A descriptive study of the Adult Basic Education Society, Gujranwala, Pakistan

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Hesser, Florence E. (Florence Ellen Life), 1924-
Cooper, J. David (James David), 1942-
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This study describes and analyzes ten years of experience in literacy of the Adult Basic Education Society in Gujranwala, Pakistan and compares the experience to three widely used alternative approaches to adult literacy programming. The three encompassing approaches, each of which is used internationally, are: (a) those conforming to the pattern set by the late Dr. Frank Laubach, which are religiously oriented; (b) those based on the model of Dr. Paulo Friere, which have a psychosocial orientation; and (c) those which follow the pattern espoused by the United Nations, whose concepts Harbans Singh, Phola has helped to articulate, and which evolve around the economic aspects of functional literacy. Based on the comparison of the Pakistan experience with the three alternative approaches, guidelines were developed and a model process was suggested for designing adult literacy programs.By examining the four approaches to adult literacy programming in light of Cyril O. Houle's recent work, The Design of Education, it was concluded that none of the four approaches, each with its individual aims and philosophy, is superior to any of the other three; each is significant and may be appropriate, depending on circumstances, for use in areas where illiteracy abounds.Guidelines for determining the appropriate selection to use when planning a literacy program in a developing country are listed in detail. Based on these guidelines, which stem from both the Drown comparisons and the facts learned over the ten-year period in the sequential pilot Projects of the Adult Basic Education Society, it is suggested that literacy programs can be both created and evaluated with a clearer understanding of adult educational design. Applying the guidelines to differing circumstances should eliminate errors that might occur without such a structure.In carrying out the study, data were gathered in Pakistan through personal interviews, tapes and written records kept in detail by the Adult Basic Education Society for pilot projects from 1963 to 1973. The major goals, specific objectives and basic assumptions of the Adult Basic Education Society were reconstructed as those that existed at the beginning of the program in 1963, and the changes and alterations that occurred during; the subsequent ten year period, together with the rationale for the changes, were delineated.