The objectives of the study were: (1) To evaluate the effectiveness of the materials prepared by the Regional Resource Centre (RRC), Chandigarh by measuring (a) the attainment of set forth objectives, (b) the adequacy and appropriateness of content material and methodology, and (c) fulfillment of needs of learner. (2) To find out whether the materials used motivate the learners and create an interest among them. (3) To find out whether materials available in local language. (4) To find out whether massages conveyed in materials are significant. (5) To find out how well the learners receive message conveyed.
500 Neo literates from three districts of Punjab, 75 organizers of adult education programme, 8 officials of Regional Resource Centre, Chandigarh. University Professors, College Lecturer and Heads of the schools were selected as sample. 25 books published for Neo-literates by Regional Resource Centre, Chandigarh during the year 1988-98 were used for evaluation.
Questionnaire, and interview schedule were developed by researcher for data collection. The data were also collected by visit to villages of three districts of Punjab.Normative survey method cum historical survey method was used.
The data were analyzed by percentage method.
The findings of the study were: (1) Majority of the Neo-literates attending continuing education centres were females - married, housewives and belonged to rural areas, most of the centres organizers were males, graduates and post-graduates between the age group of 30-50 and had between 3 to 6 years of experience in the field of adult education. (2) The books were provided free of cost. These were according to the level of neo-literates and written in Hindi and Punjabi languages only was the opinion of all the groups of respondents. (3) As per the RRC experts 3 to 10 books were published in a year. The Neo-literates and organizers reported that 2 to 3 books were provided yearly. The supply of books by the RRC seems to be inadequate. (4) Very few Neo-literates read newspapers and none of them purchased books or newspapers on their own for self-study. They were satisfied with the books they got in the centers. (5) There were no fixed norms for selecting the writers or for writing the books. Anyone who volunteered could write the book. Some guidelines for writers were given in the workshops held for the writers. (6) Selection of the themes of books was left to the writers themselves, who judged the requirements of Neo-literates through personal experience and field surveys. Needs and interest of the readers were kept in mind. No book ever was produced to develop numerical skills. (7) Content of the books was considered satisfactory, interesting and understandable by the Neo-literates and the centre organizers. The books intended to enhance general awareness of the readers on important social issues, child-care practices, knowledge of common diseases, environmental protection, and biographies etc. (8) The books were lacking in vocational information, modern techniques of communication, human rights and biographies of national heroes. (9) Books were written mainly in story and dialogues forms. (10) The favorites among Neo-literates were story-books, books providing general awareness, occupational information and newspapers. (11) On the whole, the books published by the RRC, Chandigarh were evaluated as satisfactory. Almost half, i.e. 14 out of the 25, of the books evaluated were considered Good by the experts on all the three aspects i.e. physical, language and content and illustration and pictures. One-third were found to an average. Only 2 books were below average. (12) The books were found lacking in the physical characteristics relating to quality of paper, binding, size and durability. In relation to content and language, the main short comings were lack of up to date content, accuracy of content and use of poor vocabulary. (13) The appeal of illustrations and picture was satisfactory but these were inadequate in most of the books. The colours used were only black and white. Accuracy and captioning of picture was lacking in most of books. (14) No re-editing of books was done by the RRC, Chandigarh. Only new material was published. The prototypes were prepared by the Centre and multiplication of the material was carried out by the District Literacy Council. (15) The libraries and facilities were available but these were found to be lacking in many aspects in most of the centres as reported by the centre organizers and the Neo-literates. In two-third of the centres, there were no libraries at all. The number of books available was between 10 to 20. Only one copy of each of the book was available in most of the libraries. These books were not properly displayed and stored. (16) There was no reading room in the centres.
Keyword(s): Learning Materials , Neo-Literates, Regional Resource Centre, Chandigarh, Non formal Education