The Ministry of Education has approved a new scheme New India Literacy Program for the next five years to cover all aspects of adult education. Official highlighted that this will align with the new National Education Policy (NEP).
The ministry has also decided to use “Education for All” instead of “Adult Education” as the previous term did not appropriately represent all non-literates in 15-years and above age group. A senior official shared that the objectives of the scheme is to impart not only foundational literacy and numeracy but also to cover other components which are necessary for a citizen of the 21st century such as critical life skills including financial literacy, digital literacy, commercial skills, health care and awareness, child care and education, family welfare, vocational skills development with a view towards obtaining local employment, basic education including preparatory, middle and secondary stage equivalency.
“Continuing education, including engaging holistic adult education courses in arts, sciences, technology, culture, sports and recreation, as well as other topics of interest or use to local learners, such as more advanced material on critical life skills. The scheme will be implemented through volunteerism via online mode. The training, orientation, workshop of volunteers may be organized through face-to-face mode.”
The scheme will cover non-literates to the age of 15-years and above in all state and union territories. The target for Foundational Literacy and Numeracy for financial years 2022-27 is 5 crore learners using Online Teaching, Learning and Assessment System (OTLAS) in collaboration with National Informatics Centre, NCERT and NIOS in which a learner may register him/herself with essential information like name, date of birth, gender, Aadhaar number and mobile number.
Moreover, the estimated outlay of New India Literacy Programme is Rs1037.90 crore which includes Central share of Rs 700 crore and state share of Rs 337.90 crore respectively for 2022-27. While the states and union territories will be provided flexibility to undertake innovative activities, school will be unit for implementation of the scheme and used for conducting survey of beneficiaries and voluntary teachers.