Dr.K.Govindaraju,Chairman,South Zone Board of Continuing Education, while inaugurating a workshop on Adult and continuing Education its Trichy premises on Saturday said that Adult and continuing Education is a lifelong process He further added “The achievements of various villages in the spheres of Adult and female Education and literacy and other social development facets show that social development indicators like life expectancy and infant mortality are closely linked to the level of female literacy-the higher the female literacy rate, the lower is the infant mortality rate and the higher the life expectancy. The villages which had achieved a high level of social development had a lesser gender disparity in the spheres of education and health. The target villages of PVF under this project have performed reasonably well in terms of literacy growth during the three years duration. The target villages literacy rate increased from 62.66 per to 73.47 per cent. The female literacy rate increased from 51.33 per cent to 72.55 per cent, while the male literacy rate grew at a slower pace. With female literacy has grown more rapidly; what emerges overall is that the trend of decline in population growth is now widely spread among practically all villages of this region. The gender gap in literacy has also come down. The mass literacy campaigns of this project - have no doubt played a significant part in this progress, their contribution lay not only in their direct achievements in making people - especially women.SEVAI has been implementing two important strategies of “opening up to the outside village” and “focusing on economic construction”. SEVAI realized by implementing the project that “Adult education is an important part of the whole educational cause. In the whole educational cause, adult education enjoys the same importance as basic education, vocational and technical education and regular higher education.” “A lifelong education system has been established and improved step by step.” All these provisions have guaranteed the legitimate position of adult education and promoted the development of adult education through Distance Education mode promoted by SEVAI with the collaboration of Universities in Tamilnadu. The fundamental aim of adult education was to enable all village people with the ability to live, work and labor to realize all-round development through developing their personal resources, improving their knowledge and skills and optimizing their personality in accordance with different needs in life, work and learning. Adult education targets all villagers and SEVAI promoted the idea of lifelong learning and provide educational facilities to meet the needs of adult learners, help them utilize various learning resources and create an ideal social environment for lifelong learning. Specifically, adult education under this three year PVF Project fulfilled the following tasks provided remedial basic education to 412 young women who have failed to complete basic education and secondary education; offered pre-employment training to 324 according to employment needs to help those looking for jobs to meet standards of ideological development, moral cultivation, cultural knowledge, vocational skills and practical ability for the entire illiterate population identified among Self help group members in 13 Panchayat level Federations in the target area; offered continuous education to 105 animators specialist professional personnel to help them adapt themselves to rapid social progress and technological development; provided varieties of socio-cultural and life education to all animators and representatives to satisfy their increasing individuals’ needs for personal development and assist individuals and social groups to seize personal and social opportunities for overcoming future challenges. Under this project, adult education as a whole, it plays an important role in the establishment of the lifelong education system and the formation of a learning-based society target villages. On-the-job training and continuous education have effectively improved the skills of self help group women under this project. Preliminary achievements have been made in the experiment of constructing a lifelong education system and building a learning-based society. Great achievements have been made in the development of adult education in Trichy District. Today, along with the profound changes in various fields of social life in the new century, the development of adult education is confronted with both opportunities and challenges. In a learning-based society in the 21st century, one must be able to learn before being able to be’.
The chairman further said “However, many people today are still shackled by the traditional idea of just-for-once education and they are lacking in the concept and action of lifelong learning. In the 21st century, all citizens in various social sectors are required to bring into full play their creativity and ability and take an active part in social progress. But, society today cannot provide women with enough opportunity to receive adult education. Globalization and technical innovations in the 21st century are increasingly influencing individuals’ lives and social activities, and citizens’ career changes are becoming closely connected with adult learning. In this sense, the content of adult education must be expanded to the whole life of all citizens and linked up with the renewal and improvement of citizens’ vocational skills and ideas. As far as adult education is concerned, the lack of due emphasis by the whole of society on adult education, of an efficient management system and operation mechanism, of the integration of adult education with economic and social progress, of enough financial investment in adult education and of new teaching content and methods will restrict the full play of adult education’s role in the construction of a learning-based society. We have obtained inspiring achievements in the development of adult education, and the challenges are also opportunities. Therefore, we must make bolder efforts to realize the important role of adult education in the establishment of the lifelong education system and a learning-based society and in the promotion of women’ all-round development’.Govin