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Friday, 14 February 2014

Inadequate WASH Facilities Rising Illiteracy In INDIA

Inequality In Education
According to a report by United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation, India has the highest population of illiterate adults at 287 million
India has by far the largest population of illiterate adults at 287 million, amounting to 37 per cent of the global total, a United Nations report said highlighting the huge disparities existing in education levels of the country’s rich and poor.
The 2013/14 Education for All Global Monitoring Report said India’s literacy rate rose from 48 per cent in 1991 to 63 per cent in 2006, the latest year it has available data, but population growth cancelled the gains so there was no change in the number of illiterate adults.
India has the highest population of illiterate adults at 287 million, the report published by United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation said.
The report further said that the richest young women in India have already achieved universal literacy but the poorest are projected to only do so around 2080, noting that huge disparities within India point to a failure to target support adequately towards those who need it the most.
“Post-2015 goals need to include a commitment to make sure the most disadvantaged groups achieve benchmarks set for goals. Failure to do so could mean that measurement of progress continues to mask the fact that the advantaged benefit the most,” the report added.
The report said that a global learning crisis is costing governments $ 129 billion a year. Ten countries account for 557 million, or 72 per cent, of the global population of illiterate adults.
Ten per cent of global spending on primary education is being lost on poor quality education that is failing to ensure that children learn.
This situation leaves one in four young people in poor countries unable to read a single sentence.
In one of India’s wealthier states, Kerala, education spending per pupil was about $ 685.
In rural India, there are wide disparities between richer and poorer states, but even within richer states, the poorest girls perform at much lower levels in mathematics.
In the wealthier states of Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu, most rural children reached grade 5 in 2012.
However, only 44 per cent of these children in the grade 5 age group in Maharashtra and 53 per cent in Tamil Nadu could perform a two-digit subtraction.
Among rich, rural children in these states, girls performed better than boys, with around two out of three girls able to do the calculations.
Despite Maharashtra’s relative wealth, poor, rural girls there performed only slightly better than their counterparts in the poorer state of Madhya Pradesh.
Absence of adequate school infrastructure like improper Water Sanitation Menstrual Hygiene Facilities (WASH) one of the main factor affecting literacy in India. 
Reason For Low Literacy
 In addition ,there is  inefficient teaching staff  and there is no proper sanitation in most schools is one of the main factors affecting literacy in India. There is a shortage of classrooms to accommodate all the students in 2006–2007.  In addition,. The study of 188 government-run primary schools in central and northern India revealed that 59% of the schools had no drinking water facility and 89% no toilets. In 600,000 villages and multiplying urban slum habitats, 'free and compulsory education' is the basic literacy instruction dispensed by barely qualified 'para teachers'.The average Pupil Teacher Ratio for All India is 1:42, implying teacher shortage.[ Such inadequacies resulted in a non-standardized school system where literacy rates may differ. Furthermore, the expenditure allocated to education was never above 4.3% of the GDP from 1951–2002 despite the target of 6% by the Kothari Commission.This further complicates the literacy problem in India.
Severe caste disparities also exist. Discrimination of lower castes has resulted in high dropout rates and low enrolment rates. The National Sample Survey Organisation and the National Family Health Survey collected data in India on the percentage of children completing primary school which are reported to be only 36.8% and 37.7% respectively.On 21 February 2005, the Prime Minister of India said that he was pained to note that “only 47 out of 100 children enrolled in class I reach class VIII, putting the dropout rate at 52.78 per cent. It is estimated that at least 35 million, and possibly as many as 60 million, children aged 6–14 years are not in school.
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 MRP-based (mixed recall period) poverty estimates of about 22% of poverty in 2004–05 which translated to 22 out of per 100 people are not meeting their basic needs, much less than meeting the need for education.
The large proportion of illiterate females is another reason for the low literacy rate in India. Inequality based on gender differences resulted in female literacy rates being lower at 65.46% than that of their male counterparts at 82.14%. Due to strong stereotyping of female and male roles, Sons are thought of to be more useful and hence are educated. Females are pulled to help out on agricultural farms at home as they are increasingly replacing the males on such activities which require no formal education.Fewer than 2% of girls who engaged in agriculture work attended school.

Female literacy Impact Indian Society

The development of any nation or region is indicated by the level of education and that too of both genders. That is why ‘education for all’ is strongly recommended and focused on by our government. India has made a considerable progress in this sector and with all the efforts the literacy rate grew to 74.04% in 2011 from meager 12% in 1947. But still, India has not achieved what it should have during this period. First of all, the progress made in this sector is very slow. Secondly, there a considerable gap between male and female literacy rates in India. It has been estimated that at the current rate of progress, India will attain universal literacy only until 2060. As per the census of 2011, an effective literacy rate for men was 82.14% whereas for women it was 65.46%. Though there has been seen a substantial increase in the number of literate women and this gap is narrowing, it still persists. Among such figures, there exists a ray of hope as well. According to the 2011 census, since year 2011, 110 million additional women had become literate as compared to 107 men that means that the number of literate women is increasing. Females constitute about 50% of country’s human resource but lack of education snatches their chance to be a part of the progress and development of India. This means our pace of progress is less than the required pace. Even if females do not use education to work, total illiteracy has a huge negative impact on our society.
There is a dramatic difference in the female literacy rate based on various regions in India. Female literacy rate in urban areas is higher as compared to rural India. In Rajasthan, most of the rural women are illiterate.
Kerala has the highest female literacy rate (92% as per 2011 census) whereas Rajasthan (52.7% as per 2011 census) has the lowest female literacy rate in India. States such as Uttar Pradesh (59.3% as per 2011 census) and Bihar (53.3% as per 2011 census) that are the most populated states in India show low levels of female literacy. This is directly related to the health and infant mortality. Kerala has the lowest infant mortality whereas states of Bihar and Uttar Pradesh have a high mortality rate.

Low female literacy rate means an overall sluggish growth of India, as it impacts every arena of the development. India is struggling hard to stabilize its growing population through family planning programs. But if females are illiterate, then this has a direct and negative impact on these initiatives.
When a girl or a woman is not educated, it is not only she who suffers but the entire family has to bear the consequences of her illiteracy. It has been found out that illiterate women face more hardships in life than literate ones. They have high levels of fertility as well as mortality; they suffer from malnutrition and all other related health problems. In one of the surveys, it has been found out that infant mortality is inversely related to mother’s educational level. In such a scenario not only women but their kids also go through the same conditions. She, who does not know the importance of education in life, does not emphasize the same for her kids. This hampers the family as well as the nation’s progress as a whole.
Lack of education means lack of awareness. Illiterate women are not aware of their rights. They know nothing about initiatives taken by the government for their welfare. Illiterate women keep on struggling hard and bear harshness of life, family and even their husbands.
The negative attitude of parents towards the girl child and her education is one of the major reasons of low female literacy rate in India. In most of the families, boys at home are given priority in terms of education but girls are not treated in the same way. Right from the beginning, parents do not consider girls as earning members of their family, as after marriage they have to leave their parents’ home. So their education is just considered as a wastage of money as well as time. For this reason, parents prefer to send boys to schools but not girls.
Poverty is the root cause of many problems in India and also of low female literacy rate. More than one-third of population in India is living below the poverty line. Though government is putting efforts to make the primary education free but still parents are not ready to send their girls to school. To this is connected the accessibility to schools. In most of the rural areas lack of easy accessibility to school is another reason for low female literacy rate. Parents do not prefer to send girls to schools if these are located at a far distance from their village or home. Even if schools are there then lack of adequate school facilities becomes a hurdle. Some of the schools are really in pathetic conditions and do not have even basic facilities. As per a survey, 54% of schools in Uttar Pradesh do not have water facility and 80% do not have latrine facilities. Even some schools do not have enough rooms to accommodate all the students.
Another barrier to female education in India is the lack of female teachers. As India is a gender segregated society, it is a very important factor in the low female literacy rate in India.
But in spite of all reasons, women must understand and realize that education can actually end the vivacious cycle of poverty, their misfortune, so that they can live a life with pride. In case of any misfortune in life, it is education that would help her, not anything else. The government should really work towards the number, distance and quality of schools in rural as well as urban India. We should encourage the girl child in getting education to create a balanced and an educated society.

Global learning crisis is costing $129 billion a year
Some 125 million school children around the world are unable to read a single sentence, even after four years of attendance – a waste of $129 billion a year – a United Nations report warned today, calling on Governments to draft the best teachers to teach the most underprivileged if the goal of universal education is ever to be reached.
“This learning crisis has costs not only for the future ambitions of children, but also for the current finances of Governments,” says the independent Education for All (EFA) Global Monitoring Report Teaching and Learning: Achieving Quality for All,commissioned by the the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).
“Around 250 million children are not learning basic skills, even though half of them have spent at least four years in school. The annual cost of this failure: around 129 billion,” it says, noting that in around a third of countries, less than 75 per cent of primary school teachers are trained according to national standards. Some 57 million children are not in school at all.
The report proposes four strategies to provide the best teachers to reach all children with a good quality education: selecting the right teachers to reflect the diversity of the children; training teachers to support the weakest learners from the earliest grades; overcoming inequalities by allocating the best teachers to the most challenging parts of a country; and providing teachers with the right mix of Government incentives to remain in the profession and ensure all children are learning, regardless of their circumstances.
“These policy changes have a cost,” UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova says in a forword. “This is why we need to see a dramatic shift in funding. Basic education is currently underfunded by $26 billion a year, while aid is continuing to decline. At this stage, Governments simply cannot afford to reduce investment in education – nor should donors step back from their funding promises. This calls for exploring new ways to fund urgent needs.”
Noting that the world will already miss the goal of full primary schooling for children, both boys and girls, everywhere by 2015, the second of the anti-poverty Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) adopted at the UN Millennium Summit in 2000, she stresses the imperative to make education central to a sustainable development agenda for the decades after 2015.
“As we advance towards 2015 and set a new agenda to follow, all Governments must invest in education as an accelerator of inclusive development,” she writes. “This Report’s evidence clearly shows that education provides sustainability to progress against all development goals. Educate mothers, and you empower women and save children’s lives. Educate communities, and you transform societies and grow economies.”
The report notes that in 2011, around half of young children had access to pre-primary education, but in sub-Saharan Africa the share was only 18 per cent. The number of children out of school was 57 million, half of whom lived in conflict-affected countries. In sub-Saharan Africa, only 23 per cent of poor girls in rural areas were completing primary education by the end of the decade.
“If recent trends in the region continue, the richest boys will achieve universal primary completion in 2021, but the poorest girls will not catch up until 2086,” it warns.
But the disparity is not only restricted to the developing world. Even in high-income countries education systems are failing significant minorities. In New Zealand, while almost all students from rich households achieved minimum standards in grades 4 and 8, only two thirds of poor students did.
Immigrants in rich countries are also left behind. In France, for example, fewer than 60 per cent of immigrants have reached the minimum benchmark in reading.
As for adult literacy, that has hardly improved. In 2011, there were 774 million illiterate adults, a decline of just 1 per cent since 2000. The number is projected to fall only slightly, to 743 million, by 2015. Almost two thirds of illiterate adults are women. The poorest young women in developing countries may not achieve universal literacy until 2072.

Edited By : Sonika

UN Report

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