The Catholic church and the promotion of literacy in post colonial Zambia: the case of Kalabo district
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This study was undertaken to investigate the Catholic Church’s promotion of literacy in post-Colonial Zambia in Kalabo District. The researcher employed the qualitative research strategy to collect data from 30 respondents through interviews (focus group discussions and one-on-one) and observation research methods. The respondents /informants included the Catholic Church authorities, programmes’ representatives, literacy teachers and learners. The research instruments used were semi interview guides and an observation schedule. The main findings of the study were that the Catholic Church in Kalabo district (at St. Michaels’s parish) initiated literacy promotion programmes in order to promote general literacy skills, overcome ignorance, make men and women aware of their own situations and take steps to change things. A number of literacy promotion programmes such as Bupilo Literacy Centre, Nalionwa Catholic Youth League, Nalionwa Catholic women’s Organisation, Catholic holy Childhood Programme, Nalionwa Home Based Care, Oblates Youth Organisation and Youth alive have been initiated in the parish. The Church came up with the literacy promotion programmes because of its policy of working among the marginalized in society and uplifting their standards of living. Literacy was seen as a means of equipping people with vital skills needed for participation in the social, civic and economic activities of society. In all this literacy promotion work, the Catholic Church at Nalionwa Parish is building on the good foundation laid by the early Christian missionaries who worked in Kalabo district. The findings also showed that some of the literacy programmes faced challenges such as: lack of support and acknowledgement from stakeholders, especially the district education authorities, lack of resources, facilities and equipment to enhance quality and/or expand enrolment. Based on these findings, the study made some recommendations. The prominent ones are that, there was need for recognition and support of efforts made by the Catholic Church in the area of literacy. The Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Local Government and Early Childhood should support the Church and encourage the local people to utilise the facilities offered by the Church to develop themselves through literacy.
- Education