Adult Education – Speech
Education is a life-long process. It is never an exaggeration when we say that learning has no age bounds. Welcome to the teachers and students gathered here. The central theme of the speech today is focussed on adult education.
Adult Education is a form of education made available to adults outside the formal education system. The formal education system today is centred on the school system where the learning process begins at a very young age. Adult education on the contrary focuses on educating adults beyond this system. Given that the formal system cannot accommodate these members, a special branch of adult education has emerged.
These generally occur outside the work timings and are undertaken by adults to enhance their selves. In many cases, these programmes have been used to spread literacy among the illiterate adults. One of the main aims is to give adults who have missed a chance to learn in the childhood to learn as adults. This is one of the reasons why governments take steps towards establishing adult education programmes. It can also be other forms of learning that leads to self-enhancement and career growth. It comes from the recognition that adults have educational needs that are beyond the scope of the formal school system. This makes adult education as a means for life long fulfilment.
The Government of India has also made several bold steps with this regard. The National Literacy Mission was launched in 1988 to spread literacy among illiterate adults of the ages 15to 35 in a time bound fashion. This mission had helped to educate around 127.45 million people in the country of which 60% were women. Despite such measures, a huge gap in literacy of males and females persisted as of 2001 census. In order to bridge this gap, the government announced two important adult education programmes- Saakshar Bharat and Scheme for Support to Voluntary Agencies for Adult Education. The recent census showed that 72.98% of Indian adults are literate.
The value of education can never be underestimated. Education has the power to transform lives. Basic literacy in many cases has led to the emancipation of millions from the clutches of exploitation. Before concluding this speech, I would like to emphasise that learning is a privilege and a life-long process. Let us all keep up with the spirit of education and embrace it.
By Swetha (2019)