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Literacy for what? : a critical analysis of planning for the Botswana National Literacy Program [electronic resource] /

by Maruatona, Tonic Lefetogile

Abstract (Summary)
This study sought to understand how the planning and implementation of the Botswana National Literacy Program(BNLP) maintained or challenged the conventional view of literacy. It was guided by two research questions; (a) What was the historical background of the Botswana National Literacy Program, especially in regard to the conventional and transformative view of literacy: (b) How did the planning and implementation of the BNLP address competing choices for language, content, audience, and instructional design based on issues such as class, gender, ethnic differences, and geographical location? The study proceeded from an interpretive qualitative design and used in-depth semi-structured interviews and archival documents. The sample consisted of sixteen purposefully selected planners who have been or are still involved with planning literacy education in Botswana. Based on the analysis above, five major findings were derived from the data: (a) Planners initiated as a functional literacy project in the 1970s, which was later transformed into a traditional literacy program from 1979 to the present. (b) The planning of a traditional literacy education program reproduced state hegemony through maintaining a tight control of certain features of the program. Planning was viewed by senior management as designed to build consensus and was a routine activity devoid of innovation. (c) Data revealed that planning reproduced the status quo by being a technical, expert-driven process that down played contextual issues such as the choice of language and removed them from the planning table. (d) Planning also reproduced the status quo by yielding outcomes that reflected the interests of the planners and not the learners. (e) Finally, there was counter-hegemonic resistance because planners, teachers and learners challenged the literacy education policy. Three major conclusions were: First, literacy planning evolved from a functional literacy campaign in the 1970s, to a conventional literacy project, sponsored and controlled by the state. Second, the state reproduced the status quo through tightly controlling the planning process, which was left to experts and excluded the learners. They removed debatable contextual issues such as choice of language and context from the planning table. Planning resulted in outcomes that reproduced the status quo by reflecting interests of the planners and not those of the learners. Third, there was overt and quiet resistance against state hegemony in the practice of literacy education.
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School:The University of Georgia

School Location:USA - Georgia

Source Type:Master's Thesis

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