International Literacy Day: Shocking facts about Indian literacy that will question progress

September 8th is widely known as International Literacy Day. The world no doubt is progressing, but let’s have a clear picture of India’s literacy status, where it constitutes to the largest illiterate population in the world.

September 8th is celebrated as International Literacy Day since 1966 when United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) gathered for the 14th general conference and proclaimed the day. The world so far has come ahead in terms of literacy, but when it comes to India we cannot be sure of progress. Though, we talk about India and its legacy for education from medieval times. It was we who came up with Gurukuls, writing scriptures and skill based practical education. But with a course of time, we forgot all these values on the pretext of marks and population education.

Literacy is still a grey area in the field of progress in the country. Illiteracy came up as a huge problem in India and people from every area are still churning their brains to cope up with it on papers. Here are facts about Indian literacy that will give you a clear picture of the situation.

·         According to data, for every 50 students there is only one teacher which is the very reason for depriving status of education in the country.

·         Back in 1947, India’s literacy rate was only 12 percent. In 2011, it was 75 percent. Though it might sound impressive in the first go, until you realize that the average literacy rate in the nations is 84 percent, leaving India far behind.

·         Ours is the only country where the number of illiterate adults exceeds 200 million! The exact number of illiterates in India is 286 million. China, the second on the list has just 54 million.

·         When it comes to women literacy the stats are more buffering.  Of all the illiterate women in the world, you’d be shocked to know that over one-third of them are Indian!

·         52.33 percent the lowest literacy rate for women in India in Rajasthan. The situation in Bihar is not better with literacy rate at 53.33 percent.

·         At the basic level of literacy, about 75% Indian men had if nothing but basic primary education. Though when the same was calculated for women it was 51%, 24 percentage points lower than that of men.

·         India records 36.7% of the world’s illiterate population with 287 million illiterate adults; by far it is the largest share of any nation.

But without any doubts, it’s never too late to start on the road to that change.

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