“In our time no well educated literate population that is poor, there is no illiterate population that is other than poor”
– John Kenneth Gailbraith
This simple message pointedly suggests that education is the only way up and out of poverty. For a large segment of our population, even with education life is difficult, but without education there is no hope at all. Access to basic education is a matter of a basic right, a universal life claim which constitutes the very basis of decent living. Conversely, exclusion from minimum schooling leads to a lifetime exclusion from other basic entitlements – from employment, from social acceptance and dignity and, above all, from the rights of citizenship. Indeed, illiteracy and innumeracy render people incapable of infiltrating the social mainstream.
Education is essentially for all. This is fundamental to our all-round development. Education has an acculturating role. It refines sensitivities and perceptions that contribute to national cohesion, a scientific temper and independence of mind and spirit — thus furthering the goals of socialism, secularism and democracy enshrined in our Constitution.
Even in 2001, about one-third of Indian population is still illiterate and nearly half the children of schooling age are out of school . The Government lacks the sensitivity and commitment to fulfill the dream of an educated India.
All citizens deserve equitable access to a public school education system of reasonable quality. The Government must meet its constitutional responsibilities and the inability of the Government to do so is unacceptable. Youth for Equality demands
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