Growing awareness, willingness to send their children to school, and trust in the education system is the new development among the parents in rural India. According to ASER(Annual Status of Education Report), there has been 95 percent enrollment of children among the age of 6 to the age of 14 in the schools in the rural areas. The right to free education from the age of 6 to 14 has helped in the boost of the enrollment percentage for a while now. The government has also provided mid-day meals to children for the healthy growth of the mind and the body while studying.
What rings the alarming bell is the quality of education. Although, there are a lot of government schools established in the villages, faculty teaching there is mostly not at all highly qualified or well equipped. Many teachers take up government jobs due to lucrative salaries but they have no intention to teach. There is a strong need for addressing the issue of lack of infrastructure in rural areas. There are no proper rooms to teach children and smart classes are more like a dream until now. This acts as a limitation for the teachers. Moreover, our education system develops less social accountability among children towards each other. There is always a rat race to score more and get hired. Children get engulfed in it and loose compassion, sincerity to serve children when they become teachers. Teachers in rural areas are also deployed for non-teaching activities like various health camps. It sucks energy, time and the quality of teaching gets downsized.
According to AESR( Annual Status of Education Report) shows that only 50 percent of 5th class students in rural areas could read class 2 books properly and only 27.8 percent of students in class 5 can do division sums properly. Draft of National Education Policymakers has also realized that rote learning forms the basis of rural education. Children are not taken on any field trips, no practical examples or education is imparted to them. Important will be the action to revamp the whole scenario. Instead of making children “A Jack of all trade and master of none “, skill-based education should be prioritized. A load of the syllabus should be reduced, outdoor activities should be promoted reduced, outdoor activities should be promoted and the curriculum should include sports, arts, yoga, etc periods.
Female literacy has definitely increased over time but some issues hamper or obstruct their education in the rural areas. First of all, the lack of toilets is the biggest problem. Many girls have to leave school for this reason. Indian parent’s mindset is also responsible. After a while, they want girls to leave school to manage household activities. It is somewhere the failure of schools that they are not able to convince parents to not do so.
There is still a need for the development of more schools. Children have to often after a while goes to other villages or cities to study which is not affordable for everyone. Private schools mushrooming are happening at a slow pace in villages. Their high fees are also an issue to be addressed.
The government policy which doesn’t allow schools to fail children up to 10th class reduces children’s efficiency and dedication to study. Another rule where children can’t be given any physical punishment makes them undisciplined and they stop respecting teachers. This asymmetrical relation between teachers and children also reduces the quality of education.
At the level of Higher education, the plight is similar. Most of the kids from rural India drop out after school because of being disillusioned. The ones who study further often have to settle for the institute with the low quality of education. They either can’t get admission to a handful of a prestigious institute or can’t afford it. This condition demands immediate reforms in elementary and higher education.
Many innovative initiatives by people have been taken to improve the condition of education in rural areas and to make it skill-oriented. For Instance, Social Work and Research Center working in villages providing skill-based education, clean drinking water, women empowerment, etc. There are a plethora of sites now from where teachers can enhance their skills and then share their knowledge with children in the classrooms. Some foundations are working in particular states too like AID INDIA which is working in the rural TamilNadu. They are focusing on skill-based education and thus, helping in the upliftment of their area.
The government also needs to bring the essential reforms, float policies and implement them properly. There should be proper training of teachers and more autonomy should be given to schools and colleges. Examinations in school should not teach children to just aim for marks, they should have testing of their skills during exams.
Gandhiji said “Future of India lies in its villages”
Half of the youth lies there, the government should definitely provide them with all the required facilities and witness India flourishing and rising.
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