Literacy In India

World Bank statistics found that fewer than 40 percent of adolescents in India attend secondary schools. The Economist reports that half of 10-year-old rural children could not read at a basic level, over 60% were unable to do division, and half dropped out by the age 14. Women have much lower literacy rate than men. Far fewer girls are enrolled in the schools, and many of them drop out due to inadequate school facilities (such as sanitary facilities), shortage of female teachers and gender bias in curriculum.

One study found out that 25% of public sector teachers and 40% of public sector medical workers were absent during a survey. Among teachers who were paid to teach, absence rates ranged from 15% to 71%. Only 1 in nearly 3000 public school head teachers had ever dismissed a teacher for repeated absence. A study of 188 government-run primary schools found that 59% of the schools had no drinking water and 89% had no toilets.

The United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights states that everyone has the right to an education. Unfortunately, education is still a distant dream for many.

Many children living in rural areas receive a level of education which is very poor. Overall enrollment in primary and middle schools are very low. Fifty percent of children living in these areas leave school before the fifth grade. These children leave school for variety of reasons: some leave because of lack of interest; most leave so that they can work in the fields, where the hours are long and the pay is low.

A large percent of the dropouts are females. Forced by their parents, most girls perform chores and tend the family at home. These are some of the reasons why sixty percent of all females in India are illiterate, a figure much higher than those of males. As these children grow into adults, many are still illiterate by the age of forty. These uneducated adults are also reluctant to send their own children to school because of their failure in the education system. This in turn creates a problem for the next generation.

While the children living in rural areas continue to be deprived of a quality education, part of the reason why is due to their teachers. A large number of teachers refuse to teach in rural areas and those that do are usually unqualified. As the lack of teachers creates many obstacles for children in rural schools, another setback is the lack of resources. Lack of books and other reading materials seem to be a widespread problem. The use of high-tech devices such as computers is very rare. Another condition of the schools are the inadequate facilities the classes are actually taught in. Some schools are located in warehouses while others in small houses. Many of the rural schools operate without electricity.

Education Rights

Concentrating our attention on two of the the worst states for literacy we have setup schools in both Jharkhand and Orissa.

Divine Onkar Mission School - Jharkhand

Onkar Sewa Ashram - Orissa

Onkar school in Gudisahi - Orissa

Recent Developments