Vatsap’s model to curb illiteracy

Let me assume that every village in India has few men/women who can read/write. Now can the state government offer some incentive to these folks so that they can teach the art of reading and writing to the children of their village?

Let me go ahead and assume that a monitory incentive is good enough to lure the potential teachers to save some spare time, find few kids and teach them how to read and how to write. Now if the cost of taking this step is less than the cost of running schools in villages at subsidized rates, then is it a smart thing to do for the state?

There could be a state run body for going to these villages and taking tests once in a while to see how much have the children learnt. Those who claim they taught the children who write these tests, shall be paid based on the number of children who pass. This model of providing education to remote villages has two extremely important benefits as I observe.

  • It takes care of the problem of absentism (of both students and teachers) that currently exists in most government run schools; now the teacher is responsible for the final result or else he doesn’t get paid
  • There is no need to invest on any physical infrastructure

What say, can this model work?

8 replies on “Vatsap’s model to curb illiteracy”

Incentivizing and roping in worthy locals to volunteer for the job is the core of your model right? Finding the right people and keeping them motivated on a long term is a big big task. At least to some extent, stickiness of the local is important. Say, a person teaches a group of 15 students for a couple of months and then leaves the village and hence the job for some personal reason. Another person comes in with a different teaching style and a differing level of commitment. An obvious discontinuity is in the waiting. With no contractual binding, it can just get worse.
I dont think a model like this can replace the idea of having a full fledged schooling system even in remote areas. This model could be used as an intermediary solution. But, there is no guarantee that it would work. An effective public school system throughout the nation is the only long term solution I can think of.

what about the lack of awareness? i mean what if children are reluctant? or the parents?

i agree this prevails in govt school based system also, even to a higher degree. nevertheless, this issue doesn’t seem to be settled in this model.

style of educating ppl depends on their age too..the model u have suggestd is kind of suitable fr adults not kids as they are not supposd to just get literate or have wat we call “akshar gyan ” in hindi. they are entitled to get ful fledged education . This model is concentrates only on issue of clearing the exam…
one must think how to improve the present sustem instead of changing it through out…

I don’t know about other states in India but in UP there is a system similar to this. Most of the villages have 1 or 2 government employed teachers. They are paid good enough for what’s their job is still there is no significant change in the literacy rate in the villages. Now in a school where there are 300-400 students, definitely two teachers are not enough so there are many vacancies. Now government have two choices- 1) they can appoint new teachers whom they have to pay a good amount of money or 2) they have come up with an idea called ‘shiksha mitr’. In this idea two people(one girl and one boy) who are graduates(or if graduates are not available then people with higher qualification, minimum 12th pass) are chosen to help the actually government appointed teachers and are paid as low as 20% or less salary than those teachers. Now what happens, the actually employed teachers, in most of the cases, don’t bother to come to school too often because now they have the privilege that if in case there is anything which needed to be done, ‘shiksha mitrs’ are there to take care of it. There is one more glitch in this method. The person who choses these ‘shiksha mitr’ is the head of the village often called a ‘pradhan’, so if that person has some family members who are graduates then in that person’s constituency period only those person will be given this job. As far as the run body concerns, most of the people are smart enough to know in advance when this checking going to happen so that they are present in the school. In case, they don’t come to know, everybody in the run body is human too…..and every human being wants to make money. I’ve a cousin brother who’s working in his village as a ‘shiksha mitr’. He tells me stories about how hard it is to convince village people to sent their children to school and I think this is the biggest challenge for government and everyone who wants to change the literacy rate. Making people aware of the importance of education is really a big and difficult task. Just to add UP one more thing – In UP, the center for the board exams(both 10th and 12th) was used to be a different school from where the student was studying. When Mulayam Singh’s Govt came, just to increase his vote bank, he made a rule that the center will remain the same school in which the students are studying. Now, in this competitive era, every school wants to show the best results. The teachers at the school have full opportunity to help their students during board exams which make them secure more marks…students with 60-70% marks don’t really know what they studied. Later when they passed out of school and go for higher studies, they claim that there are not enough seats to accommodate every single one of them and finally this complaint changes to ‘NOT ENOUGH EMPLOYMENT’.

@Jayan, Aniket, Divyanshu, Adarsh

Thank you so much guys for raising important issues regarding the model proposed. I guess I will take some time to think on them before I revise my model. Something should come out of it, or so I believe. 🙂

Once again, thanks for the valuable feedbacks.

I would like to provide one better solution – We can use the Sophomore Engineering and Medical call students for this scheme. We should be asked to work in a school(Near by or Far off) for a semester and teach them the class they are comfortable, capable and willing to teach(It can even be Arts, Photography as not all students are equally interested in everything) . Say if there are 500 students in 3rd year then send half the strength for this in 5th sem and the rest half in next sem, so that they wont miss out the classes and they will also participate in the scheme. This will help them understand the task of Teaching !! We sud be given a target to achieve in that specific period of 6 months – If achieved we can entitle them for 25 – 50 % of Scholarship fees from Govt, instead of paying them in hand, so that Parents also will support this cause. By doing this we can slowly eradicate the Illiteracy in INDIA and also improve the education system in our country. Hope it will help in amending your model.

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