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II 3. What is the state of literacy today?

At the time when the country became free, there were 30 crores of illiterates. By 1983 this figure has gone upto 44 crores. Illiteracy is increasing everyday. By A.D. 2000 this figure may go upto 50 crores! It is true that schools are in the increase and student enrolment has been going up considerably. But illiteracy is also increasing. Part of the reason for this is that large numbers of those who go to primary schools drop out after 2 or 3 years and lapse into illiteracy. There is no genuine urge for learning. Moreover, the financial provision for education, which was 7% of the Plan Outlay in the First Plan, had come down to 3.5% by the Sixth Plan. Many schools are not able to find money even for blackboards and chalk pieces. Even inĀ  the universities, the position of Vicechancellors is becoming difficult owing to non-receipt of grants. As a result, teachers are getting frustrated and discontented.
Sathya Sai Baba, 22 Nov 1987