IN ORDER to meet the literacy target of 80 per cent under the national literacy mission, Gujarat has decided to rope in government school teachers and the corporate industry to impart education to those above 15 years of age, officials said.
With the preraks (contractual teachers) leaving midway over low remuneration, the state education department’s Directorate of Literacy and Continuing Education has sought help from government school teachers who will be paid Rs 250 per person, DLCE assistant director Harshad Chaudhary said. The government plans to make literate a population of 30-35 lakh above the age group of 15.
To fund the proposal, the government has approached the private firms through the Corporate Social Responsibility Authority, suggesting it to undertake the funding under its CSR initiative.
Sources said the response from CSRA is still awaited, and added that upon receiving a favourable response, the education department would kick-start its project from a village in Mehsana district.
Referring to “shortage of preraks”, Chaudhary cited departmental records which say that posts of nearly 3,000 contractual teachers are vacant at present. This, he explained, is because preraks — appointed for an 11-month period to undertake teaching job of two to three hours and paid a monthly sum of Rs 2000, Rs 3000 and Rs 5000 at village, taluka and district levels, respectively — “leave the job and join somewhere else”.
“This frequent leaving and coming of new preraks leads to a disconnect between the teachers and their students, which then leads to learning difficulties,” he said, adding that a district-level meeting was held Thursday to fill these vacant posts at the earliest.
As per Census 2011, Gujarat’s literacy rate stood at 78.03 per cent against the national average of 72.98 per cent.
Before a person is awarded a certificate identifying him/her as a literate, the learner has to clear an assessment test conducted through a system developed by the National Literacy Mission Authority (NLMA) in consultation with National Institute of Open Schooling (NIOS).