A childhood doomed in despair, destined to work in order to earn a livelihood for the family, with no recourse to light or education or hopes, is one of the nations’ most intractable problems. Once grown – up, leading the same doomed life, caught in the vicious cycle of poverty and ignorance, adult education, for teeming millions is the only beacon of hope, positivity and light in the otherwise dismal scenario. For the mature learners across the globe, adult education offers an invaluable chance to enhance their knowledge, gain academic qualifications and develop new skills to improve their career prospects and get a better shot in life.
For the grown – up students, who are already engaged in active work force, adult education offers an opportunity to better their prospects in life. It provides both formal and non-formal training and education to adults and help them acquire new skills and minimum literacy level.
The problem of providing education to the adult base of a nation is a mammoth one. Balancing work to sustain a livelihood and the zeal, energy and passion to pursue education is a tough one. Besides society tends to make a mockery of those who strive to attain light at the mature end of their lives. But the benefits are tremendous. For a nation which is striving to attain social, economic, technological and moral progress, the value of education cannot be overstated.
1. Economic Benefit: An educated man is much better able to serve his economic needs and enhance his standard of living with a better income. His / Her capacity to fend for the family increases manifold with increase in his literacy level. Consequently, it translates to better practice of hygiene and maintain good health.
2. Education alone has the potential to curb social malpractices and evils leading to a more uniform, peaceful and wholesome society.
3. An educated person is far more aware of the laws of the land and can invoke the same, as per his perception of injustice prevailing round him. He has less chance of being taken for a ride on account of his illiteracy and ignorance.
4. They contribute more towards the welfare of a nation. A group of educated men striving towards economic well-being, social justice and ethical standard have a far better chance of creating a just society.
5. They can act as building blocks for a progressive nation by adding to their education of their off-sprigs and others around them.
Adult Education not only means enabling them to learn to read and write and recognise letters, alphabets and words but also entails providing them with vocational skill, equipping them with a better chance to stride ahead in life.
Adult Education is not only the responsibility of the government but students, teachers, volunteers and social workers together need to make concerted efforts at their level to translate the vision of equipping all adults with this important life skill. Importance of literacy should be advocated through all mass media channels and a complete learning environment should be created with easy access to public libraries, computer rooms and free distribution of appropriate books, copies and stationeries to encourage this campaign.