Hari was born in a small slum in Mumbai; due to his poor financial background, he was unable to get primary education, owing to which he was left illiterate. In his adult life, being uneducated, he was only able to get work as a manual laborer. He was unable to understand basic schemes which were brought in by the government for his betterment. He had trouble reading anything other than his mother tongue, Marathi. His life was always shrouded with uncertainty. Hari is only one of countless Indians who are still uneducated even at this turn of the century.
The aforementioned hypothetical situation is a reality for at least one-fourth of our Country’s population, according to the 2011 census; India had a literacy rate of 74%. With Kerala being the most literate state at 93%, and Bihar being the most uneducated state at 64%. According to the definition provided during 2011 census, a person who is above 7 and can read and write is considered literate. Literacy in India is calculated by dividing the numeral quantity of literates in one given age group with the number of individuals in other corresponding age group, then the resultant number is multiplied by 100. There is still a large adult literacy gap between the urban and rural population; according to the 2011 census, the adult literacy rate for females in rural areas was 50%, while the female adult literacy rate in urban areas was 74%. Similarly, the Male adult literacy rate in rural areas was 74%, while the male adult literacy rate in urban areas was around 88%. This goes on to show the enormous gap that is between both strata of society.
It is still a populist belief in the Rural part of the Country that spending valuable money on education of children is a waste of precious money, as most of them are involved in the family business or farming that doesn’t require specialized education. This populist opinion can be easily refuted, if we examined and enlisted the advantages that an educated person has in his day to day life. Let’s take a relatable example; for instance, Jamal, is farmer who knows how to read and write and has a rudimentary understanding of Mathematics. Owing to his primary education, he will be able to keep an accurate account of his earnings, further, he won’t be cheated by moneylenders or other sellers. Moreover, he will be able to read about the variety of fertilizers and pesticides, which will enable him to choose the best fertilizers and pesticides while considering the type of his crop. Lastly, as he has reaped the advantages of education for the majority of his life, he will also encourage his children to do the same, he will add to the growing educated workforce of the Country indirectly. He was able to achieve all this in a mere rural setting on account of being educated; this goes on to show the advantages a person can avail if he knows of the basic blocks of education.
Causes behind persistent illiteracy-
The problem of illiteracy has always persisted in Independent India; many factors can be owed to the prolonged existence of this issue. As we know, India has a diverse cultural heritage, owing to which the cultural landscape is quite complex. Due to high inequality in resources, disparities in various essential needs are rampant throughout the Country. Leading to the disparity in access to elementary education, consequentially leading to illiteracy. Specific causes concerning this broad point are enlisted below.
- Income Imbalance – In a nutshell, due to lack of financial resources, certain sub-groups are always excluded from gaining any education. They are forced to work low paying manual jobs. Their whole family gets trapped in this vicious cycle. Every generation due to being uneducated, is forced to indulge in similar professions.
- Gender Imbalance – Even though in the current world, women are being liberated from the shackles of their oppressed medieval past, the same cannot be considered accurate for the women in India. Perpetual patriarchy is still the norm in rural parts of the Country. Males in the family suppress the females and sometimes even deny access to education itself. This is evident from the low female adult literacy rates in rural areas.
- Lack of resources – India boosts a population of around 130 crores, which is equivalent to nearly 18% of the world population. Owing to such a high population, the creation of adequate resources for the same becomes a mammoth task. India is a developing nation that has numerous sectors to look after in order to ensure its economic growth; thus surplus expenditure on education alone is not feasible. Lacks of financial resources for the creation of education facilities have always been marked as one of the prime causes of illiteracy in our Country.
- Lack of Teaching staff – If we look at the demographic size of India, it becomes apparent that our landscape is quite vast. Owing to inequality in development, urban areas are provided with a steady rate of teachers. Similarly, private parties are also ever ready to set up schools in these metropolitan cities. On the contrary, in rural areas, the private corporations are not willing to set up their institutes, mainly due to lack of financial incentives, as consequence teachers are also reluctant to teach in the rural part of the Country.
- Poor Policy Implementation – Through the 86th amendment in the constitution, right of education was added as a fundamental right. Sarv Shiksha Abhiyan, which was launched under this scheme, has been subjected to heavy criticism. Essentially, this scheme has been considered inadequate as, at the administration level, some sub-groups have explicitly been excluded from reaping the benefit of the scheme. These sub-groups mainly belonged to unprivileged population of society
How to educate the uneducated?
Following are some remedies which may be considered for solving this pertinent issue revolving around literacy –
- Promoting Adult literacy – In order to spread the advantages of education throughout the Country, the adults who did not study in their younger days need to educated. Older adults who are educated will ask their children to lean toward education. Essentially, a chain reaction can be created through this.
- Embedding Skill training in education – In African countries, older adults are taught the essential components of education alongside their usages. Education schemes involving night school’s programs can be launched in used building complexes, where the courses can be taught about rights awareness and health and food security in the context of education.
- Link literacy with employment – Participation in adult education schemes can be awarded with job offers or scholarships, which shall incentivize the older adults’ in participating in these schemes.
- Technology can be used to spread awareness – Literary programs can be broadcasted throughout radio and internet of the Country. This will enable widespread dissemination of education policies. Moreover, this will aid, the major part of the population in knowing about the major policies.
- Internet resources shall be used – Students in India usually opt out of higher studies due to lack of confidence and resources. Internet resources like “Research prospect” can aid them in their project and essay studies. They shall use such resources for progressing in their studies. Similarly, students should be incentivized to build their resume from the college; guidance for the same can be taken from websites like “Resume Croc”. A good academic record in college backed by a good resume is bound to aid the student in getting the job of his choice.
Education is one of the most important factors that can shape a person’s life. To take appropriate measures, one has to realize its power and its importance in the current situation. Some situations above, explain the current problems and its solutions that you can implement to improve the literacy rate of the country. Along with this, creating awareness of education is also becoming important factor to deal with such problems. With the technological advancements, education is now easily accessible by the people. With these solutions, you can educate yourself and the people who are close by.
Hello everyone. My name is Grace Griffin. I am a member of the writers Team on Essays. I have my bachelors in Law, Masters in Literature and PhD in Economics. I wanted to explore all the possible subjects exists in the world, but I am afraid I couldn’t do so. I am a technical writer and writes research-based content. As for my hobbies, I love reading articles, blogs, magazines, newspapers and books.