Some things unfortunately never change…

Atanu Dey discusses a NY Times article on the discouraging state of illiteracy in India. According to the article, over 300,000,000 people are illiterate in India and there does not appear to be an coordinated effort to address it.

There can be no question that … education in India has largely failed because … education has been made far too much a question simply of intellect . . . one of the most pressing needs of India is to foster more widely in schools and colleges, those ideas of duty and discipline, of common responsibility and civic obligation on which a sound political life depends.

But this is not even the worst part. The worst part is the fact that this NY Times article was actually published in 1918! Even worse, today the stat is up to 400,000,000 people without the ability to read. Dey concludes something more cynical than this author is willing to accept, but nevertheless the absolute failure of the government to educate its citizenry does question its true intentions.

India’s greatest problem is this: the government has been doing its best to keep the population uneducated and illiterate. Public funds for education are channeled in only such ways so that it is least capable of delivering education. Corruption and inefficiency collude to keep the funds from actually educating anyone.

For the country’s sake let us hope that Dey is wrong.


2 Responses

  1. Wait, I know this sounds absurd… but if the number of illiterate was 300,000,000 in 1918, and is 400,000,000 in 2008… considering how much India’s population has grown in the past 90 years, isn’t this massive progress in terms of percentages?

    still a lot of work to be done… but just curious if these stats point to india moving in the right direction in the past century?

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