Education Guide

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Thursday, September 28, 2006

Illiteracy in India

The Constitution of India advocates free and compulsory education of children below the age of 14. So why is more than half the population in India illiterate? Is ignorance really a bliss or is it the limitations of our resources?

I was going through a recent survey conducted in five states of Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, and Rajasthan on basic education system in India (Public Report on Basic Education). The report points that parents are willing to send their children to school. So what is holding them back?

Life in India or in that case in any part of the world is easy if you have resources (money and infrastructure). Moreover, social and economic factors slows you down. While driving back home you must have seen children selling books or flowers. Estimates cite figures of between 60 and 110 million working children in India. Child labor is a source of income for poor families. Is it poverty responsible for child labor or is it the inadequacy of school system in India?

One solution I can think of this moment is the realization that we all can contribute in some way or the other. A small step taken by us can make a big difference. You can contribute by:

  • Volunteering or donating money to NGOs for child education.
  • Opening a library or donating books to your city library.
  • Promoting the concept of earn and learn.
  • Providing vocational or job oriented education.
  • Educating atleast one child during your life.


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