Wansuk for greater role of Saakshar Bharat in State

New Delhi: Rajya Sabha MP from Meghalaya, Wansuk Syiem has called for a greater role of Saakshar Bharat in the Hill State which is facing problems in the field of adult literacy which is the main aim of the mission.

Only two districts of Meghalaya– West Garo hills and South Garo Hills-are covered under the Saakshar Bharat initiative which aims at creating a literate society through a variety of teaching learning programmes for non-literate and neo-literate of 15 years and above.

“The mission should be now spread to other districts too,” Syiem said during a meeting convened by the Union Human Resources Development Ministry here recently.

“Although Meghalaya has one state resources centre operating under Saakshar Bharat programme, adult literacy infrastructure is still lagging behind in the State,” Syiem said.

“Unlike several other states, Meghalaya was not provided with model adult education centre under corporate social responsibility initiative and does not even have Jan Shikshan Sansthans operating,” she added.

The Centre’s own assessment places most of the Northeastern states and many other states as on track with adult literacy programmes. Meghalaya is included in the list of states where adult literacy campaign is still picking up, Wansuk said.

Wansuk said that area of concern for NE states barring Manipur is the high dropout rates which are higher across the region than the national average. In case of Meghalaya the drop out rate is still higher and it is very disturbing that only one fourth of the children originally enrolled complete high schools,” she pointed out.

“This leaves much scope for widening the infrastructure for adult literacy programmes in Meghalaya and also skill development programmes for women,” Syiem said.

“The launch of the 12th Five Year Plan will coincide with the presentation of the Union Budget in 2014-15 and I hope the special needs of Meghalaya in the area of adult literacy programmes are recognised and adequate allocation are made in the central budget,” she added.

Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh had launched Saakshar Bharat, a centrally sponsored scheme of Department of School Education and Literacy (DSEL), Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD), Government of India (GOI), on the International Literacy Day in 2009.

It aims to further promote and strengthen adult education, specially of women.