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Pratham believes that literacy is a fundamental human right.
India is home to 40% of the world's illiterate.
India is a special country, with an especially big literacy problem.
Children suffer the most.
Even worse, of the country’s 210 million children, almost half are unable to read. That is both the root of the problem and its cruelest consequence. Without education, these children are vulnerable and unlikely to ever rise above the poverty of previous generations.
A Persistent child labor problem.
In India, an estimated 11 million children work as child laborers. It is an unacceptable truth that is both a cause and byproduct of India’s continuing cycle of illiteracy.
Simply raising enrollment isn't the answer.
Most individuals unfamiliar with India’s education crisis would expect that a lack of school access is the primary problem. However, although 96.5% percent of children are officially enrolled in school, half of them cannot read.
Women are not learning.
On top of that women’s participation in school is particularly poor—a fact which does not bode well for women’s standing in society or the job market.
Teachers are falling short.
In addition to low student attendance, in many regions teacher attendance is very low. Furthermore, many schools have only one teacher per classroom, and far too many children per teacher.
Even the literate are lagging.
Even India’s literate children continue to struggle and lag behind acceptable learning levels. In many cases, they're attending, but just not learning.
- 100 million cannot read or write at the age appropriate level
- 46.3% of fifth graders cannot read a 2nd grade level text
- 64.1% of fifth graders cannot do basic division
India’s children need Pratham’s programs now more than ever. Make your contribution now.
Illiteracy breeds a cycle of poverty and exploitation. Pratham helps break the cycle.
Illiteracy is a Severe Problem
96.5% of children are officially enrolled in school, but half
of them cannot read.
—– Nehal Patel
“My goal is to get as many kids as possible into school and helping as many women as possible.”