Indian government statistics hold the national literacy to be around 64.84%.Government statistics of 2001 also hold that the rate of increase of literacy is more in rural areas than in urban areas. Female literacy was at a national average of 53.63% whereas the male literacy was 75.26%. Within the Indian states, Kerala has shown the highest literacy rates of 90.02% whereas Bihar averaged lower than 50% literacy, the lowest in India. The 2001 statistics also indicated that the total number of ‘absolute non literates’ in the country was 304 million
India is the worlds largest democracy where billions of people live and almost half of these are women. So how does woman effect Indias development?
If girls are not educated, families suffer too. Educated mothers use their knowledge to improve the health of their children and other family members. They immunize their kids against major disease. They provide better nutrition. Their knowledge about health risk protects their families against illness. Child mortality rate is much higher where mothers lack education than in families where mothers are educated.
Girls education is emerging as one of the top priorities of Indian society educating girls is not an option it is a necessity, we all want to eliminate gender disparities in education. Much progress has been made in recent decades. The number of girls attending school is increasing but in some parts of India a number of girls still receives little or no education. Even today there are many girls which dont even have access to Primary education. In some areas female literacy is even less than half that of males.
Educating girls brings many benefits to society. As educated mother gives importance to education and they invest more in their childrens schooling and this improves societys development prospect. They strongly believe and practice family planning. They give equal importance to education, health and increase the productivity of future generation. And if they are not educated then the productivity and capacity of future generation will be low.
We have to keep this thing in mind if we will not invest now on girls education then we have to pay prices in future in the form of slow growth and less income.
There are many cultural and economical reasons for girls illiteracy like verbal and physical abuse, lack of sanitation, long distances between home and school hazardous experience that deter parents from sending their daughters to school. Another barrier to education in India is the lack of adequate school facilities. Many states simply do not have enough classrooms to accommodate all of the school-age children. Furthermore, the classrooms that are available often lack basic necessities such as sanitary facilities or water. In Uttar Pradesh, a recent survey found that 54 percent of schools did not have a water supply and 80 percent did not have latrines (The World Bank, 1997b). Lack of latrines can be particularly detrimental to girls school attendance. Negative parental attitudes toward educating daughters can also be a barrier to a girls education. Many parents view educating sons as an investment because the sons will be responsible for caring for aging parents. On the other hand, parents may see the education of daughters a waste of money because the girls are not expected to make economical contribution in the family. They are expected to take care of family and carry out household chores. Promoting girls education therefore involves changing attitude across society merely spending money on girls education will not solve this problem.
Imparting good education doesnt require building, uniform and even books but it does require good teacher. Female teacher plays and important role in imparting education to girls, as they are mores considerate about the girls needs . Moreover families are more comfortable about sending their daughters to school..
I appreciate that our Indian government is also making good efforts for promoting girls education like recently they have launched Saakshar Bharat Mission For Female Literacy This mission aims to bring down female illiteracy by half of its present level.
According to International centre for research on women, the education that a girl receives is the strongest predicator of the age she will marry and it a would be a critical factor in reducing the prevalence of child marriage. I think poverty is the whole sole biggest barrier to the access of education, so school fee abolition is absolutely necessary. Moreover school near the slum area or in rural area should have flexible timings so that the families which deprive their daughter from going to school just because girls have to help their mother in daily house chores feel comfortable sending them to school.
Thus women’s education should be taken as a serious issue and steps should be taken to bring awareness about importance of education among every woman both in urban and rural area. This way many of the social problems like poverty, begging, child labor, child marriage and child mortality will be controlled up to some extent.