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Ladakh Achieves Full Functional Literacy Under ULLAS Program

Leh: In a landmark achievement, the Lieutenant Governor of Ladakh, Dr. B.D. Mishra, declared Ladakh as the first administrative unit to achieve Full Functional Literacy under the ULLAS – Nav Bharat Saaksharta Karyakram. The announcement was made during a celebration at Sindhu Sanskritik Kendra (SSK), Leh, on 24 June 2024, marking a significant milestone with Ladakh achieving more than 97% literacy.

The ceremony was attended by notable dignitaries including Sanjay Kumar, Secretary, Department of School Education and Literacy, Ministry of Education, Government of India; Archana Sharma Awasthi, Joint Secretary; Dr. Mohd. Jaffer Akhoon, Chairman, LAHDC, Kargil; and Sanjeev Khirwar, Principal Secretary, School Education, Ladakh. Over 500 new literates and volunteers were also present to witness this momentous occasion.

During the event, neo-literates and volunteer teachers were felicitated, and the Annual Achievement Report 2023 of the school department was launched. The dignitaries also visited the ULLAS Mela, celebrating the collective efforts that led to this achievement.

In his address, Dr. Mishra motivated the new learners and volunteers to continue their educational journey throughout their lives. He emphasized the responsibility of parents to ensure their children receive proper education and encouraged students to think beyond seeking jobs, to creating jobs. Dr. Mishra praised Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020, highlighting its potential to drive the future growth of the country.

Sanjay Kumar, in his speech, congratulated the people of Ladakh on this significant achievement and assured continued support from the Ministry of Education to enhance the region’s school education system. He highlighted the transformative power of education, stating that the ULLAS program brings immense joy to new learners. Kumar also noted that the ULLAS model, based on volunteerism, is exemplified by volunteers who register through the ULLAS Mobile App and teach non-literates without expecting any reward. He shared inspiring stories of perseverance, such as taking exams in snowy conditions, underscoring Ladakh’s passion for literacy.

ULLAS – Nav Bharat Saaksharta Karyakram, or New India Literacy Programme (NILP), is a centrally sponsored scheme implemented from 2022 to 2027. It aligns with the NEP 2020 recommendations and aims to empower adults aged 15 and above from all backgrounds who missed formal schooling, mainstreaming them to contribute to the country’s growth. The scheme includes five components: Foundational Literacy and Numeracy, Critical Life Skills, Basic Education, Vocational Skills, and Continuing Education.

The ULLAS Scheme, driven by the spirit of volunteerism and duty, has benefitted more than 77 lakh people nationwide. The ULLAS Mobile App boasts over 1.29 crore learners and 35 lakh volunteer teachers, making it a pivotal tool in achieving widespread literacy.

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