- Illiteracy; one of the major ills: need for literacy
- General schools cannot help: a new set of schools needs
- Scope of such schools
- Compulsory and free primary schools
- What type of mass education should be given?
- Arrangement of teaching more visual aids than theoretical lessons: course must be short
- Conditions for the success of mass literacy drive
Illiteracy of the general mass is one of the major ills from which country suffers in common with other backward countries. The necessity of giving some education to one and al cannot be disputed, for has been recognized as the birthright of every individual in a free state. Mass ignorance defeats all attempts at progress and darkens the of the nation. Nothing can be pleaded as an excuse for keeping an in a gloom, state of semi-blindness, helplessly groping in the DUComh of ignorance, superstition, and fear. The sooner illiteracy it emoved the better it will be for the individual and the community to at large.
The schools we have at present are for children whose age ranges from 6 to 16. The syllabuses and the curriculum followed in these institutes arc cast into a certain pattern and designed to prepare boys and girls for higher academic education in different lines. Their schools can of no practical use for mass. the vast majority of whom are grown-up men and women. Therefore, a new set of schools have to be introduced for giving education to these people. These may be called schools for adults.
We have to keep within view certain facts regarding these cducation centers. Our population being very large, the number of these schools will have to be proportionately considerable at Icast one in each locality of three or four villages. The adult education centers cannot aspire to have grand school buildings, and that is needless too. These schools will aim at imparting some elementary enlightenment along with a little better knowledge of the vocation the learners pursue. The subject-maters and also the method of teaching in adult schools will differ greatly from those of ordinary schools. As most adults are busily earning their bread in the daytime, it will be convenient for them to attend schools if classes are taken at night.
In this country, only a small minoring of the children get the opportunity of attending schools regularly. A number of schools in the villages fall far short of what it should be. The existing schools are in such a deplorable condition that they beggar descriptions. So a staggering number of school-going children stand in need of some facilities for rudimentary’s education. To that end, compulsory and free primary schools should be started to accommodate these neglected? future citizens of the country.
Mass literacy should never be confined to the three R’s. It must also aim at making the learners useful and capable of applying the new acquisition to the caring of their bread. Efforts should, therefore, be, made to teach them some trade and to that end, every adult education center should be so planned and equipped as to be able to impart a large variety of vocational training. Thousands of our illiterate people are unemplureel because they have neither any land to cultivate nor any finished knowledge of the arts and crafts. If such people can be taught various handicrafts, such as weaving, carpentry pottery, smithery canings as also trained in the handling of small machinery, their unemployment problem will be considered solved. Over and above mass education centers should take special care to impart knowledge of scientific agriculture, of health and sanitation and also give the learners some sort of civic training so as to make them fit for good citizenship.
The arrangement of imparting instruction shall be as usual, like other schools. There will be salaried teachers and students shall attend a regular course of training given free of cost. In the matter of teaching, however, more emphasis should be laid on visual aids. Motion pictures and cinema-scopes can be used profitably in giving wide lessons in a short time. As is well known, visual aid quickens perception. vivifies the experience and Icaves a lasting impression on the mind. none of which books can achieve so successfully. Every education center should also possess a radio. some newspapers and periodicals and a large variety of books. through which useful information from all over the world may be gathered and Icarncd. Particular care should be taken to ensure that the course of instruction may not spread over a long time as the illiterate folk has neither patience nor time to spend long rears in Learning. Every batch of Icamers must be turned out before the novel of the new experience wears out. Else, if they get tired and bored, they will fight shy of the schools and invent many devices to keep away.
No plan, modest or magnificent, can ever succeed in the absence of two conditions. In this case, they are all the more important. The first is the cost of organizing the whole program establishing education centers paving the salary of teachers. buying books and other equipment and also defraying current expenses. It is no use asking the people to come forward. They will not, as they have not in the past. It is for the state to initiate and launch upon the drive and creepers to come forward. They will not, as they have not in the past. It is for the state to initiate and launch upon the drive and even compel the people initially to come and learn at the centers. But no amount of persuasion or compulsion will bear the real fruit unless the subjects of the plan are in a position to take advantage of the governmental endeavors. This relates to the economic condition. How can we expect, the starvings and semi starving mass of people to have any interest in the enlightenment of the soul when their body is at stake. It is only when they have to square meals a day and some leisure to while out that they will come to the centers voluntarily and learn something. To make the program of mass literacy successful, it is, therefore essential to keep in VICE the question of removing the current appalling powers of the masses.