Archives For illiteracy

I love kids. Who doesn’t? Some of the wittiest and most fabulous people I know… are children.

And I’ve always loved supporting different causes that benefit kids around the world—mostly education. Because education is one of those few things in my life that I know is real, and good, and life changing.

But it has recently come to my attention that when we talk about children’s education, the conversation feels a bit one-sided.

Because what happens when that kid comes home from school to a family that doesn’t value education? To a mother who can’t read or write? To a father who could care less?

Take it from Jaya. As you can see, she’s obviously awesome. Continue Reading…

When I first started working in the nonprofit field, I was a lowly intern with big ideas of a world transformed in my lifetime. Literacy felt like a nice, fluffy topic. I knew education was important—but literacy felt like such a backseat issue compared to extreme poverty, slavery, and the other deep injustices of the world. So I thought, really, let’s prioritize.

Over the years, my perspective has obviously widened and developed and grown, but I’ll admit, it wasn’t until a recent trip to India that I totally changed my mind about literacy.

Because when we talk about literacy, we’re not talking about teaching people to read and write. We’re talking about giving them the opportunity of their lives… lives that they’ll live out with purpose… lives that will help end extreme poverty, slavery, and the other deep injustices of the world.

So there I was, in a decent-sized village called Yadagirigutta, in South India, where I met Kiran.

Continue Reading…

Reference: SC = Scheduled Castes & ST = Scheduled Tribes (all part of lower castes)

The literacy rate among scheduled castes and tribes remains well below the rest of India’s population, but the gap has closed significantly in the last decade. During this period (2001-2011), ST and SC women made the most rapid progress, latest census data reveals.

Data released earlier this week shows a 14.6 percentage point increase in literacy among ST and SC women over the decade, compared to a jump of 10 percentage points for non-SC/ST women. The literacy rate of ST men and SC men has jumped by 9.4 and 8.5 percentage points, respectively, compared to just 4.8 percentage points among non-SC/ST men.

The pattern of SC and ST women showing a higher increase in literacy holds good across almost all states, and in both rural and urban areas. Of course, the base was very low to start with in the case of both women and men in the two communities, compared to the general population. Continue Reading…

India still has the largest number of illiterate adults in the world, but has made ”rapid advances” in cutting down the numbers of school drop outs, a new UN report on education has said.

The Education For All–Global Monitoring Report finds that out of the total 759 million illiterate adults in the world, India still has the highest number.

“Over half of the illiterate adults live in just four countries: Bangladesh, China, India and Pakistan,” the report said, adding the progress has been “painfully slow” and threatens to obstruct the Millennium Development Goals.

It said about 72 million primary school age children and another 71 million adolescents are not at school, and on current trends, 56 million primary school age children will still be out of school in 2015, it said. UNESCO’s top official Irina Bokova said the world body was apprehensive that the financial crisis would cause governments to scale back funding on education.

“With the world’s largest illiterate population, India has been making progress,” the report said. Continue Reading…