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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Hermeneutics of Literacy during Eritrea's War of Independence
Author:Gottesman, Les
Periodical:Eritrean Studies Review (ISSN 1086-9174)
Notes:biblio. refs.
Geographic terms:Eritrea
Northeast Africa
Education and Oral Traditions
Peoples of Africa (Ethnic Groups)
Traditional culture
rural areas
national liberation movements
social change
Abstract:In the spring of 1993 the author recorded the spoken memoirs of young 'fighters', who were assigned the role of educators in literacy campaigns during Eritrea's war of independence. In this article he focuses on the national literacy campaign of 1983-1987, one of the formative experiences of the Eritrean educators who are today responsible for the national education system of Eritrea. His analysis and synthesis of the narratives of former literacy teachers into a theoretical framework, based amongst others on Jürgen Habermas's notion of 'convincing speech', suggests that the Eritrean literacy campaign exemplified a hermeneutic process that at its heart was a fusion of cultural horizons and positive educational, social, and political effects. The campaign contributed to creating a national thirst for education. At the same time the acceptance of education into rural life provided a process for social change to be considered and adopted. Rural people's participation in the campaign was also a means to legitimize the liberation movement, this legitimation taking the form of a psychosocial 'adoption' of the young teachers by the communities in which they taught. Bibliogr.