Saakshar Bharat Mission
This is a Centrally Sponsored Scheme, under the aegis of Department Of School Education & Literacy, Ministry Of Human Resource Development, Government of India.
- To further promote and strengthen Adult Education, specially of women, by extending educational options to those adults who having lost the opportunity of access to formal education and crossed the standard age for receiving such education, now feel a need for learning of any type, including, literacy, basic education (equivalency to formal education), vocational education (skill development), physical and emotional development,practical arts, applied science, sports, and recreation.
- To impart functional literacy to non-literates in the age group of 15-35 years in a time bound manner, the National Literacy Mission (NLM) was launched in 1988 and it continued through Ninth and Tenth Five Year Plans. By the end of the Tenth Five Year Plan (March 2007), NLM had covered 597 districts under Total Literacy Campaign (TLC), 485 districts under Post Literacy Programme (PLP) and 328 districts under Continuing Education Programme (CEP). As a cumulative outcome of these efforts, 127.45 million persons became literate, of which, 60% learners were females, while 23% learners belonged to Scheduled Castes (SCs) and 12% to Scheduled Tribes (STs).
Illiteracy in India
- Despite significant accomplishments of the National Literacy Mission, illiteracy continues to be an area of national concern. 2001 census had revealed that there were still 259.52 million illiterate adults (in the age group of 15 +) in the country.
- While further accretion into the pool of adult illiterate persons is expectedto recede significantly on account of enhanced investments in elementaryeducation and a reverse demographic trend, addition to this pool cannot be ruledout altogether on account of relatively high school drop out ratio.
- Wide gender,social and regional disparities in literacy also continue to persist.
- Adult educationis therefore indispensable as it supplements the efforts to enhance and sustainliteracy levels through formal education.
- It was, therefore, considered necessary to continue the NLM during the XI Planperiod. While acknowledging, in principle, the need for continuing andstrengthening further the efforts to promote Adult Education, the PlanningCommission agreed to the continuance of NLM during the XIth Plan provided itwas appraised de novo and modified suitably to meet the contemporarychallenges.
- The programme was accordingly subjected to extensive in-house andexternal review and evaluation.
- This in-depth appraisal had revealed certain inadequacies in the design,architecture and mode of implementation of the programme, most conspicuousbeing, non-viability of a single pan Indian solution, limitations of voluntaryapproach, limited involvement of the State Governments in the programme, lackof convergence, weak management and supervisory structures, lack of communityparticipation, poor monitoring and inadequate funding.
- Saakshar Bharat will come into operation from 1-10-2009. Though duration of thescheme, National Literacy Mission, was valid only till the end of the Tenth FiveYear Plan, residual activities under the Mission were allowed to continue till30-09-2009, as a special dispensation, so that the ongoing activities could becompleted during the extended period. With the launch of Saakshar Bharat, theNational Literacy Mission and its entire programmes and activities standconcluded on 30.09.2009.
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