|dc.contributor.author||Gakuru, O. N. N.||
|dc.contributor.author||Somerset, H. C. A.||
|dc.identifier.citation||Gakuru, O. N. N., Somerset, H. C. A. and Wallis, Malcolm (1976) The Kenya functional literacy programme: an evaluation. Discussion Paper 226, Nairobi: Institute for Development Studies, University of Nairobi||en_GB
|dc.description.abstract||This paper presents the results of an evaluation of the Kenya
Functional Literacy Programme, conducted on an experimental basis in six
divisions (counties) in different parts of the country as part of the
Special Rural Development Programme.
The main problem with the literacy programme may be that it is
too ambitious. Through the same set of texts it attempts to achieve three
goals: first, the attainment of literacy, second, knowledge of the Swahili
language, and third, knowledge of practical facts about agriculture, health
and household management. By not establishing a priority order among these
objectives, the programme risks failing to attain any of them.
Little advantage is taken of the fact that Swahili, unlike English,
is a phonetic language in which sounds are connected to written symbols in
a rational and consistent manner. Students are not systematically taught
the sound-values for each symbol, so they acquire only slowly the knowledge
and skill needed to tackle the reading of new words for themselves. Instead,
throughout the course each new word is learned first as a whole, by rote-memorisation.
The period in which students remain intellectually dependent
on their teachers is thus prolonged.
An alternative teaching method based on the rapid breaking down
of a few well-known and meaningful generative words into their simplest
components is suggested.
Virtually no account is taken of the fact that for most learners
Swahili is a little-known second language. The order in which new words are
introduced bears little relationship to their linguistic or phonetic difficulty.
Forgetting of new words thus tends to be rapid.
The information and advice given in the booklets about farming is
sometimes inconsistent with existing knowledge, and often fails to take into
account the constraints under which low-income families in Kenya live. If
the new information to which learners are exposed is not both accurate and
relevant, very little of what is taught will lead to permanent behaviour
|dc.publisher||Institute for Development Studies, University of Nairobi||en_GB
|dc.title||The Kenya functional literacy programme: an evaluation||en_GB
|dc.type||Series paper (non-IDS)||en_GB
|dc.rights.holder||Institute for Development Studies, University of Nairobi||en_GB