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National Geographer, Vol.XLVIII, No. 1 + 2 (Jan-June, July-Dec. 2013), Pages 117-123

Educational Facilities and Rural Development with Special Reference to Shravasti District (U.P.)

S. K. Dikshit and Ashutosh Rai
D.D.U. Gorakhpur University, Gorakhpur

Abstract

Mahatma Gandhi was probably the first among our leaders to promote rural bases of socio-economic development in India.   He emphasized that the developments of rural areas are dependent upon four points i.e. `Anna’ (livelihood), ‘Akshar’ (literacy), `Arogya’ (health) `Acharan’ (moral values). Akshar (literacy) is most important in these bases.  The absence of functional literacy, rural people cannot adopt appropriate technology. Even if they earn surplus money, they may not utilize it in the proper direction.  This may be harmful for the community. Low literacy level is a result of the prevailing socio-economic factors. The key factors can be outlined as poverty, hierarchical social divisions, lack of awareness and infrastructure facilities and rigid adherence to conservative cultural values which not only results in low literacy status but in addition acts as a major impediment to narrow the existing gender disparity also. Education has been the backbone of the modernization of society. It has the capacity to transform human beings into human resources. It is an instrument to build future generation. In India, majority of the educational institutions are urban centric. Even most of the educational institutions in rural area have inadequate facilities to provide quality education to the villagers. Under these circumstances, it is also seen that gross enrolment ratio is very poor in these rural areas. The situation is even worse for female population in regard to gross enrolment ratio. As a result of that rural population are deprived and backward.
Pattern of literacy

      Our country has recorded a literacy rate of 74.0 per cent with the rural areas reporting a literacy rate of 68.9 per cent and the urban areas registering 85.0 per cent literacy; resulting in an absolute difference of nearly 16 per cent. The difference in the rural and urban female literacy rates is skewed in the favour of the urban areas with a difference of more than 20 per cent. The pronounced difference in the rural-urban distribution proves that significant efforts need to be undertaken to improve the literacy status in the rural areas. Over the last five decades, there has been an impressive growth in literacy in India. In 1901, a little over 5% of Indian population was literate, which increased to around 16% in 1950, a mere increase of 11 percentage in the literacy rate during the first half of the century. In the post-independence period, the decadal growth in literacy has shown a substantial progress – i.e. from 18.35% in 1951 to 65.38% in 2001. In 1991, the difference between male-female literacy rate in rural and urban areas were 27.3 and 17.1 per cent respectively, which came down to 24.7 and 13.5 per cent in 2001...

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