Literacy, which is the acquired capacity to decode and encode information in the form of written or printed symbols, is most obviously of tremendous importance in modern times. This is so because, for the effective functioning of any community, there is need for the smooth flow of information among its members. This need is even more acute in a modern society in view of the large quantity and great variety of knowledge, skills and values required to sustain its political, economic and social structure in a world of fast communication systems and stiff competitions, both international and intra—national: the written or printed medium constitutes a major means for the storage and transmission of this much needed knowledge, skills and values. The average citizen therefore must needs be literate, that is, he must be able to utilize the written or printed medium both receptively (by reading or decoding) and productively (by writing or encoding) in order to participate meaningfully as a member of his community. That is why Charles Jeffries (1967) rightly stated that
the illiterate is a man or woman who in the context of modern development
is condemned to a status that is less than human.