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  • Nimesha Subramanian

Education: The Foundation of India’s Development

“One child, one teacher, one pen, and one book can change the world.”

-Malala Yousafzai

There is no denying that education plays a crucial role in shaping the character of an individual. It is vital for our development and builds a solid foundation for the rest of our lives.

However, illiteracy and the lack of education has been an issue in our country. Illiteracy leads to unemployment, which leads to poverty, and poverty hinders the development of our country. Illiteracy is almost only prevalent in rural areas of the country. According to the Annual State of Education Report 2019, only 16% of children in Class 1 in the surveyed rural districts in India can read a given text, while almost 40% cannot even recognise letters. School closures due to lockdown have worsened this situation. Children living in rural areas were not able to acquire education for a prolonged time, due to a lack of required e-education devices and good internet access.

India continues to have a whopping 313 million illiterate people despite its effort in recent years to improve the literacy rate. 186 million females out of the 313 million cannot even read and write a simple sentence in any language.

Biases and discrimination remain deep-rooted among many people in our country. In many places, girls are not allowed to go to school and if allowed, it is only up to a certain age. They are not allowed to move out of their hometown for higher education and employment and are forced to stay home and do household duties. In other places, parents are either unemployed or earn a very low income. Sending their children to get an education is seen as a waste of their money and is sometimes impossible. This leads to a cycle of illiteracy that curbs the development of our nation.

To achieve India's dream of educating all, there has to be an improved focus on updating the rural education system. The door to education must be accessible to all citizens of all ages and this cycle of illiteracy must be broken.

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