Literacy in India is a key for socio-economic progress, and the Indian literacy rate has grown to 75% from 12% at the end of British rule in 1947. Despite government programmes, India’s literacy rate increased only “sluggishly,”and a 1990 study estimated that it would take until 2060 for India to achieve universal literacy at then-current rate of progress. There is a wide gender disparity in the literacy rate in India: effective literacy rates (age 7 and above) in 2011 were 82.14% for men and 65.46% for women.
REASONS FOR LOW LITERACY RATE:
- One of the main factors contributing to this relatively low literacy rate is the lack of proper school facilities as well as the sheer inefficiency of teaching staff across the government run education sector.
- In addition, there is no proper sanitation in most schools.
- The average Pupil Teacher Ratio for All India is 42:1, implying teacher shortage
- Furthermore, the expenditure allocated to education was never above 4.3% of the GDP despite the target of 6% by the Kothari Commission.
- Discrimination of lower castes has resulted in high dropout rates and low enrollment rates.
- Absolute poverty in India has also deterred the pursuit of formal education as education is not deemed of as the highest priority among the poor as compared to other basic necessities.
- The large proportion of illiterate females is another reason for the low literacy rate in India.
MEASURES TO SOLVE THE PROBLEM OF ILLITERACY:
- All the Indians should go to school without any compromise. The Government should make education free or should charge bare amount of money in all the government schools.
- We as citizens of India should tie-up with the Government and volunteer to check all houses / schools in all the areas of the town once in 15-30 days.
- Government & private companies should pay a good salary or incentives to the employees who are getting their kids a good/standardized education
- Child labour should be looked into seriously. Any family encouraging child labor should be punished.
- Incentives should be given to kids attending school. Free books, uniform, mid day meal etc should be provided.
- The government should sensitize the importance of girl’s education for family and society eventually.
- People should make an effort and try and enroll with different programs like ‘Each one,Teach one’ and should help educate their domestic help.
Such a serious problem of illiteracy calls for drastic measures rather than the half-hearted approaches we have so sedulously pursued all these years without any tangible results whatsoever. Mass illiteracy and child education have to be tackled on a war footing because of the sheer magnitude of the problem. Not only the government, but every literate person needs to accept the eradication of illiteracy as a personal goal. Each and every contribution by a literate person can make a contribution to eradicate the menace. As in the words of Barack Obama, “Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.”