Delhi, 8 Sep :As a part of ongoing literacy programmes on World Literacy Day, Pratibha Patil pitched for proliferation of computer education to address both cyber crime and support empowerment of women and help them become self sufficient.
"The education system and literacy programme have to respond to changing requirements of the times. These days there are incidents of cyber crime. Learners under the literacy programme should get computer education to address the cyber crime," she asserted in New Delhi on Monday.
"In India, we have had success stories of women moving out of poverty as a result of literacy movements. Imparting education to women and girls is important for bringing about a social change and for the full development of society," Patil further added.
The female literacy in India is 53.67 per cent in 2001 while male literacy is over 75 per cent.Patil said education is not a static concept but a dynamic process which constantly requires re-evaluation and upgradation.
"Today literacy includes literacy in other fields like computer literacy, necessary for connectivity in the ICT world," she said.Patil stressed on putting special efforts to cover more women, who constitute a major segment of the illiterates, under the literacy programmes.
Patil asked the Centre and the state governments to give high attention to literacy as a vital instrument for achieving inclusive growth and sustainable development.She asked the civil society organisation to involve themselves in the literacy programme which will help fighting social evils and in building tolerant societies.
The President said the literacy programme should aim at providing the learners the space and time to come together to reflect upon and to understand their situation.Patil said that there are about 774 million illiterates in the world at present.
HRD Minister Arjun Singh could not attend the meeting as he is indisposed.Secretary for Elementary Education and Literacy A K Rath said the literacy rate, which was 52 percent in 1991, reached 64 percent in 2001 but "sadly the problem of illiteracy still persist" with Bihar, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh accounting for 50 percent of the illiterates.
The rate of illiterates was high in Orissa, Andhra Pradesh and West Bengal. There are about 300 districts where the literacy rate was below the national average, he said.
After the National Literacy Mission was launched in 1988, the literacy rate of Scheduled Castes has increased from 37 percent in 1991 to 54 percent 2001 while the literacy rate of Scheduled Tribes has increased from 29 percent to 47 percent during that period.The government aims at achieving 80 percent literacy by 2012, he said.
The President gave away the NLM-UNESCO awards to Jan Shikshan Sansthan, Sivaganga, Gaya and Satet Resource Centre, Chennai, for their work in the field of literacy and adult education.
She gave away Satyen Maitra Memorial Literacy Awards to seven districts for better implementation of total literacy campaign (TLC), post literacy campaign (PLC) and continuing education programmes (CEP).
These districts are Bishnupur in Manipur, Garwha in Jharkhand, Jhansi in Uttar Pradesh, Sarguja in Chattisgarh, Udayapur in Rajasthan, Medak in Andhra Pradesh and Begusarai in Bihar. DDINEWS