of the population was literate at the time of independence in 1961 (Thompson, 1988a). For the government of the new state, therefore, education emerged as a key national priority and development strategy during the first decade of independence. With regard to literacy practice, three broad themes were clearly discernible from the policy documents on education prior to 1970, namely; (i) education as a key national development strategy; (ii) the need for increased financial allocation to education and; (iii) the need for expansion in education at all levels, particularly elementary/primary schooling which was viewed as the key agency responsible for the achievement of universal literacy. Yet except for the general emphasis on education's role in the nation's development, policy documents remained, at best, ambivalent on how education would actually perform the development role it was assigned. With regaird to the issue of fincincing, there was no detailed examination of the financial implications of education although there was a recognition, by government, that costs would increase with educational expansion. And, indeed, state expenditure on education  106 increased considerably throughout the decade of the 1960s, averaging between 2 0 % to 2 5 % of total government expenditure annually during the period (Banya, 1993). By far, however, the major practical steps were undertaken in the area of educational expansion; particulcirly in primary/elementary schooling. For instance, in the 1970/71 academic year, the number of children attending elementary/primary schools across the coimtry was estimated at 166,107 pupils; representing an increase of about 103% over the enrollment figures for 1960/61. As well, enrollments in secondary schools stood at 33,318 in 1970/71, representing an increase of about 3 7 0 % over the figure for 1960/61 (Hinzen, 1987). Similar trends occurred in all the other sub-sectors of formal schooling. Yet while massive increases occurred at all levels of the nation's education system, this was not the case in regard to literacy and adult education. In fact, this sector emerged as the weakest aspect of the nation's education system both in terms of policy and practice during the first decade of the nation's independence. This trend would appear to have started during the British Gslonial era. As Thompson (1988a) put it: There is no convincing evidence to show that colonial authorities promoted literacy for adults. Their major pre-occupation was formal schooling which was tailored to meet the demands of the colonial bureaucracy, the church and the commercial sector (p. 1). This lack of interest in literacy and adult education by British Colonial authorities was further evidenced in the fact that the field was widely viewed as an appendage to formal schooling. In fact, a document produced by the British Council office in Sierra Leone suggests that references to adult education, including literacy, in educational policy documents up to 1970 were generally relegated to footnotes and budget provisions for the sub-sector were stated in uncommitted terms. As The 1958 White Pcqjer (quoted in British Council, 1993) put it: Government recognises the growing need for wider and more varied facilities not only for young people but for adults as well and will give consideration to the establishment of Adult Education Centres and to the expansion of this work generally as euid when funds are available (p. 1).  107 This lack of interest by colonial authorities meant that, for the most part of the colonial era, adult literacy work was the responsibility of missionaries. Government involvement in adult literacy activities started with the establishment, by the Colonial government, of the Provincial Literature Bureau in Bo in the Southern Province in 1946. The Bureau weis charged with responsibility for the promotion and co-ordinating of adult literacy work in the then Protectorate. Literacy supervisors were hired to start classes in selected villages in the Protectorate cind the most advanced students were selected for further training, after which they returned to their own villages to continue the vcirious programmes. The success of this variant of the Laubach "Each One Teach One" method was however limited by a lack of follow-up reading materials for those who completed their courses and apathy among villagers, a majority of