Education Minister Dinanath Sharma today said he plans to mobilise secondary and higher secondary level students for a campaign against illiteracy. “Currently, the country has around two million students from Grade IX to XII. Two million illiterates can be made literate even if one child teaches an illiterate,” he said.
If two million children teach an equal number of illiterates for three years, they will cover 6 million illiterates, Sharma argued, pointing that Non Formal Education Centre has put the number of illiterates at 5.1 million. “The number of illiterates will go down significantly in a few years if we follow this strategy,” Sharma added.
Students of the secondary and higher secondary levels have to do field work in subjects such as health and population and social studies, Sharma said, adding that teaching illiterates will be made a part of the assignment. He informed that the students will be given marks on the basis of the literacy level of the targeted segments. He said the students will have the luxury to teach the illiterates anywhere and anytime of the year.
In 2008, then government led by PM Pushpa Kamal Dahal had pledged to eliminate illiteracy within two years by launching a National Literacy Campaign. Education Minister Renu Yadav had deployed SLC graduates to teach the illiterates with incentives, but the effort could not achieve the desired level of success.
Sharma further said, “The government has allocated Rs 700 million for the literacy classes this time. If schoolchildren are deployed, the funds will be saved and the students will also acquire teaching experience, which will teach them a good lesson.”
(Source: The Himalayantimes)