Literacy in India
As per UNESCO, the definition of literacy has been defined as ‘the individual who has the ability to identify, understand, interpret, create, communicate, compute and use printed and written materials associated with varying contexts. Literacy involves a continuum of learning and enabling individuals to achieve their goals, to develop their knowledge and potential, and to participate fully in their community and wider society’. In a layman’s language, literacy means as acquiring the skills of reading, writing and arithmetic and the ability to apply them to one’s day-to-day life. It basically involves the achievement of three things:
Awareness of the surrounding
Acquiring skills to improve the economic status and general well-being
Imbibing values such as national integration, conservation of the environment, women’s equality, observance of small family norms
In India also, the literacy is defined as the ‘ability to read, write and understand things’. The top states as per the records of 2020 are: Kerala, Delhi, Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, Assam and Maharashtra.
Apart from these states, the literacy rate in all the other states is very low. The reason attributing to it varies from place to place but the one main factor is the will and the mindset of the people. They do not think of education as a source of knowledge and a tool which can eradicate poverty and all their problems. They do not see in that direction. The reason is that success requires time and the people feel education as a means of solving everything instantly. That is why they do not consider it. And the basic knowledge of facts, ethics and morals which govern the society can be taught by the family members at home. There is no extra need to spend money on that. This is the mindset of people.
But people forget that education is something which is fruitful in the long run. Maybe as of now, it is not helpful and not has the ability to solve problems but it definitely works in the future. It can be seen as a seed which is planted and then watered daily and took care of and finally after years of hard-work and patience, it is able to provide food and shelter. It is very much similar to that but people failed to think like that.
One of the other reasons which can be also attributed to the low literacy rate in the states is the money which is required to spend on the education. Sometimes, people does not have that much money and even if they have, it is very limited which they cannot afford to spend it on education of their children. It feels very irrelevant. Also, now the people think of having a less number of children but before people didn’t have this entire thing in mind. They had 8-10 children and thinking of spending money on their education would cost them so much which they are not able to afford it. If they will spend all the money which they have, nothing will be left for them to eat. One of the main reason it is why people are hesitant to provide education to their children especially in rural areas.
Therefore, government has taken several steps to remove all these hurdles which people face. They have started so many awareness programs to change the thinking and mindset of the people. It indulges themselves in various kinds of campaigns so that people understand the importance of education and come forward to educate their children in this regard. Now, the problem of money is also removed as the basic education plan which is for the children up to age 14 is free by the government and then the higher studies also is taken care of if the student is good in academics by way of scholarships.