Special Correspondent

KOZHIKODE: The State will be able to establish an adult education centre with two coordinators in each grama panchayat under the ‘Sakshar Bharat’ programme that will cover the entire nation, M.K. Raghavan, MP, was informed by Minister for Human Resource Development Kapil Sibal in the Lok Sabha on Wednesday in answer to a question.

Speaking from New Delhi, Mr. Raghavan said the ‘Sakshar Bharat’ programme was aimed at bridging the gender gap and reducing regional and social disparities in literacy. The programme would provide comprehensive opportunities for adult education, primarily to women, with focus on disadvantaged groups, especially Scheduled Castes and Tribes and minorities, in rural areas.

In reply to a starred question from Mr. Raghavan and Mr. Sanjay Dhotre regarding ‘Sakshar Bharat,’ Mr. Sibal said besides volunteer-based mass campaign approach, provision had been also made for alternative approaches to adult education. Lok Shiksha Kendras or adult education centres would be set up in grama panchayats to coordinate the entire range of adult education, including literacy, post literacy, basic education, and vocational education within their jurisdiction. The cost of the programme would be shared by the Central and the State government in the ratio 3:1, except in the northeastern states where it would be 9:1.

To make the programme inclusive, it had been decided that of the targeted beneficiaries, 85 per cent would be women.

Grama panchayats would be the implementing agencies at the grassroots level. A robust monitoring and evaluation system had been devised to infuse transparency, efficiency and accountability in the system.