I have been reading here and there on this subject. Things are only getting interesting. What I am about to write here has a lot to do with the issue of ‘is akshar-gyaan enough’ raised by Divyanshu in the first post on the topic.
A Businessworld article by Ashok. V. Desai throws interesting facts. To quote him:
Poor people take or keep their children out of school because they cannot afford to educate them; they need their children’s earnings. And even if they could afford to educate their children, the returns on primary school education are not spectacular; against Rs 1,500 for an illiterate, a primary school graduate may get Rs 2,000. And the market for him is much smaller. Whereas an unskilled labourer can get work almost anywhere, a primary school graduate may be able to work in a shop or a godown; such jobs are not easy to come by everywhere.
The data used to make the aforementioned claim comes from National Sample Survey. I am confused. Is it economically justified to curb illiteracy by helping children read and write?