Saakshar Bharat Mission a failure in Kendujhar District


Report by Malaya Mohapatra, Keonjhar: While the standard of Education in Government school is seen deteriorating in different parts of Keonjhar District, the home of present school and mass education minister Badri Narayan Patra, other Education programs like Saakshar Bharat Mission has failed due to lack of interest of District Administration. Saakshar Bharat Programme was launched by Govt Of India on 8th September 2009 to impart functional literacy and numeracy to 70 million illiterate population of 15 years age and above. This program had begun in Odisha by Chief minister Naveen Pattnaik on 28th Feb 2011 at Junagarh, Kalahandi. 410 districts in India including 19 districts of Odisha where female literacy is less than 50% were identified under the Saakshar Bharat Mission. The program was implemented in three districts i.e. Kalahandi,Sundergarh and Bolangir in first phase while it was extended to others districts including Kendujhar since last three years. The program is implemented by the structure with National Literacy Mission at the centre, State Literacy Mission under State Mass Education Dept, District Sakhyarata Samiti headed by Collector, Block Lok Sikshya Samiti, Panchayat Lok Sikhya samiti and village Lok Sikhya Kendra in each village. In Kendujhar, 13 Block Loksikhya Samiti were formed to monitor activities in 236 panchyats.Two District Co-odinators are engaged in district level but block coordinators are yet to be engaged in each block. 436 preraks volunteers out of 572 required have been shortlisted to work in different Gram Panchayats. Volunteer teachers are said to be working at village level. Surprisingly, no training of DC/BC/Preraks have been conducted and no learning kits have been distributed in the district yet. Even no payments have been made to co-ordinators and preraks engaged which has led to their resentment. Without running learning centres, evaluation of neo literates were done in several places of the district and certificates were given claiming achievements under Saakshar Bharat Mission. The District Education Officer has admitted the unutilisation of funds received for the purpose due to slow progress of the programme. Already a unspent fund of about 1 crore rupees received by District Sakhyarata samiti was left surplus after the end of literacy campaign in 1994 and now additional huge funds received for Saakshar Bharat programme is lying unspent due to negligence of authorities. Several assets of District sakhyarata samiti have disappeared from its store earlier as none of the authorities never found time to review, inspect or monitor the affairs of Sakhyarata Samiti resulting in the failure of such education program.