By Elton Gomes
The Chief Minister of Sikkim Pawan Kumar Chamling said the state is steadily headed towards achieving a literacy rate of 100%.
Chamling while addressing a public meeting during his 32-day tour of the state said Sikkim will achieve a 100% literacy rate as his government has prioritised education. Furthermore, the state government has ensured that students from poor families have access to good quality education.
Chamling added that to improve the state of education, the government has established a total of 26 colleges and seven universities so that quality education is imparted among students in the Himalayan state.
“The purpose of education should be to become good human beings for which the students must change their mindset,” Chamling said in an interview with PTI.
Here’s what happened
In 2015, the government of Sikkim launched the Total Literacy Mission. The mission aimed to achieve 100% literacy by the year 2015. Chamling termed the government’s mission as a ‘People’s Mission’ since it would have active participation of panchayats and elected representatives of the constituencies.
Towards the end of 2015, the literacy rate in Sikkim was approximately 90 percent, as per the state’s Human Resource Development Minister R.B. Subba.
As per the 2011 census, the overall literacy rate in Sikkim was 81.42%. The male literacy rate in the state stood at 86.55%, and the female literacy rate was 75.61%. In September 2013, Tripura trumped Kerala to be the state with the highest literacy rate. With a literacy rate of 94.65%, Tripura went ahead of Kerala which recorded a literacy rate of 93.91%.
Why you should care
The state of Sikkim stands as a great motivator for other states to take effective measures to raise literacy levels. Literacy is the key to development and ensuring reduction in the rates of poverty and unemployment and is essential to the overall development of a society.
Although the Right to Education Act, which was passed in 2009 ensures free education for children between ages of 6-14, those that fall outside the age bracket also need to be taken care of. Children under the age of 6 are especially vulnerable to child labour, and if not directed correctly can fall prey to the systemic problem.
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