“It is unfortunate that today education instead of reforming the human behaviour, in our humble opinion, appear to have failed to achieve its objective. Instead we find troubled atmosphere in the society at large, which calls for immediate reformation with the efforts of one and all,” a bench of justices BS Chauhan and FM Ibrahim Kalifulla said.
The bench said that in comparison to earlier times, the literacy level has increased but it did not result in better human value which calls for transformation in education system.
“With great respect, it will also have to be stated that bereft of improvement in the educational field when we pose to ourselves the question as to what extent it has created any impact, it will have to be stated that we are yet to reach the preliminary level of achievement of standardised literate behavior.” the top court said.
“In fact, in the earlier years, though the literate level was not as high as it now stands, the human value had its own respected place in the society,” the bench said.
The court passed the order on a petition filed by Maharishi Mahesh Jogi Vishwavidyalaya of Madhya Pradesh challenging the state government’s decision to amend the law under which the university was set up.
The Supreme Court said it is still a matter of concern that so many people are illiterate and it is imperative that the institution, the teachers, the parents, the students and the society play a role in bringing transformation in the present system.
“When the British rule ended in 1947, the literacy rate was just 12 per cent. Over the years, India has changed socially, economically, and globally. After the 2011 census, literacy rate in India, during 2011 was found to be 74.04 per cent. Compared to the adult literacy rate here, the youth literacy rate is about 9 per cent higher.
“Though this seems like a very great accomplishment, it is still a matter of concern that still so many people in India cannot even read and write. The number of children who do not get education especially in the rural areas are still high. Though the government has made a law that every child under the age of 14 should get free education, the problem of illiteracy is still at large,” the bench said.