The population of India is a staggering 1,220,200,000 (1.22 billion) people, and our overall literacy rate is 74.04% as of 2011. Which means 903,436,080 of the 1.22 billion people are literate. Now when you say 74% of our population is literate, you may think that’s actually a good percentage and that we are slowly developing, which is not a wrong statement at all. But what about the 316,763,920 others? Mind you, this is just the literacy rate.
Which means these many people can just interpret and respond communication in a written format, of any given language. Now when you look at it in this angle, these figures seem pretty scary. 316 Million people in India cannot even read or write a language or perceive numerical symbols.
This brings me to my next point. What about education?
Education a form of learning where a person attains knowledge, skills and habits to help him develop as a person. It is a system that develops a human and keeps him aware of the world around him, its working and helps in surviving the fast changing lives that we live. It doesn’t require a person to be literate to gain education or knowledge, but being so definitely expands the horizons of a persons mind. Being literate and educated is what makes a country develop in the current world scenario and provides more opportunities for a person to deliver a better life to his/her family.
As mentioned earlier, 74% of our population is literate. Only 40% of these people actually cross their secondary school education and get a passing certificate, which leaves us at 361,374,432 people. Futher more, only 7% of these people get a college degree. Now, these are only statistics of our so called ‘education’, but what about the loopholes?
In India, we’re taught in such a way that as kids, we believe everything that an elder has to say, whether it’s right or wrong you have no ‘rights’ to question. The same policy has transferred into the education system.
If you can sit 6-8 hours a day, mugging up a text book, and writing down those points in a test, you are called the smartest one because of grades.
What happened to the real purpose of education, which is holistic development and knowledge? This system is effectively tuning down the very aspect the human brain is the strongest at, creativity and the ability to grow.
I am one of the lucky few to have access to resources enough to get me into so called “top institutions”, and I must say, they’ve left me disgusted with the way they are run. Colleges have background funds that they run, parallel to their colleges. These ‘funds’ which to the government are ‘non-profit organisations’ take half of the school/college fees in the name of donations and 95% of the time, it’s is required to pay this amount. Effectively, a student pays only 30-50% of tuition fees, while the rest of the money goes into the parallel activities of a private organization. When questioned, they have their usual response ready – “Live with it, or join another college.”
This is only an outline of what is going on in India, and the real way out of this mess is to question authority, which seems like the common man or “aam aadmi” has totally lost the power to. I hope, that we the people of India can change the way things are run, and we will finally be able to educate and eradicate malpractice.