GUWAHATI, May 21 – At a time when female education is considered as a foremost criterion for a developed society, 12 districts of Assam are still lagging behind with less than 50 per cent literacy rate among the women. The districts, namely Dhubri, Kokrajhar, Darrang, Barpeta, Karbi Anglong, Sonitpur, Bongaigaon, Morigaon, Hailakandi, Goalpara, Tinsukia and Dhemaji are among the 365 districts of the country with dismal literacy rate among women, which are registered for the Saakshar Bharat Mission 2012 of the National Literacy Mission.
Launching the mass sensitization drive in five of the above mentioned districts, in the first phase of the mission, Jagmohan Singh Raju, Director General of the National Literacy Mission Authority (NLMA) sought the help of the State government and its resources to maximize the impact of the drives.
“The Government of Assam can extend its help to the literacy mission by sensitizing the school and college students about adult literacy, so that they can bring their parents within the folds of literacy. Similarly, if the State government’s officials and ministers take a little initiative from their side to bring sensitization among the people, half the battle would be won,” he mentioned.
According to the final data of the 2001 census, the literacy rate in Assam is around 63.25 per cent which is below the national average of around 65 per cent.
The total fund approved for the first phase of Saakshar Bharat in five districts is Rs 59,22,04,496 with the Centre-State proportion of 90:10. The first phase would cover 5,98,030 neo literates of Dhemaji, Sonitpur, Darrang, Bongaigaon and Karbi Anglong.
Speaking on the occasion, Education Minister Gautam Bora assured the NLMA of all possible help from the State government. “Literacy is one of the prime concerns of the State government and with support of the NLMA, we would achieve the target of Saakshar Bharat in Assam within the stipulated time,” Bora added.
Earlier, Dr Devadatta Barkataki, Director of the State Resource Centre, Assam welcomed the dignitaries and explained the purpose of the meeting held at the Dighalipukhuripar.
So far, district and sub-division level committees are being formed, the State Literacy Mission Authority is being reconstituted, executive committee is notified and general body formation is in process, to implement the first phase of the project.
The Director General also opened Nodal Education Centre in Sipajhar and Duni. More such centres would be opened up in 363 Gaon Panchayats, to be covered in the first phase.