Akshaya Patra Foundation, a not-for-profit organisation working towards eradication of hunger and illiteracy, has expressed concern over the current literacy scenario in the country, blaming it on below-the-mark budgetary allocations to a great extent.
Ajay Kavishwar, Head – Communications, says India’s literacy rate has perennially continued to be a drag factor for the nation. With 287 million illiterate adults and 1.4 million out of school, India’s education system is standing on a slippery ground. This is a direct consequence of India’s decreased GDP spent on education (3.3 per cent) as against the global average of 4.9 per cent, he adds.
The Akshaya Patra Foundation was started in the year 2000 to address two of the most immediate challenges India faces – hunger and education.
Kavishwar further says that India is also placed on the lowest rung when compared to its BRICS counterparts, who too spent an average of five per cent of their GDP on education. The predicament of India’s education sector, especially school education, has been further hit by decreased expenditure in budget allocation for children education, development, health and protection from Rs 81,075.26 crore in 2014-15 to Rs 57,918.51 crore in 2015-16.
“Threading from this, a vehement need to focus on education as one of the most significant public sector reforms is the need of the hour. Akshaya Patra strongly believes that the Union and the state governments should arrive at a roadmap to initially achieve a competitive spend matching the world average by investing more in school education and declaring the same as a national priority area core to the progress of India,” he adds.