|Abstract (english)|| |
In the first chapter of Defining literacy, several definitions of literacy are presented and it has been established that the concept of literacy cannot be easily explained since a great number of factors affect its acquisition, development and preservation. The shifting views on literacy during the 19th and 20th centuries as well as the changes in the approach to the concept in different times and societies are described. Moreover, a brief overview of the development of literacy is made, and it is described how literacy was used as a means of power and authority in relation to the illiterate. A couple of foreign authors (Paulo Freire, Malcolm S. Knowles and William S. Gray) who studied the issues of literacy from their respective research fields were highlighted. These findings prompted the need to consider the attitudes that the Communist Party of Yugoslavia took towards literacy. The subchapter Criteria for Socialist Literacy in Yugoslavia after the Second World War describes the basic principles with which the CPY embarked on the post-war literacy project. Namely, the success of literacy in the Soviet Union and Lenin’s philosophy as well as the experience of enlightenment and the rise of literacy within the People's Liberation War. Wartime literacy criteria were not sufficiently elaborated and a result thereof was the lowest level of literacy, the so-called "alphabetic literacy". The level of literacy in question continued to develop in the postwar period. A brief overview of the establishment of the Yugoslav andragogical foundations and a more elaborate educational work with adults after 1952 is also presented. The chapter Illiteracy and Enlightenment in Croatia before the Second World War provides an overview of literacy campaigns from the second half of the 19th century to the beginning of World War II. There are mentioned people and social organizations who were important for educational activities among adults, in particular Albert Bazala, Jure Turić and Franjo Anderlić, the ABC Club, the Prosvjeta society, and the Peasant Unity (Seljačka sloga) which achieved the highest results in the number of newly-literate immediately before the beginning of the war in Yugoslavia. The chapter Literacy campaigns during the Second World War presents literacy campaign actions in areas under partisan control, and there is mention of attempts to work with the illiterate in areas under Ustasha rule. Here it is described how the Party, through intense propaganda, linked literacy with the liberation war against the occupiers and associated illiteracy with fascism and evil. Further, there are presented the effects of literacy courses in difficult wartime conditions, the work of professional and unprofessional teachers with the illiterate, and how the Party in the post-war period overstated educational work with adults in the war period. The formation of the first educational directives for literacy campaigns at the sessions of the Anti-Fascist Council of the People's Liberation of Yugoslavia (hereinafter AVNOJ) and the National Anti-Fascist Council of the People's Liberation of Croatia (hereinafter ZAVNOH) are described. The chapter Post-War Approach to Public Enlightenment describes the Party’s control of the entire enlightenment process. Everything is set in the context of a time marked by the revolutionary enthusiasm prompted by victory, reconstruction and construction of the country, but also the lack of money, teachers, materials, etc. The importance of public enlightenment for educating and re-educating people in order to create a new socialist man is explained. For this exact purpose, military and other socialist terms are used, as well as Lenin's numerous sayings on education and literacy. At the end, it is explained how the conflict between Tito and Stalin in 1948 reflected on the public enlightenment. The subchapter Modernization Tendencies of the Communist Party of Yugoslavia describes the meaning of the term modernization. The state of the country after the war and the measures taken by the Party to mend it are further discussed, literacy campaigns being an integral part of these efforts. Modernization and change were crucial to an authority whose greater part of legitimacy depended on the success of transforming a backward and agrarian society to an industrialized and urbanized one. This topic is followed by the subchapter FiveYear Plan and Public Enlightenment. It gives account of how the Party incorporated the spread of literacy into economic guidelines and how it desired to justify the point and purpose of literacy by improving the quality of life. Building up the country, factories and cities was inconceivable without literate people. It was therefore that literacy was included in the FiveYear Plan and the deadline was clearly set by the end of 1951, later moved to 1952. The chapter Chronology of Public Enlightenment has four subchapters. The first is titled The Beginnings of Enlightenment during the Second World War and it depicts the activities of AVNOJ and ZAVNOH when it comes to spreading education in the liberated territory. The chapter also shows the decision-making that initiated work with illiterates. The second subchapter called The First Post-War Campaign and the peak of literacy in 1947/1948 describes the beginnings of literacy campaigns and their development. Both good and bad results are presented here and it is pointed out that the best results were achieved during the first year of the Five-Year Plan. Third subchapter titled The Milestone of 1948/1949 explains the reasons for the decline in the intensity of public enlightenment, and the last subchapter Other Campaigns until the end of the Five-Year Plan presents the attempts to revive the enlightenment, as well as the Party’s attitude towards the unresolved problem of illiteracy. The chapter Organization of Public Education is divided into three subchapters which deal with the Party’s notions and plans on carrying out major literacy actions. The subchapter Characteristics of Literacy Campaigns defines the meaning of the term campaign and the characteristics of the campaign work mode. Based on the literature and the archival sources, a discussion on the advantages and disadvantages of such work is presented, as well as contradictory opinions on the beginning and the end as well as the duration of literacy campaigns. The subchapter Planning and organizing courses provides an overview of the work of the authorities in charge of organizing, supervising and conducting literacy courses. The entire system was managed by the Ministry of Education (Department of Public Enlightenment) and the National Committee for the Dissemination of Literacy, whose main cooperation was achieved with mass organizations such as AFŽ (Women's Antifascist Front of Yugoslavia) and youth organizations. By means of circulars, instructions and directives, all notifications reached from the highest level to the district, county and local ones. Here the formation of cultural and educational departments, commissions, work groups and staff at the county/local level is described, who their members were is stated, and the activities of teachers and public education officers as persons who linked the system together is explained. The courses could be established by schools, mass organizations, societies, factories, and mines. Numerous problems in this large system have been noted that diminished the efforts made to gather the illiterate. In the subchapter Financing of courses, it is described how the authorities financially and materially supported the work of courses from state to local level. Local people also assisted in the work by voluntarily arranging classrooms and collecting necessary things. There are noted fine examples of the help provided to the work of courses, but also cases in which the Party did not care about the needs of literacy courses. The chapter Social, economic and psychological profile of the illiterate tells of the Party’s intention to encompass all groups of the illiterate population, from the youngest to the oldest, from peasants to workers, women and men, all illiterates regardless of wealth, both the rural and urban population. The conditions in which the illiterate lived and the reasons why they were left outside the education system are described. The chapter is divided into nine subchapters: Peasants, Women, the Elderly, Youth and Children, Workers, Soldiers and Prisoners, Party Members, County/Local People's Committees and Mass Organizations, Roma people, and the Disabled Illiterates. For the members of each illiterate group, the conditions in which they lived are described. The factors that hindered the educational work with them, the motives that encouraged them to education and the approach that the Party applied to each of these groups are listed here. Each of the presented illiterate groups was marked by specific problems and different results were noted in working with them, from good to bad ones. In Age-sex groups of the illiterate the frequency of illiteracy by age groups is described as well as how the Party formed courses with respect to the large age differences among the illiterates. The distribution of illiterates by age and sex is described on the example of Pregrada district. In all age groups of 26 years and older, higher illiteracy of women was recorded, and the same situation was present in other districts, but also in the whole of Croatia. Chapter The role of mass organizations and cultural and educational societies in public enlightenment is divided into seven subchapters. The first is titled Narodna fronta (The People’s Front) and describes the work of this nationwide political organization. It was considered the main initiator of enlightenment and its members had to gather as many teachers and illiterates as possible. There is evidence of both good and bad work of the Front with the illiterate that was found in archival documents and newspaper reports. The members were not always motivated for educational work, and many times the work of the Front was exaggerated and emphasized as an example to others. The subchapter Women's Antifascist Front (AFŽ) shows the work of the members of this organization with illiterate women who made up 2/3 of all illiterates after the war. The organization planned to help women on several levels. Illiterate women were encouraged to take part in modernization processes, and the first step was to take a literacy course. On one hand, they wanted to distance them from backwardness, illiteracy, patriarchy, religion and limited movement/migration. On the other hand, they wanted to create a new sort of "conscious" socialist woman loyal to the Party. Members were more or less active during literacy courses and different results were achieved, ranging from the best to the worst, depending on a number of factors. Youth Organization talks about the importance of youth for the Party and the future of the state. The youth were to be the main bearers of public enlightenment and the Party demanded their participation in all parts of the enlightenment, from agitation and organization to running courses. The results achieved were similar to those of AFŽ members. In the subchapter Trade Unions, most of the discussion is devoted to teachers' unions, and afterwards other trade unions. The active work of teachers' unions is described, as well as their efforts to provide teachers with the necessary rest during summer, including the work with illiterates. The factory unions had many problems in the educational work with the workers, and the members did not show sufficient activity. The subchapter Alliance of War Invalids of Croatia and the Alliance of Associations of Veterans of the People’s Liberation War of Croatia describes the work of these associations in educating their members. It was a disgrace for the Party that the disabled and fighters who fought for the new Yugoslavia would remain illiterate. After having become literate, the government planned for all of them to be actively involved in society and the economy. However, even in these illiterate groups there were problems with the organization of courses and the members’ low motivation for literacy. The subchapter Croatian Peasant Educational Society "Seljačka sloga" presents the society's activities in the new sociopolitical conditions under the supervision of the Party. The society was involved in the realization of the Five-Year Plan, but also in the creation of the new socialist man. Some branches were successfully rebuilt after the war and continued to work on literacy, and some had struggles with the renewal and return of former members but also with Communists who considered this society a "Maček" and "kulak" organization. The subchapter Serbian Cultural and Educational Association "Prosvjeta" provides an overview of the association’s work in the cultural and educational field and solving the problem of illiteracy of Serbs from Varaždin and Bjelovar districts. Prosvjeta and Seljačka sloga were supposed to work together on the development of brotherhood and unity, the realization of the Five-Year Plan and especially on the elimination of illiteracy among Serbs. In the work of this society regarding organization of illiteracy courses, similar problems were noted as with other organizations and societies. The chapter Professional Teachers in Literacy Courses is divided into three subchapters that provide an overview of the life, work and problems of teachers and the expectations that the authorities had of them. Too Few Teachers describes the importance of teachers in leading the entire public enlightenment, but also the poor treatment of them by the authorities and their frequent transfer from one district to another. The problems that the Party had due to its great educational ambitions and small number of teachers are described, as well as the compromise solutions for overcoming them. Political Eligibility and Motivation of Teachers discusses the procedures by which the Party inspected teachers and kept them in check. The Party regarded them as key figures for leading the public enlightenment and shaping the new generations that would build socialism. That is why they were required to have a constant political and cultural education and perfection. Few teachers became members of the Party, and some teachers were not in line with the Party and did not show a sufficient level of motivation, including work on public enlightenment. The Teacher-Educator subchapter describes how the Party placed teachers in its framework and what expectations they had of them. They were imposed upon many extracurricular tasks that they had to do voluntarily, which led some teachers to overwork and burnout. Here are presented the cases of teachers who approached school and extracurricular work challenges very enthusiastically, but also teachers who approached the task very disinterestedly or only routinely. In the chapter Non-Professional Teachers, it is elaborated how the Party approached the issue of the lack of teachers for conducting literacy courses. Due to the few teachers and the pace with which it was planned to eradicate illiteracy, the Party had to resort to all literate people and encourage them to participate in the public enlightenment. Quick and short courses were organized for literate people who volunteered. In the area of northern Croatia, in addition to teachers, the following groups of literate people taught: youth, women, peasants, children, members of the district and local authorities, priests and nuns and others. A review of the results achieved by non-professionals in working with illiterates was also made. It was found that their work in a large number of cases was unsatisfactory due to lack of knowledge on working methods and poor approach to illiterates. The chapter on Literacy Courses is divided into three major sections. The first describes the preparatory activities, the central part deals with the actual courses, and the final part deals with the problems of courses and literacy campaigns. The first part is titled Preparations before literacy courses and is divided into three parts: Determining the number of illiterates, Setting the norm, taking on duties and gathering the illiterate, and Events before and during literacy campaigns. The subchapter Determining the number of illiterates talks about the first action that the Party had to take before the start of the courses, namely the census of illiterates. It turned out that no way of collecting data was completely reliable and it was not possible to establish the exact number of illiterates in the area of Bjelovar and Varaždin districts. There are several reasons: the concept of a literate person was not defined precisely enough, the illiterate often lied about their literacy, and the enumerators decided at their own discretion who was literate and who was not. Setting the norm, taking on responsibilities and gathering the illiterate describes the Party’s desire to solve the problem of illiteracy in an express and effective way. This was planned to be achieved by setting a high norm of the number of illiterates who would be literate within a certain period of time. All organizations of the People’s Front, cultural and educational societies, authorities and individuals who participated in literacy actions had to take on the duty and work on its complete execution. All these actions were closely linked to the realization of the Five-Year Plan and the competition that was encouraged through all phases of public enlightenment. The gathering of the illiterate was not easy and there was great resistance from the illiterate population. Persuasion was used to sway illiterates, and in most cases they came to the courses voluntarily. There are few recorded examples of attempts by the authorities to take repressive action against illiterates who refused to attend courses. The subchapter Events before and during literacy campaigns shows the ceremonial opening of literacy courses. The Party gave much importance to the beginning of the courses in order to show their success and create and spread enthusiasm for public enlightenment among teachers and illiterates. Public Enlightenment Week was the most common event dedicated to the fight against illiteracy. It was usually held in early December, and over several days there were numerous activities such as gathering illiterates into courses, establishing courses and libraries, plays, presentations, concerts, competitions, etc. To maintain the zest and pace throughout the literacy campaign there were held plays which humorously talked about illiteracy, and money was raised for courses by selling badges. The fight against illiteracy was also celebrated at various ceremonial academies and other events. The chapter Conducting literacy courses is divided into eight parts. The first subchapter Establishing, Visiting and Sending Reports on Literacy Courses, discusses the initiation of courses and the Party’s attempts to keep everything under control, to ensure that the courses do not dissolve and that participants attend meetings regularly. Teachers and members of the education authorities were required to submit regular reports and reviews on the operation of the courses and the success of literacy. Many complained about the constant sending of reports, and the data was often inaccurate, fabricated or whitewashed. The second subchapter Course Venues tells of the prevalent practice of teachers coming to the illiterate, not the other way around. Courses were conducted in all premises, from schools to private houses, but also in open spaces, construction sites and forest works. The courses were mostly held in the winter months, which created problems for teachers because they had to walk for miles on bad roads to remote villages, and it happened that the participants did not come to the course at all. Duration of Literacy Courses discusses the practice of non-uniformity of course duration, some lasting longer than anticipated and some very shortly. Problems also arose due to the late start of courses in December or even January and the arrival of the spring months and the start of agricultural work. At the time, the peasants came to the courses less and less, so the courses dissolved. Course Competition and Participant Rewarding describes the ubiquitous competition in post-war Yugoslavia. In all kinds of physical work, but also in cultural and educational events, the Party, following the example of the USSR and the Stakhanovite movement, encouraged competition in order to build Yugoslavia as quickly as possible. The competition was supposed to hasten the elimination of illiteracy and show the combativeness of the people in building socialism. All participants were required to participate, and they were motivated by prizes (prize flags, books, radios). Modest cash prizes were awarded to the best teachers, but also to the best courses and participants. The competition was encouraged by the Ministry of Education, the National Committee for the Dissemination of Literacy, but also by mass organizations, and the progress of the competition was regularly reported in newspapers and radio shows. The subchapter Group and Individual Teaching deals with the formation of courses and the differences in the number of participants between courses. Problems arose because some groups were too big, and some participants did not want to study in a group, but individually at home. Poor results were reported in both teaching methods, and individual learning was often criticized as a bad way of working with illiterates. Frequency of Course Attendance and Assessment of Participants shows and analyzes the problems of irregular attendance of courses on the basis of archival documents. Different situations are presented, some attended the courses regularly, some occasionally, some came regularly at the beginning, and towards the end steadily less often or gave up at some stage of the course. Irregular attendance also resulted in poorer grades in final exams. Spelling books and Course Documentation shows how the Party influenced the design of spelling books by means of which they spread their political ideas, but simultaneously encouraged a positive attitude towards modernization among the rural population. Documentation on literacy courses was presented here. Due to the lack of paper after the war, bookkeeping was difficult. Since 1947, Nakladni Zavod Hrvatske (Croatian Publishing House) printed various forms that made it easier to keep records of the start and ending of courses. The subchapter Completion of Literacy Courses section describes how the ending of courses was conceived. An examination commission was formed by representatives of the authorities and mass organizations headed by a teacher. The exams were mainly designed to enable as many participants as possible to successfully take the reading and writing exams. To take the exam, it was necessary to create a festive atmosphere, hold a performance and speeches, hand out certificates on the completion of the course. Completion of courses was important for the Party and was used to send political messages, and for the newly literate this was certainly an important life event. The graph on the number of taught and qualified participants from Pregrada district shows the ratio between the taught and qualified and it was found that in most cases the number of qualified participants was less than the initial number of taught participants due to dropping out, but also failing the exam. Next chapter Problems of Public Enlightenment is divided into two subchapters. The subchapter Material Deficiencies and Other Problems describes the problems that affected many courses, namely the shortcomings of chalk, pencil, suitable premises, firewood and kerosene. Among other problems there is word of courses being held in the winter. The subchapter Problems of Leadership, Mass Organizations, Teachers and Illiterates presents a number of real, but also fictitious problems of participants in literacy courses. Problems of poor organization, low coordination with the authorities and lack of motivation were noted among mass organizations, as well as teachers being irresponsible with the given tasks. Some county/local authorities did not understand the importance of education, and some did just enough to have a written record. Illiterates often cited legitimate reasons for refusing to attend courses such as bad clothes and shoes. They often invented being unfit so they would avoid courses, and in northern Croatia the problem of alcoholism was cited as a reason for not attending courses. The chapter The Role of the Media in Informing the Public about Public Enlightenment shows how public enlightenment was reported in newspapers, on film, on the radio and on radio stations. Authorities aimed to make newspapers and books available in every village, thus it was important to educate the very last illiterate person. The enlightenment was often written about in all newspapers of the time, and the progress of the enlightenment was recorded in articles, radio reports and films. All media were used for strong propaganda, and reports and depictions of courses often overstated the work in the field. All, including the smallest examples of literacy actions were used to promote the Party and reinforce the desire to finally eradicate illiteracy. In the subchapter Agitation and propaganda of Public Enlightenment, the operations of Agitprop on directing public enlightenment are presented. Representatives of Agitprop entered all educational committees, and all the texts in newspapers and other media went through Agitprop first. At all rallies, meetings, in all media, propaganda messages were highlighted in order to encourage combativeness and enthusiasm in the construction of Yugoslavia and socialism, and the population was encouraged to write texts, reviews and songs about public enlightenment. The chapter Evaluating Literacy and Continuing Adult Education provides an overview of literacy results from the observed area, but also from the entire territory of Yugoslavia. Reviews of authors who dealt with this issue and this period are presented. Here it is shown how the Party viewed the number of literate people at the end of the Five-Year Plan and its gradual confrontation with major problems of literacy campaigns. Especially a new problem, namely the semi-literate people who had forgotten letters and did not understand the text after finishing the course. A synthesis of all the events during the public enlightenment is made, as well as an attempt to evaluate the success of literacy courses from a quantitative and qualitative point of view. The chapter also comments on the view of newly-literate people on the acquired skills of reading and writing and its significance for their lives. It is also described how the Party encouraged the newly-literate to further their education. All the mistakes of the post-war public enlightenment are listed and it is explained how partypolitical guidelines without scientifically based research and results affected the success of literacy. Conclusion provides an overview of the entire research in this dissertation and presents conclusions about the set goal and hypotheses of the research. The dissertation ends with a list of abbreviations, sources and the literature used, as well as the biography of the author.