Background of the Study
The history of reading and writing could be traced to ancient Egyptians who discovered the art of writing. This art of writing spread to other parts of the world. Today, it has become part of man’s civilization. In this present era of globalization, literacy is the key to progress. The ability to read, write and do computation makes one a modern man in the sense that he can communicate.
This ability to communicate in any language makes a person to be regarded as being literate. In many countries of the world, many people miss formal education at the early stage of their lives. The category of those who cannot read, write and compute is regarded as the state of being illiterate. An illiterate according to Ezema (2008) is “the state of lack of skills of reading, writing and arithmetic” (p.2). Therefore, it means that anybody who cannot read, write and do computation in any language is regarded as being a stark illiterate.
Illiteracy, ill-health and powerlessness make individuals passive observers even in issues that concern them (Obi, 2006:5). Obi (2006) went further to point out that the emphasizes on basic education for children and functional literacy for adults is based on, the fact that education and training are the major means of self development and empowerment” (p.3). Louis (1968) in Obi (2006) states that “education is the single most vital force in combating poverty, powerlessness, abuse of human rights, dictatorship as well as the degradation of the environment” (p.3).