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Illiteracy and Educational Problems in India

India though is fast developing as super power with impressive industrial growth and economic development,it is falling behind on human development index.The education scenario is alarmingly dismal at the grass-root level.India’s education program is falling behind other nations.It is a country with population already touching one billion while only one third is able to read.World’s 30%illiterate population comes from India.

India though is fast developing as super power with impressive industrial growth and economic development,it is falling behind on human development index.The education scenario is alarmingly dismal at the grass-root level.India’s education program is falling behind other nations.It is a country with population already touching one billion while only one third will be able to read.Due to various social and economic problems India’s education programme is besieged with many problems.Of the biggest victims are those living in the rural areas.Allocation of government funds and the conditions of the destitute rural schools contribute to the low quality of education by rural children.Many children living in rural areas receive a level of education which is very poor.Overall enrolment in primary and middle schools are very low.50% of the children living in these areas leave school before the 5th class.These children leave school for many reasons – lack of interest,working in the fields where hours are long and pay is low.A large percent of dropouts are female children.Forced by their parents most girls perform chores and tend the family at home.These are some of the reasons why female literacy stands low in India.As these children grow into adults,many are still illiterate by the age of 40.These uneducated adults are also reluctant to send their own children to school.This creates a vicious circle where whole section of the community remain uneducated.A large number of teachers refuse to teach in rural areas and those that do are usually are under qualified.In recent years the number of qualified teachers has increased because of increased efforts by the government and civil society groups to improve general education and professional training of teachers.Those who refuse to teach in the rural areas cite distance and lack of interest by students as problems.Many teachers lack enthusiasm due to their meagre salary.Another obstacle faced by the schools is that obtaining more teachers because of state guidelines that approve of high student-teacher ratio.Lack of books and learning materials seem to be a widespread problem.The use of high-tech devices such as computers are very rare.Most of the rural schools operate without toilets,drinking water facility and electricity.The distribution of government funds is major hinderance to the educational system.According to a recent study,30% of the total educational funding goes toward higher educational institutions.This is an important factor as the percent of students enrolled in these institutions are much lower.Lack of education has resulted in growth of unemployment,poverty and substantial increase in the growth of population.Illiteracy has proven to be a major handicap.It has percolated through various systems affecting the India’s growth.India needs policy changes in the way we look into the education system in the country.Government should ensure that the funds should reach where they are meant for and not get exhausted in the pockets of few.

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User Comments
  1. drelayaraja

    On November 20, 2009 at 10:09 am

    Nice subject to write on. It has been a long standing problem.

  2. diamondpoet

    On November 20, 2009 at 10:20 am

    This so sad that things like this is ignored.

  3. Vishakha

    On November 21, 2009 at 1:37 am

    In one of the most rapidly developing economies like India, it is important that education gets its due credit. visit to get interesting updates on development in technical creativity and new age careers.

  4. Riaz Haq

    On January 24, 2010 at 3:09 am

    India has the dubious distinction of being among the top ten on two very different lists: It ranks at the top of the nations of the world with its 270 million illiterate adults, the largest in the world, as detailed by a just released UNESCO report on education; India also shows up at number four in military spending in terms of purchasing power parity, behind United States, China and Russia.

    It is time for major South Asian nations to deal with the urgent need for careful balancing of their genuine defense requirements against the need to spend to solve the very serious problems of food, education, health care and human resource development for securing the future of their peoples.

  5. National Literacy Mission

    On February 25, 2010 at 8:59 am

    National Literacy Mission
    Literacy is the backbone of a progressive and the heartbeat of a developing nation. A literate nation is free from any kind of slavery and open to varied arenas of progress. But, to remove the scourge of illiteracy from a vast country like India is a tough mission. To convert this tough mission into an achievable one, the Government of India initiated the National Literacy Mission (NLM) – External website that opens in a new window in 1988. The mission aims at imparting functional literacy to millions of Indians, especially those in the age-bracket of 15-35 years.

    The National Literacy Mission works at two levels:

    General Council
    Executive Council
    The General Council is headed by the Ministry of Human Affairs and the Executive Council by the Secretary (Elementary Education and Literacy). The Directorate of Adult Education provides necessary technical and resource support to the National Literacy Mission Authority (NLMA).

    The following are the three major campaigns under the National Literacy Mission:

    Total Literacy Campaigns (TLC) – External website that opens in a new windowThis model is the dominant strategy for the eradication of adult illiteracy in India. TLC campaigns are area-specific, time-bound, volunteer-based, cost-effective and outcome-oriented. The campaigns are implemented through district-level literacy committees which are registered under the Societies Registration Act as independent and autonomous bodies to provide a unified umbrella under which a number of individuals and organisations work together.

    Post Literacy Programme (PLP) – External website that opens in a new windowPost-literacy programmes attempt to give interested learners an opportunity to harness and develop their learning potentials after completion of a course in basic literacy. Post literacy programmes are open to neo-literates in the age group of 9-35 who have completed the basic literacy course under the total literacy campaigns, dropouts from primary schools and pass outs from Non formal Education (NFE) programmes.

    Continuing Education Programme (CEP) – External website that opens in a new windowAfter the impingement of literacy and adult education programmes another challenge that came before the National Literacy Mission was to create a Continuing Education System and maintain a channelled continuous and life-long learning process. Thus, the scheme of Continuing Education was taken up. The Continuing Education Scheme is multi-faceted and is postulated on the principles of treating basic literacy, post literacy and later continuing education. Above all the scheme aims at addressing the socio-economic situations of the community to provide infrastructure for larger development initiatives.

    View the state-wise position (External website that opens in a new window) of Total Literacy Campaigns (TLC), Post Literacy Programme (PLP) and Continuing Education Programme (CEP) sanction status.

    Support to Non Governmental Organisations (External website that opens in a new window)NLM also provides assistance to NGOs in the field of adult education. The objective of the Scheme is to secure extensive involvement of NGOs in National Literacy Mission. NLM provides monetary grants to NGOs for undertaking projects of basic literacy, post-literacy continuing education and other projects, including evaluation of literacy/adult education programmes and for establishing resource centers. This scheme widens the scope of NLM as NGOs operating in remote areas can undertake literacy projects and educate rural people.

    View the highlights of 2001 census literacy rate (External website that opens in a new window) in the States and UTs of India.

    NGOs can apply for financial assistance for carrying out literacy missions by downloading the Application Form for NGOs (External website that opens in a new window)
    NLM and Women’s Empowerment
    NLM has played a significant role in creating an environment where women themselves demand knowledge and study to empower themselves. As a result of these literacy programmes, the female literacy rate during the period 1991-2001 increased by 14.87%. This was 3.15% more compared to male literacy rate that was 11.72% in 1991-2001. This substantiates the role NLM has played in women empowerment.

    Realising the critical importance of education in development of the country, in the last few years, the Government of India has increased its investment in education and have taken several positive steps towards exploring the potential of technologies at all levels of education. National Literacy Mission is one such great step towards educating India.

    Related Websites
    National Literacy Mission (External website that opens in a new window)
    Ministry of Human Resource Development (External website that opens in a new window)
    Department of Secondary and Higher Education (External website that opens in a new window)
    Directorate of Adult Education (External website that opens in a new ndow)
    President’s address on International Literacy Day (External website that opens in a new window)

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