The Politics of Literacy: Paulo Freire’s Literacy Method and Nigeria’s Journey to Sustainable Change
Josephine Egbor Odey
Federal University, Lafia
The journey to sustainable development in Nigeria has been slow and painful due to the many debilitating factors working against the change process. Such factors include corruption, poor governance, failed policies and infrastructure, failing economy, nonadherence to the rule of law, intolerance and disrespect of diversity and most critical of, high illiteracy rate. This paper explores the impacts of illiteracy on development efforts of Nigeria and uses the literacy method of Paulo Freire to demonstrate how literacy can be expanded to reach larger vulnerable populations. Paulo Freire’s literacy method is based on two key premises: that education is liberation through conscientization and that there must be dialogue with the learner to engender productive use of knowledge gained. It is open and participatory, a process, multi-generational, involving community members, measureable and planned for. It is suggested among others that RAN and Civil Society Organizations engage in advocacy to reduce the illiteracy rate in Nigeria. It enables participants not just to develop cognitive skills but critical skills that conscientize them to
the realities of their existence as human beings.
Key words: literacy, sustainability, politics and change