The outcomes of a literacy training intervention on the empowerment of farm workers

Fourie, Stefan Steyn (2005-04)

Thesis (MPhil)--University of Stellenbosch, 2005.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Within the context of development, skills development is one of the central components in the drive to bring about the reconstruction, development and transformation of the South African society. Investment in people is a key strategy in our economic renewal. With estimations of a third of the South African population not having effective basic skills, education is not merely limited to reading and writing, but developing human capacity to playa more active role individually, within communities and within the larger South Africa. Literacy and numeracy are seen as fundamental skills, and without these skills, other skills may not be learned or acquired. Illiteracy rates within rural areas in South Africa are unacceptably high and people deemed "illiterate" within these areas are at risk in that provision of literacy programmes is not readily available. Within this context, a literacy programme was implemented at a farm school outside Durbanville (situated in the Western Cape). The Fundani literacy programme was implemented over a period of 16 months. The participants comprised of farm workers (most of whom were parents of children attending the Attie van Wyk Primary School). Literacy is also said to empower people. Programme evaluation was chosen as research design. The findings of the research are discussed to place it within the context of the research questions, namely whether the intervention (the Fundani literacy programme) would change/influence the literacy ability and empowerment status of the participants. The participants' empowerment status was measured with a standardised questionnaire using a pre-test, post-test and post-past-test design. The participants were also evaluated at the end of the literacy programme as to their literacy and numeracy gains. The research took place in three phases. Both qualitative and quantitative methods were used during the research. The first phase consisted of a pre-test on empowerment (this was done by means of a standardised questionnaire during semi-structured interviews). The second phase involved exposure to the Fundani literacy programme, followed by a formal test to measure literacy and numeracy gains as well as a post-test measuring changes in empowerment status. Finally a post-post-test was applied to measure changes in empowerment status three months after the programme had been completed. Although only four participants out of 13 completed the Fundani literacy programme, statistical analysis showed statistically significant improvements in empowerment from pre-test to post-test of the total group. The four participants that completed the programme also showed literacy and numeracy gains. The findings of the study suggest that although there is a high drop-out rate in adult literacy programmes, the longer participants participate in a literacy programme, the greater the improvement in their empowerment status will be. It also became evident throughout the research that women find it difficult to attend literacy programmes as common constraints (such as domestic duties and male resistance) are not easily overcome. As this research used a very small sample size, future studies need to be conducted over longer periods of time, using a much bigger sample. Such programmes/interventions also need to be more functional, which could lead to a greater sense of motivation and empowerment.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Binne die konteks van ontwikkeling is vaardigheidsontwikkeling 'n kritieke dryfveer in die transformasie van Suid-Afrika. Die ontwikkeling van menslike hulpbronne is een van die strategieë om die ekonomie te versterk. Met sowat 'n derde van die Suid-Afrikaanse bevolking wat nie oor basiese vaardighede beskik nie, is opvoeding nie beperk tot lees en skryf nie, maar omvat die ontwikkeling van die mens in sy geheel om 'n meer aktiewe rol binne homself, die gemeenskap, en Suid-Afrika te speel. Lees-, skryf- en rekenvaardighede is fundamentele vaardighede waarsonder ander tegniese vaardighede nie maklik aangeleer kan word nie. Ongeletterdheidsvlakke in Suid-Afrika, en veral in die landelike gedeeltes van Suid-Afrika, is baie hoog. 'n Verdere punt van kommer is die onbeskikbaarheid en aanbieding van geletterdheidsprogramme binne die landelike gebiede van Suid-Afrika. Dit is binne hierdie konteks dat 'n geletterdheidsprogram vir plaaswerkers by 'n plaasskool buite Durbanville (in die Wes-Kaap) aangebied is. Die Fundani geletterdheidsprogram is by die Attie van Wyk primêre skool geïmplementeer. Die Fundani program is oor 'n periode van 16 maande gevolg. Die teikengroep was ouers van leerders (van wie die meeste plaaswerkers is) van die Attie van Wyk primêre skool. Die doel van die geletterdheidsprogram was nie net om lees- en skryfvaardighede aan te leer nie, maar om die deelnemers te bemagtig om meer beheer oor hul lewens toe te pas. Programevaluering is gebruik as navorsingsontwerp. Die twee navorsingsvrae verwys na die aard van intervensie en is daarop gemik om te bepaal of die Fundani geletterdheidsprogram wel 'n effek op die geletterdheid sowel as bemagtigingsvlakke van die deelnemers gehad het. Die deelnemers se bemagtigingstatus is gemeet met 'n gestandardiseerde vraelys terwyl 'n voor-en-na toets en 'n verdere toets (post-past-toets) ontwerp gevolg is. Die deelnemers is ook aan die einde geëvalueer ten opsigte van verbetering in hul lees-, skryf- en rekenvaardighede. Die navorsing is in drie fases geïmplementeer. Kwalitatiewe asook kwantitatiewe metodes is gebruik om data in te win. Die eerste fase het uit 'n voor-toets bestaan wat die deelnemers se bemagtigingstatus gemeet het. Dit is met 'n gestandardiseerde vraelys tydens semi-gestruktureerde onderhoude gemeet. Gedurende die tweede fase is deelnemers aan die Fundani geletterdheidsprogram blootgestel. Aan die einde van die program is die deelnemers se bemagtigingstatus weer gemeet deur 'n na-toets om verandering in bemagtiging te meet. 'n Formele geletterdheidstoets is ook gedurende fase twee geskryf om verandering in lees-, skryf- en rekenvaardighede waar te neem. Fase drie het uit 'n verdere toets bestaan om die deelnemers se bemagtigingstatus drie maande ná die Fundani geletterdheidsprogram te meet. Alhoewel slegs vier uit die 13 deelnemers die Fundani geletterdheidsprogram voltooi het, was daar wel statisties betekenisvolle verbeteringe van die voor-toets na die na-toets. Die vier deelnemers wat wel die Fundani geletterheidsprogram voltooi het, het aan die einde van die program getoon dat hulle baat gevind het by die program ten opsigte van hullees-, skryf- en rekenvaardige verwerkings. Die navorsing se bevindinge dui daarop dat hoe langer deelnemers aan sulke geletterdheidsprogramme blootgestel word, hoe groter sal die verbetering in hulle bemagtigingstatus wees. Vroue vind dit moeilik om sulke programme te voltooi as gevolg van familie- en gesinsverpligtinge asook vanweë teenkanting van mans binne die gemeenskap. Alhoewel die navorsing van 'n baie klein steekproef gebruik gemaak het, word daar voorgestel dat soortgelyke studies van dieselfde aard oor langer tye met 'n groter steekproef geëvalueer word. Die aard van sulke tipe programme/intervensies behoort meer funksioneel te wees om deelnemers verder te motiveer en te bemagtig.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/50507
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