Union Human Resource Development Minister Kapil Sibal has asked the public sector undertakings (PSUs) and public sector banks to set out a road map for participation in the ambitious Adult Education Programme “Saakshar Bharat.”

At an interactive meeting with heads/senior executives of public sector undertakings and banks here on Wednesday, Mr. Sibal asked them to present a white paper on the possible ways of collaboration, including vocational training and skill development.

The paper would focus on a nucleus of 10 to 12 PSUs, a base from which the partnership could take off. It would then be broadened to include more PSUs. The public sector banks would likewise prepare a coordinated proposal for partnership with the HRD Ministry on adult education.

Incentivising workers

Mr. Sibal called upon the public sector to contribute in terms of their infrastructure and talent and also financially. They said they would give a road map in the next three months.

The Minister indicated that in regard to financial contribution, the organisations could monetarily incentivise well-performing adult education workers who were otherwise doing voluntary work. He suggested that the organisations could use their infrastructure and skills for training. Learning material and televisions could be provided by the PSUs and banks for adult education centres.

Use of schools

On their part, the public sector organisations said they could help by allowing use of the existing schools on their campuses, mostly in remote areas, as adult education centres during non-school hours; involving spouses to volunteer for teaching, especially in remote campuses; and imparting skill development and vocational training. The banks were keen to participate in adult education as this would support their own efforts at financial inclusion. It was also suggested that a policy could be framed for utilising e-waste and donating old furniture to adult education centres in an organised manner.

“Saakshar Bharat” was launched by the Prime Minister in 2009 and has been rolled out in 167 districts in 26 States.

The principal focus of the mission is on imparting functional literacy to women and other excluded groups such as the Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and minorities in rural areas.

The principal strategy is to achieve universal female literacy in mass campaign mode in which educated adults are encouraged to act as volunteer teachers.