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International Journal of Innovation and Research in Educational Sciences

Literacy-Attempt for the Child Labour

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Child Labour, Main Worker and Marginal Worker, Non Formal Education, RTE Act, Sarva Siksha Abhiyan, Sustainable Development
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Literacy is the basis for lifelong learning. It empowers individuals, communities and improves the quality of life. Literacy helps to reduce infant mortality, curb population growth , eradicate poverty, reduce gender disparity and ensure sustainable development, peace & harmony The Constitution (Article 21A) made it obligatory for the government to provide free and compulsory education to all children till the age of 14 years .The RTE ACT-2009 has made a historic moment for the children of India .But miles to go to make the UEE a reality The target year of SSA to reach the goal is 2015 which would hardly be achieved. Still today one in five children leaves school before reaching grade 5 and almost one-third before reaching grade 8. The ILO has recently estimated that some 217.7 million children ages 5 to 17 are engaged in child labour around the world. Of these, some 126.3 million are caught in the worst forms of child labour. In India if you take the children up to 14, according to Census-2010, the total number of children in the workforce is 1, 26, 26505 - almost the same as previous census of 2001. In spite of utmost efforts why we have failed to reach the disadvantaged section of the society with the formal primary education system? What are the main causes behind the severe problems of illiteracy together with the problem of child labour? Is there any way-out to solve the problem of illiteracy among the child labour? If the parents of the out of school children are convinced in such a manner that they can consider expenditure, even on primary education, in terms of time and money, as one kind of investment, their attitude towards education may be changed to the positive direction. In such a situation they may send their wards for primary education instead of sending them for work. If the parents are not ready to forgo the scope of earning by their children separate arrangements for making them literate may be attempted for those disadvantaged children beyond their normal work time .This may be termed as Need Based Non-Formal Education. It is the combination of preliminary education and simple training side by side. Training programme for that particular work actually in which they are engaged or they have got interested, will have to be conducted.

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