Illiteracy in India and its Solution
Illiteracy is a severe problem in India. it is the mother of all socio-economic problems in our country. Children coming from the poor families have to leave school at an early age because of their economic condition. Soon they forget what they have learnt. This causes wastage in education. The number of illeterate children increases. Moreover, the run-down school-houses in our villages and under-developed locality cannot cater to the needs of the children. The adults are illiterate too. Two out of every three women in India are illiterate. The population explosion in the country coupled with high rate of illiteracy is taking India to a very unhappy condition.
In India, the government has hiked up its resources for both formal and non-formal education to fight to problem of illiteracy. Adult literacy drives and literacy campaigns are being organized. The students should not sit idle. They must organize mass literacy drives and work with the motto, “Each one – teach one”.
Essay on Illiteracy in India!
While India is still struggling to eradicate illiteracy, it is heartening to note that our literacy rate has gone up from 25 per cent in 1951 to 64.8 per cent in 2001. It is true that this percentage includes everyone who knows how to read and write a few alphabets, and may not be considered a true indicator of education; however, the rise in the percentage is quite noticeable.
It indicates how much still remains to be done to achieve 100 per cent literacy. It also shows the magnitude of demand that is likely to be made on the education system for higher learning. Infrastructure will have to be expanded to accommodate the burgeoning number of students seeking admission to secondary, higher secondary, and tertiary education.
The classrooms, teachers, libraries and laboratory facilities, hostels, and playfields needed for the rising number of student clientele will have to be provided. Already we know that the existing system is unable to meet the rising demand.
As a consequence, many surrogate institutions have sprung up outside of the education system to train aspiring students. Coaching centre’s, tuition classes, ‘institutes’ and ‘universities’ have been set up in the private sector, not all of which are of acceptable standards. Such institutions have commercialized education and put it beyond the reach of the poor and the deprived.
A continuing worry is the lower rate of literacy among women. Sixty per cent of the non-literates in India are women, although the female literacy rate has gone up from 9 per cent in the 1950s to 54 per cent in 2001. But the gender gap in literacy is enormous; the difference between the male and female literacy rate is 22 percentage points – that is, there are more male literates than female.
Some states and some areas within the states have shown higher rates of illiteracy among women, and efforts are afoot to improve the situation through the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan of the government of India. As is expected, the literacy rate in the urban areas is higher than in the rural. Table 1 illustrates this.
It is clear that change has occurred in the literacy profile on both variables, namely gender and settlement, and the change is for the better. Because of the changes in literacy, one can expect changes in other aspects of the life of the people in terms of job opportunities, marriage, and mobility. It might also bring about changes in interpersonal and inter-group relations.