Adult Education

Indian education’s one of most significant and fearsome problems is “Adult Education” The most urgent national need of our country to-day is the education of the adults who form the bulk of the population. More than 60 percent of our fellow countrymen still live in the darkness of ignorance and illiteracy.
In 1947, literacy in India was about 14%. In 1971 the percentage of literacy in India was 29 (Census Report). According to 1981 Census it is 36%. That means 64% people in India are uneducated. This is the highest percentage of illiteracy in a country in the world. Half of the world’s total Illiterate population lives in India. The Indian population is 75 crores, according to the 1981 census.

As much as the education of children is important for the future welfare of the state, education of adults is very necessary for the very existence of democracy. There is no doubt that there is a direct link between adult education and a country’s financial, social, cultural and political regeneration.

As much as the education of children is important for the future welfare of the state, education of adults is very necessary for the very existence of democracy. There is no doubt that there is a direct link between adult education and a country’s financial, social, cultural and political regeneration.

Modern life conditions are such that the illiterate is doomed to live on inferior existence. He is unable to secure an honorable position in society. To live a decent living, he has little prospect of a reasonable income. He ceases to be an important member of the family. He can’t participate wisely in either the community or the government. Again, illiterate women-hood negates and frustrates all ef¬forts at educating children.

An adult is the society’s chief unit, and it depends on him to advance a family. Literate adults are better able to teach their kids on the basis of new educational developments.

An adult fall in the 14-45 age group. But significance is provided to the age group 15-35 for all practical reasons. In different countries, the word “adult education” is described in different ways. Adult education also relates to other connotations such as literacy for adults, functional literacy, social education, etc.

“Functional literary” means ability or that level of liter¬acy which enables a person to function as a literate in his social and professional life. Literacy means functional literacy. Again, it means mastery of Rs. 3 and on the learning tools and the ability to independently acquire information. Functional literacy again means ability to dis¬charge multifarious civic duties and responsibilities in an efficient manner.

  • Acquisition of functional literacy

  • Acquisition of vocational, technical and professional competency

  • Social and personal development of the individual.

Bryson quoted “Adult Education includes all activities with an educa¬tional purpose, carried on by people, in the ordinary business equipment”

Ernest Barker said Adult Education is given on a part-time basis and, therefore, given concurrently with work and the earning of a living.

From political stand point adult franchise is a paradox or meaningless without adult education. That is why this slogan was raised by Gladstone “Educate your Masters”. J.B. Harold Laski said Without educated voters “democracy becomes mobocracy”. and Lenin said Socialism cannot be successful with illiterate masses. Like casteism, communalism, provincialism, increasing population growth, poverty, mass illiteracy stands as a stumbling block on India’s social, economic, and political advancement of India.

Effective implementation on a national scale of the literacy program is a must. It should be attached to the highest priority. The task is undoubtedly challenging and formidable. Everyone involved should make every attempt to make the program a reality.

Adult education is delivered in two aspects:

  • Adult education is education for those adults who have never had any previous education, and

  • Continuing education is education for those adults who have previously had some education or training.

Whereas in adult education, more stress is given on personal enrichment, in social education, social and civic efficiency, and community development are emphasized.

In the Fifth Plan the term “Adult Education” or “Social Education” was replaced by “Adult Literacy”. The Plan suggested that adult literacy programs should be organized effectively in connection with development programs in agricultural sector and other developmental programmes in rural and urban areas.