Monday, May 23, 2011

Myths of education in Karnataka

With 54,529 primary schools attended by 252,875 teachers and 8.495 million students Karnataka may have the haven for primary education, but the state’s total literacy rate of 67.04% suggests the different story. The government endeavors like Sarv Shiksha Abhiyan and the School Chalo Campaigns have failed to erase the blot of illiteracy from the state. Interestingly, almost half of the female population in the state is still illiterate.

This eighth largest state in India boasts itself for the literacy rate slightly higher than the national average and the structure of higher education that is better than many of the states and union territories in India. This is one side of the story. Education is still a daydream for much of the tribal population, the scheduled castes, the poor and the marginalized people.

In its report due to be submitted to the Karnataka High Court, a committee headed by the former NHRC member Shivraj Patil to study the causes of child marriages the committee said poverty, illiteracy and lack of awareness were the prime reasons behind the social evils in the state. This admittance came when most of the government bodies were boasting the raise in the levels of literacy and living standards of the people of Karnataka.

Recent census data also suggest the poor state of education in the state, specially of the SC, SC and the minorities. Karnataka can claim that their position is far better them many other states but it is only a cosolation. Specially when we claim that the state is the home to the prestigious institutions of higher and technical educatin, home to the IT industry and much more, the slow progress in primary education is a dangerous sign.

Need of Urgent Action

Reasons behind the illiteracy on the same side are poverty and lack of awareness. Also, the social practices contribute a lot to raise the problem. There is an urgent need to address the issue. To meet the millennium development goals of 2015 education can be the best tool.

How the problem can be met out?

Total literacy cannot be achieved, until and unless each and every citizen is involved in the process. The deprived, marginalized and the poor shall be given equal opportunities. Also, there is an urgency to run an awareness program to address the issue so that the social stigma can be broken.

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