As terminal stage it is the most important stage when students become eligible to compete for admission in different professional courses to be future doctors, lawyers, engineers, teachers, technocrats, etc.
Issues to be addressed
Adult Literacy and Lifelong Learning
“Reading and writing are essential skills for today’s world. Literacy expands people’s choices, gives them more control over their lives, increases their ability to participate in society and enhances self-esteem. It is a key to education that also opens the way to better health, improved employment opportunities and lower child mortality.
Despite these advantages for individuals, and the wider benefits in terms of broader social and economic development, literacy remains a neglected goal. Multiple barriers restrict the achievement of widespread literacy. They include insufficient access to quality education, weak support for young people exiting the education system, poorly funded and administratively fragmented literacy programmes, and limited opportunities for adult learning. Many of these barriers disproportionately affect marginal and vulnerable groups, and exacerbate socioeconomic inequalities. Lower literacy levels are commonly associated with poverty, low socio-economic status, gender discrimination, ill health, immigration, cultural marginalization and disabilities (UNESCO, 2005).
To remedy this situation Dakar Framework of Action has listed the following two main goals that we are committed to achieve by 2015:
Given our poor performance in the areas of Adult Literacy and Lifelong Learning it is time to rethink the strategy to expand Literacy Programmes for achieving 50% improvement in levels of literacy by 2015. The focus has to be on improving Life Skills and meeting Felt Needs.
Education for adolescents and young people
“Adolescence education as an educational area, has emerged and mostly deals with critical problems that confront adolescents during the process of growing up. It is distinct phase of dramatic physical, emotional and behavioural changes. The suddenness of these changes coupled with non-availability of authentic sources to know, understand and appreciate them, results in anxieties and causes confusion and unrest among adolescents. It has been advocated since long that education in these areas be imparted in schools. The demand has gained momentum in view of growing problems relating to the sexual behaviour of adolescents and the arrival AIDS pandemic has made the issue important.”
Adolescents of the state are a diverse group. Some are attending school, college or university. Some have completed school and some have dropped out. Some have never attended the school. Some have jobs and some are unemployed and jobless. Some of the adolescent girls have been forced to quit school to work in the home. Some of them work in factories some hawk vegetables and fish in the market and some stay at home for housework or child care. Many out-of-school youth come from families that either cannot or choose not to send their children to school. Then we have “mainstream” out-of-school youth who are married. These out-of-school youth live under the most challenging conditions and are marginalized from main-stream services and society. Then there are orphans who just don’t have any means to support their schooling.
All adolescents have many of the same needs as other youth, including the need for food and shelter, a sense of connection or belonging, skills in problem-solving and life planning, job or vocational training, access to appropriate services, empowerment to take responsibility for their own lives.
We are witnessing an interesting problem of intergenerational gap because of swift socio economic and technological changes. In certain cases it is found that many children at elementary and secondary have better IT skills than their teachers and this digital divide between senior teachers and their students is creating serious problems. Extension of education throughout life has thus become necessary to reduce this gap.There is also an intra generational gap caused due to unequal educational opportunities and other factors. These problems can be solved by making education non-terminal and open. This does not mean that formal education should not stop till the end of an individual’s life it means that attitude and habit of lifelong learning are to be inculcated in people and a learning environment is to be generated in the society so that it is transformed into “learning and growing” society. We need to keep in view that:
Issues to be addressed
The most important issues pertaining to adolescents include health, nutrition, education (both formal and non-formal), vocation, recreation and sports, child labour, children in difficult situations, alcohol and drug abuse. All adolescents need to be made aware about issues like safe motherhood, reproductive health rights, sexuality and sexual responsibility, age of marriage and first pregnancy, family size, health care, hygiene, immunization, HIV/AIDS prevention, importance of education, drug and alcohol abuse. They have to be made aware of vocational opportunities and career planning.
In view of the fact that the existing scenario of Adolescents’ education; is anything but satisfactory, there is an urgent need to rethink programmes of empowerment for Adolescents.
We need to have State Literacy Mission on the pattern of NLM(National Literacy Mission) for ensuring functional literacy to all persons in the age group of 15-35 age group and ensure coordination between various sectors for realizing the goal of Continuing and Life long education.