Population Education Project in Adult Literacy Programmes

Population Education Project was initially started in the year 1987 as an integral part of Adult Education Programme with the financial assistance of United Nations Fund for Population Activities (UNFPA). Three phases of the Population Education Project has been successfully completed.   The project has tremendous potential in promoting the targeted Population & Development Education themes as fixed by UNFPA.   The funding from UNFPA was discontinued in December 2001.  

In view of the high rate participation of women in literacy programmes, significant of the issues like gender equality, reproductive health and rights, family life education, sexual health education, HIV/AIDS for the out of school youth, etc, it has been decided to give continued support to the Population Education Project during the Tenth Plan also.   Population Education Project has also been integrated as a part of SRC Scheme.   The Population Education Units have also been evaluated by the external evaluating agencies as a part of State Resource Centre.   All the external evaluating agencies appreciated the efforts and the contribution made by the Population Education Units to the out of school youth.    

Population and Development Education is being implemented through the State/Regional Resource Centres for Adult Education, National Documentation Centre (located at Indian Adult Education Association, New Delhi) and Regional Documentation Centres located in the State Resource Centres of Hyderabad and Jaipur.   Population and Development Education Cells were created in all the 25 State/Regional Resource Centres of Hyderabad, Guwahati, Patna (ADRI & Deepayatan), Delhi, Ahmedabad, Rohtak, Shimla, Srinagar, Mysore, Thiruvananthapuram, Bhopal, Indore, Aurangabad, Pune, Shillong, Bhubaneshwar, Chandigarh, Jaipur, Chennai, Lucknow and Kolkata for this purpose.    Later, three more PDE Cells were sanctioned to the SRCs of Ranchi, Agartala & Dehradun.  

The main activity of Population and Development Education Cell is the following:

  • Integrate Population and Development Education messages in the teaching/learning materials (both print and non-print).

  • Prepare training curriculum and plan and organize Training Programmes for different functionaries at different levels.  

  • Conduct Research and Evaluation in the area of Population and development Education.  

  • Plan and organize reach out activities like Melas, exhibitions, Health awareness camps, nukkad nataks, puppet shows, quiz competitions, poster competitions etc. on important population related issues.  


So far the following three phases of the project have been completed. 

  First Phase (1987-1993)    

The focus of the activities during the first phase i.e. 1987 to 1993 was to integrate well identified messages namely, small family norm, responsible parenthood, right age at marriage, population growth and environment, beliefs and traditions in the teaching/learning materials and in the training curricula of adult education functionaries. Based upon these messages, motivational, instructional and follow-up materials were brought out.  

 Second Phase (1994-1998)     

The Second Phase of the project from January 1994 to May1998, was directed towards the goal set forth in the National Literacy Mission and also reflected the priorities set out by the nodal agency i.e. Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MHFW). The districts identified by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare having high infant mortality rate, disproportionate sex ratio, high crude birth rate and low mean age at marriage were given precedence during the second phase. The other dimensions focused were related to Information Education and Communication (IEC) activities on the emerging areas of national concern, which covered issues such as Gender bias, inter-spouse communication, STD, HIV/ AIDs etc.  

Third Phase (1998-2001) 

The Third Phase of the project was from June 1998 to December 2001. In view of the high rate of participation of women in the literacy programmes and also realizing the significance of women’s role in ensuring better quality of life, the issues related to women empowerment, gender quality, reproductive health and rights, family life education, sexual health education etc. have been given added thrust.  

The thrust areas which were disseminated through Material and Training are:  

1. Small Family Norms.

2. Responsible parenthood.

3. Right age at marriage.

4. Population growth and environment.

5. Population and Development.

6. Beliefs and traditions.

7. Gender Bias.

8. Inter spouse communication.

9. Women empowerment.

10. Reproductive health and reproductive rights.

11. Fostering human dignity.

12. Adolescent reproductive health and reproductive rights.

13. Family Life Education.

14. Preventive and curative education for STD/HIV/AIDS.

15. Sexuality Education.

  In addition to the State Resource Centres, the Population Education is being implementing through the selected Jan Shikshan Sansthans for disseminating the messages like gender issues, reproductive health and rights, adolescent education and HIV/AIDS.