Education For All

"That is education which leads to liberation —liberation from ignorance which shrouds the mind; liberation from superstition which paralyses effort, liberation from prejudices which blinds the vision of the Truth.”

The goal of “Education for All” has been high on the agenda of the Government of India since the adoption of the Constitution of India in 1950 (as reflected through various constitutional provisions) and the commencement of development planning since 1951. Successive development policies and five-year plans have pursued this goal during the last six decades and considerable progress has also been made.

The steady progress toward universal elementary education over two decades saw the momentum further strengthened with enactment of the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education (RTE) Act 2009 which makes it the right of every Indian between 6­14 years of age to gain admission for education to complete 8 years elementary schooling.

The heartening data inform us of the near universal access for 199 million children and an equity dividend with gender parity at elementary level education. It is also imperative to observe the dropout rates, which too have declined, though not evenly across all social groups. Available data relating to drop­out rates indicate that during the period 2000­01 to 2008­09, the overall dropout rate for Classes I­V declined by 15.8 percentage points and later between 2009­10 and 2012­13, the annual average dropout rate in primary education declined from 9.1 per cent to 4.7 per cent. The dropout rate, though declining from year to year, still remains a major challenge. 

Schemes like Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan and Mid Day meal to facilitate elementary education especially in the rural areas by ensuring attendance and better retention by children have also been in place for quite some time now and have yielded impressive results.

And yet there is a lot to be done, for until there is even one uneducated child with an impending darkness in the future, the work is not done!

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