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Dec 05, 2017 03:59 PM IST | Source: Moneycontrol.com

India houses 35% of the world's illiterate population: UNESCO

Close to 266 million adults cannot read in India, while 12 million children do not go to schools

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Close to 266 million adults cannot read in India, while 12 million children do not go to schools, United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO)’s representative Shigeru Aoyagi said on Monday.

According to a Mint report, Aoyagi stated that if India can develop its current education scenario, the total global education scenario will improve.

Around 35 percent of the world’s illiterate population resides in India. “So the challenge is big,” the UNESCO official said.

Aoyagi said that the world had 13 years to achieve the sustainable development goals that were finalized at the United Nations in 2015. He said that all stakeholders, which included teachers, parents, and the government, needed to work together to achieve these goals by 2030.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, along with 150 world leaders, had agreed to achieve 17 goals promoting sustainable development and the standard of living of people worldwide. The summit was held in New York on September 2015.

The report suggests that India allocates 4 percent of its gross domestic product (GDP) or 15 percent of its total government expenditure on education. The need for greater accountability was one of the key objectives.

The report warns that “disproportionate blame on any one actor—in most cases teachers—for systemic educational problems can have serious negative side effects, widening inequality and damaging learning.” It also calls for “better regulation of private tutoring” globally as well as in India.

Private tutoring is a factor for the widening education gap between the rich and the poor. It has a cascading effect on the potential opportunities that are availed by students coming from varied economic backgrounds.
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