Prince and Erick
Literacy Campaign Report: India
The Mass Literacy Campaigns in Pre and Post-Independence Era of India is viewed as the best move India made today. India is the second largest demographic country in the world and to such a population without literacy it is meaningless and challenging for economic development. Because of this, India initiated literacy campaign movements geared towards adult education to improve mass literacy despite the ongoing formal education systems. The campaigns focused on informal education systems to meet adults needs thereby improving adults’ individual health and socio-economic status meaningful for the 21st century. Because of the Indian literacy campaigns, literacy status improved in general among adults. Majority of the adults were able to use technology in their daily livelihood and reported a general socio-economic development.
A person who can read and write with understanding of language is called literate. However, a person who can only read but cannot write is not a literate. According to Dr. Pallvi Pandit al. International Journal or Recent Research Aspects, literacy is also defined as the skill of reading, writing and arithmetic and the ability to apply them to one’s day-to-day life. While other source claim that “Adult education is a practice in which adults engage in systematic and sustained self-educating activities in order to gain new forms of knowledge, skills, attitudes and values.
Shortly after the initiation of adult education in India, majority of adults became aware of its importance. The government realized that adult education could play a role in the development of the country. So, the government launched serval campaigns of literacy across India with the intension of providing mass literacy education. Through the initiative of the national government, the idea of adult literacy was quickly embraced by State governments. With the help of other key players, State government accelerated the formation of small self-help groups in the villages where main stream activities were not undertaken. For example, United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) in India assisted government in establishing different working curriculum for different interest groups. The curriculum considered major gaps including philosophical and historical perspectives, policy and planning, pre-literacy campaign status and issues including cultural diversities, post literacy campaign and continuing education and finally on gender mainstream and development.
Similarly, the political class were not also left behind. The former prime minister, Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru, post-independence era established various literacy centers, libraries, community centers, voluntary organizations, social education institution and rural and development and employment centers in support of government initiative to help eliminate the illiteracy in India.
In October 2, 1978, National Adult Education Program (NAEP) was formulated to organize adult education with literacy as cardinal component for at least people of the age group 15-35 years. The NAEP’s objective was to provide adults literacy skills for self-reliant. It was also perceived that literacy skill will make adults develop active role in their own and promote social awareness thus help combat poverty and illiteracy in India. Even though NAEP was successful in meeting majority if its goals, not every adult benefited from the adult education campaign. However, luck of complete performance was to blame on some key opinion leaders like Gandhi who was not initially for the idea of Western education. Gandhi held the view the western as romantic, anti-industrial, humanist and libertarian thinkers.
According to a survey done by Quora, it was found that countries having low literacy level are economically backward. A correlation of the importance of adult education for countries progress. Adult education is necessary for personal enrichment of individual, effective participation in many areas like social, political, international level affairs etc. similarly, adult literacy raises the standards of living and socio-economic development.
In another study by Krishna Kumar, poverty and unemployment rates decreased because of increased adult literacy campaigns in India. Notable, there has been an upward trend in production due to improve understanding and use of. Which intern has help reduce the poverty and unemployment. The study showed that poverty and unemployment rates dropped from 65 to 45 percent. Likewise, adult education has enabled India to reach out to the western world. According to an article in the India express, India can now communicate and trade with the western world. India can now engage in export and import goods and services from the West because of improved adult literacy status. The current report states that import and export rate have increased from 59 million dollars to 117 million dollars per annum.
Mass literacy campaigns in pre and post-independence era in India is notably been a success story. Due to the growing ability to use language and literacy in all sphere of life, currently India is not an isolated country anymore. Prior to literacy campaign in India, majority of Indians’ had limited access in business, technology and poor health. Now India is viewed as a major player in market economy since both old and young citizens can equally participate in the market economy and are understanding cultural diversity.