Literacy rate up, but so is illiteracy

Population Rising But Enrolment Not Keeping Pace
The overall literacy rate in the country may have gone up to 74.4%, but the drop in the illiteracy rate has not matched the increase in population.

Between 2001 and 2011, the population above the age of 7 grew by 18.65 crore but the decrease in the number of illiterates is just 3.11 crore.

A 2015 Unesco report said that in terms of absolute numbers, India -with 28.7 crore illiterates -was the country with the largest number of adults without basic literacy skills in 2010-11 compared to 2000-01 when it had 30.4 crore illiterates. The fact that illiteracy is not being tackled is evident from the enrolment rates in primary and upper primary schools. Over 12 years (2000-01 to 2013-14), the number of children who enrolled in primary schools increased by just 1.86 crore, and at the upper primary level by just over 2 crore.The population during this period, however, increased by more than 18 crore.

“Over the past few years, there has been a dip in the enrolment rate across the country compared to the growth in population,“ says A S Seetharamu, a former professor of the Institute of Social and Economic Change.illetracy

Going by 2011Census data, most states, barring a few like Nagaland, have recorded an increase in population but the enrolment rate does not mirror that. The country also seems to be having a problem with retaining people in schools and colleges. An average of 326 out of 1,000 students in rural areas are dropping out, while the same is 383 per 1,000 in urban areas, the National Sample Survey Organisation’s (NSSO) last survey reveals. This data counts people up to the age of 29.

Unesco has put the number of out-of-school (OOS) children at 17 lakh in India.A survey commissioned by the Centre put the number for 2014 at 61lakh, with SC and ST children making up 49.03% (29.73 lakh) of these.

Source: Times of India 28th Jan/2016