Quality education is a must

Quality education is a must

What does education give us? Maybe it gives us an ability to think and assert our opinion besides exercising it and if we are very lucky, make an impact around us in a constructive way. However, India’s human talent is not being developed.
A visit to a government school in New Delhi recently brought us face to face with a shocking reality of India. This school is in Jahangirpuri area of North Delhi, a municipal government run school for kids till Class 5. There are separate school buildings for boys and girls. The ages of the children in the classes depends on when they were admitted – there are children of different ages in all the classes. They are children of the industrial labour workers of adjoining areas. The girls were bright and enthusiastic to learn. They could identify their A, B and Cs in class 2 but could not spell or read words like fan, rose etc. They needed one to one teaching support which is not forthcoming from their homes. Their parents leave them in school so that they avail an incentive (Government of India pays parents an incentive to send their girl child to school) and also get a free crèche facility at school besides the mid day meals that some children eat. Many girls had bring their own tiffins from home. Teachers believe in corporal punishment and a hopeless cynicism that these children are born into a station of life that cannot be transcended.
There are a lot of policies that the government has devised to show its efforts in our shameful performance in the HDI on literacy in India (since 1991). Google statistics revealed that 65% Indians are literate (Census 2011) . Literacy is defined here as someone who is 7 or more years old and can read or write. The percentage of literate women in India was above 70%.
T
he government has been able to put kids into schools but where is quality education being given to them? What about skill development or a comparative analysis with children studying in private or convent schools?
CRY is one enabling organization involved with child rights and invariably their education. Teach for India is another NGO trying to bridge educational inequality. Capacity building or skill development, technology access and entrepreneurial talent formation are issues that need to be addressed later but what happens in basic primary education for the majority of our children will play a huge role in India’s future. Attitudes must change and a sustainable and permanent difference needs to come into education, its meaning, quality and reach to our children.

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