The Ministry of Education (MoE) on Wednesday approved a new “New India Literacy Programme” for the next five years to cover all aspects of adult education, in line with the new National Education Policy (NEP), officials said.
The ministry has also decided to use “Education for All” instead of “Adult Education” because the previous term does not represent all illiterate people aged 15 and over.
The aims of the scheme are to not only teach basic literacy and numeracy but also to cover other components required for a 21st century citizen such as critical life skills including financial literacy, digital literacy, commercial skills, healthcare and awareness, childcare and education, and family well-being); development of vocational skills with a view to obtaining local employment); primary education, including equivalence in preparatory, secondary and secondary education,” said a senior MoE official.
“… And continuing education, including taking holistic adult education courses in the 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 volunteering through the online mode. The training, orientation, workshops of volunteers, maybe organized through face-to-face mode,” he added.
All material and resources will be provided digitally for easy access for registered volunteers through easily accessible digital modes such as TV, radio, free, open-source apps and mobile phone-based portals.
The scheme applies to illiterate persons aged 15 years and older in all state and union territories. The target for Fundamental Literacy and Numeracy for fiscal years 2022-27 is 5 crore learners using Online Teaching, Learning and Assessment System (OTLAS) in partnership with National Informatics Centre, NCERT and NIOS in which a learner can self-register with essential information such as name, date of birth, gender, Aadhaar number and mobile number.
The estimated total expenditure of the “New India Literacy Program” is Rs 1037.90 crore including the central share of Rs 700 crore and the state share of Rs 337.90 crore for 2022-27 respectively.
While states and union territories will be given flexibility to undertake innovative activities, the school will be a unit for implementing the scheme and will be used to conduct surveys of beneficiaries and volunteer teachers.