EFFECT OF ILLITERACY ON political PARTICIPATION
EFFECT OF ILLITERACY ON POLITICAL PARTICIPATION
1.0 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
According to Ralinema (1995), an illiterate individual is one who lives in a state of primary or remote consciousness, subconscious of his functions in society. He is a passive historical object drowned by the demands of his daily life.
He is paralysed by his sense of importance and phobia, and he is trapped by his ignorance of his human aptitude and potential. He is helpless to act for his freedom and liberty because he is unable to comprehend the situation or environment that surrounds him.
In his mental malnutrition, he is a liability to the world around him. Literacy, in this context, extends beyond reading and writing.
Majid Rahneman (1995) further on this point, claiming that learning to read and write does not necessarily improve illiteracy or the illiterate state.
From the preceding argument, it is clear that political involvement is heavily reliant on a literate and somewhat well educated public. This can be accomplished through a general education system that promotes “mass literacy or, better yet, political conscientization, an intelligent and independent press, and freedom of association and discussion.”
While well-educated people are not always politically aware. It is obvious that democracy can thrive only in areas with a high level of literacy. That is why political participation is high in countries such as England, France, the United States, and Latin American countries where illiteracy is still widespread.
Political engagement necessitates factual and political education that fosters independent and critical thinking about public issues. It should generate civic interest and knowledge among citizens, on which the success of democracy ultimately hinges.
1.1 STATEMENT OF THE problem
With the establishment of colonial states and the introduction of western education as a tool for political participation due to illiteracy, political participation in Nigeria in general and Benue state in particular has shifted from the traditional African nature to the western liberal democratic type.
The level of political engagement of every nation determines the sustainability of political democracy to a large extent, whereas political participation is influenced by people's views, political socialisation, culture, religion, and so on. These characteristics, in turn, are affected by people's literacy levels.
Since the country's inception of democratic rule, there has been low voter turnout, low participation in partisan politics, and general aparthy among the populace, particularly in the Ukum local government area of Benue state, which has been attributed to illiteracy in the study area.
The researcher aims to conduct this study, i.e. the influence of illiteracy on political involvement in the Ukum local government region, under the following conditions.
1. People's political culture and political engagement.
2. Political socialisation of people in terms of political involvement.
1.2. OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The researcher established research objectives to aid in the study and to educate illiterates about their political culture in terms of political involvement. Also, to educate illiterate residents of the ukum local government about the effects of political socialisation and to limit their political participation.
1.3 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
According to the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary, a research question is a sentence, phrase, or word that requests information.
The following three questions have been formulated in order to determine the effect of illiteracy on political involvement in the Ukum local government region.
i. Does socioeconomic status have a substantial impact on political participation?
ii. Does illiteracy have a substantial impact on people's political socialisation and political participation?
Iii. Can education influence people's political participation in the Ukum local government area?
1.4 THE IMPORTANCE OF THE STUDY
Aside from the above-mentioned significance, it also allows the researcher to delve into some of the more remote causes of low political participation in the study area, with a focus on illiteracy.
The research will also aid in eradicating the effects of illiteracy on the body politics of the Ukum local government region. This study also aims to offer viable solutions to the influence of illiteracy on political involvement based on findings.
Furthermore, this research will provide ample opportunities for additional inquiries and research work in the area by other researchers with similar interests.
1.5 SCOPE OF THE STUDY
Because everyone is involved, a study of this magnitude would have been conducted on a national scale. However, due to time and financial constraints, it has been restricted to the Ukum local government area.
1.6 LIMITATIONS OF THE STUDY
Members of the two existent political parties, as well as political sympathisers in the four worlds, are excluded from this research study. The realms of BORIKYO, MBATIAN, KENDEV, and UYAM
1.7 DEFINITION OF TERMS
This section of the research study defines various terminology that are used in the context of the research. These terms are: Political involvement is defined technically as “voluntary activities in which members of a society participate in the selection of a ruler or rulers directly or indirectly in the formation of public policy.”
It manifests itself by voting, campaigning, establishing contact, and holding public and party offices.
Political culture refers to the attitudes, sentiments, beliefs, ideas, and customs that guide people's behaviour in political institutions. It includes topics such as the history of people's political systems, reactions to elections, and methods of electing rulers.
Political socialisation refers to the process of educating citizens about the political system's ideals, attitudes, and beliefs. Political socialisation internalises and transmits political culture.
Political socialisation assists citizens in understanding the norms of the political system and in increasing their loyalty, pride, patriotism, and nationalist feelings for their country.
Apathy is defined as a lack of sympathy and disinterest towards political matters.