India recognised education as a fundamental right with the enactment of Right to Education Act in 2010

India recognised education as a fundamental right with the enactment of Right to Education Act in 2010. It took almost 63 years, post independence to establish education as a fundamental right. Although, many efforts undertaken by central and state governments to provide education to all and to eradicate illiteracy from the country. Education is the foundation stone for social and economic development of a nation. Education improves the quality of life in terms of increase in life expectancy, increase in healthy living, increased nutritional levels of women and children, increased capability to contribute towards social, cultural and economic development. Education is a much wider term than literacy.
Literacy is the first step of learning which involves ability to read, write, use of language and learning of basic arithmetic. Thus, an illiterate person is one who is not able to do any of these activities. Post independence major focus has revolved around eliminating illiteracy from the society. Illiteracy was a major problem area for social, economical and environmental development of the country. In 1947, literacy rate in India was at 12 percent, which means, 88 out of every 100 people were not able to read, write and do basic arithmetic. As per 2011 census, literacy rate stands at 74.04 percent. From 1947 to 2011, India has come a long way in improving literacy rate across the nation. It is noteworthy to mention that India became second largest populated country within the same period; hence, the rise of literate population from 12 percent to 74.04 percent is certainly commendable. Still India stands below the world average literacy rate of 86.3 percent. Male literacy rate in India figured as 80.9 percent and for female at 72.1 percent, whereas world average stood at 90 percent and 86.3 percent for male and female respectively. In India, rural literacy rate reflects a mere 69 percent and urban literacy rate at 85 percent. Rural India with lack of infrastructure like, availability of schools / learning centres, proper road and transport facility, availability of learning tools, availability of basic civic amenities at the schools and availability of teachers and staff at the schools. Apart from these infrastructural factors other reasons for low literacy rate in rural areas is social, cultural, economic and conservative approach of the rural population. Learning of reading and writing skills, although necessary, but is not sufficient and does not fulfil the requirements of various segments of the population such as male, female, children, adults, tribal people, rural people, urban dwellers, farmers, labourers, language, religion, and demographic differences.
Education, on the other hand is a much wider term, which involves not only reading and writing but deeper knowledge of language, arithmetic and the ability to use learning in daily life. Education helps in increasing the overall living standard of the person and the people at large. Education is something more than mere reading and writing. Education is a process that ensures maintenance of balance on the grounds of personal, physical, emotional, social, environmental and economical paradigm of society. Education helps in establishing and maintaining ideologies of democracy, secularism, national integration and industrialisation. It enables individuals to adapt themselves by enhancing their creative participation in the process of changing environment of learning. The rapid and incessant changes of the present life situations have simply accentuated the need for education since life styles have become more complex which demand a systematic and multidisciplinary approach. Education is essential for every individual. Level of education and the knowledge acquired through education helps people to earn respect and recognition in the society. It is an indispensable part of life both personally and socially. The importance of education is undeniable as it always carries a positive impact on human life. With the advent of education, people can acquire their knowledge and gain more exposure in all aspects. Apparently, people become more civilized if they are well educated.
1.1 Meaning of Adult Education
Adult education refers to the illiterate population between the age group of 15years to 35 years. Illiterate adults are the outcome of failure of elementary and compulsory education programs. The educationists, who have conceptualized adult education, believe that formal education has not been able to achieve its objectives. Elementary education refers to the formal education, which is designed for children up-to 15 years of age. Hence, adult education can be referred as formal education for adults with difference in ways of teaching, Major focus on the execution of adult education started in 1950 with the objective of teaching 3Rs (reading, writing and arithmetic) to the illiterate population in the desired age group. Adult education, due to low literacy rate, majorly confined up-to adult literacy only. Although continuing education and skill development enhances the overall idea of adult education in India.

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