New India Literacy Program – UPSC GS2

New India Literacy Program:
  • This program is launched for the period FYs 2022-2027 to cover all the aspects of Adult Education to align with National Education Policy 2020.
  • To impart not only foundational literacy and numeracy but also to cover other components which are necessary for a citizen of the 21st century like:
    • Critical life skills (including financial literacy, digital literacy, commercial skills, health care and awareness, child care and education, and family welfare).
    • Vocational skills development (with a view towards obtaining local employment).
    • Basic education (including preparatory, middle, and secondary stage equivalency).
    • Continuing education (including engaging holistic adult education courses in arts, sciences, technology, culture, sports, and recreation, as well as other topics of interest or use to local learners, such as more advanced material on critical life skills).
Implementation details:
  • The scheme will be implemented through volunteerism through online mode.
  • The training, orientation, workshops of volunteers, may be organized through face-to-face mode. All material and resources shall be provided digitally.
  • School will be Unit for implementation of the scheme.
  • Schools to be used for conducting surveys of beneficiaries and Voluntary Teachers.
Who will be Covered under the Scheme?
  • Non-literates of the age of 15 years and above in all states/UTs in the country.
  • The target is 5 (five) crore learners @ 1.00 crore per year by using “Online Teaching, Learning and Assessment System (OTLAS)” in collaboration with National Informatics Centre, NCERT and NIOS.
Why such scheme is needed?
  • As per Census 2011, the absolute number of non-literates of the country in 15 years and above age group is 25.76 crore (Male 9.08 crore, Female 16.68 crore).
  • Also, in consideration of the progress of persons certified as literates being to the tune of 7.64 crore under the Saakshar Bharat programme implemented during 2009-10 to 2017-18, it is estimated that currently around 18.12 crore adults are still non-literate in India.
What are the other Initiatives taken in this direction?
  • National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC): It aims to promote skill development by catalysing the creation of large, quality and for-profit vocational institutions. It acts as a catalyst in skill development by providing funding to enterprises, companies, and organizations that provide skill training.
  • Digital India Programme: It pulls together many existing schemes by restructuring and re-focusing them and then implementing them in a synchronized manner.
  • Pradhan Mantri Gramin Digital Saksharta Abhiyan: It is one of the largest initiatives of the country with the target of making citizens digitally literate.
  • National Digital Literacy Mission: It aims to empower at least one person per household with crucial digital literacy skills by 2020.
  • Samagra Shiksha: It is an integrated scheme for school education extending from pre-school to class XII to ensure inclusive and equitable quality education at all levels of school education.
Way Forward:
There is a need for real emancipation of the people. Education systems across the world should provide the training required for children and working adults so that they can learn to read and write. National educational plans should include schooling for children and literacy training for adults as parallel elements.
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