Education has become a fundamental right for millions of small Indians. Is it a true revolution? The new law that has been adopted by the New Delhi Parliament will not be easy to implement. However, it is historic. Its main aim is to ensure free and compulsory education for all children aged 6 to 14, in a country where at least 10 million have never seen a classroom. These are the government figures.
In fact, in India, between 70 and 80 million children of school age don’t even go to school, it is said by the head of an NGO. It is based on the number of kids who work from childhood; officially it would be 12.6 million, under 14; but they are much more numerous. How to send poor children to school? Often, it is the families themselves who oppose it. Because they don’t have enough ranges that help to live.
The new law was made by the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. He said “I studied in the wrong light of a kerosene lamp, launched through the economist by introducing the bill. Furthermore, he said, today what I am, I am just on the behalf of education and I am thankful for an education, that is why I want the light of education to reach all the children of this country. “This law must” ensure access to education for all children, regardless of gender and social background, “he added.
Very selective Private Schools
The cost of the project is estimated at around $3 billion over five years. A burden to be shared between the central government (55%) and the regional states (45%). Leaders in some regions are grim, and many have already announced that they cannot afford this noble ambition.
One could have imagined that woman would understand: she too studied in difficult conditions. Coming from the fundamental communities of out-casts, she wants to be the spokesperson for their condition? But she prefers to erect statues to her own glory rather than to build classrooms.
The law also aims to ensure quality education for all children. For now, this is far from the case. Access to the school’s worthy of the name remains the privilege, while public institutions are often very poor, with teacher breaking all records, private schools have an excellent level.
But they are very expensive. Extremely selective, they are also very fussy about the pedigree of the students they welcome? But the new law requires private schools to reserve 25% of their capacity for poor children. The government has promised them financial compensation, but it will surely not be as lucrative as the admission and school fees paid by wealthy parents.
Doubt about Integration
If the economically weak person sits on the same benches as the rich, is the miracle of integration take place? The analyst of this research never doubts and it will be the essential problem. Imagine the son of an industrialist sharing the same bench as a Slumdog! Neither will feel comfortable. And rich parents could stop sending their children to these schools.
There is the worst condition. Many skeptics already predict that this law will remain a dead letter. Like the others, they say, pointing to the Child Labor Act, which banned child labor four years ago. It was a very good idea, but the law has never been applied, cowardly, disillusioned. As long as child labor exists in this country, how do you go about making school compulsory? There is some research about the Indian education sector:
- Pre-primary school: 47% (gross rate, 2014)
- Primary school: 87% (net rate, 2015): at least 26 million children out of school
- Secondary School: 56% (gross rate, 2016): 1 in 2 children in secondary school.
- Higher education: 10% (crude rate, 2017): 1 in 10 children in tertiary education
Reasons for not attending School:
- Most illiterate parents consider that school a waste of time, not a useful option
- Child labor is a source of extra money for families and a labor force for the countryside
- Even the school is free, the schooling has a cost of purchasing of the uniform, supplies etc. besides the loss of manpower
- Schools in rural areas are sometimes very far from the place of residence: the distance to be traveled can be discouraging, especially in the very hot weather.
- Girls are assumed to be less in need of education than boys (as housewives). Moreover, leaving the family home after marriage and being a heavy burden for parents (payment of the dowry).
- Parents prefer to take advantage of the child household chores, field work, before the one.
Disparities in the Educational Sector:
As we can see, the schooling of all Indian children is still a major challenge, the achievement of which will face difficulties to achieve. Disparities in education consist of:
Depending on the region:
some regions have more resources to enable children or to go to school. In the state of Kerala, almost all children are enrolled in primary school, while in the state of Bihar, only one out of every two children is in school. These disparities can be explained in particular by the more urban or rural nature of the regions. Poor children living in rural areas are less likely to be able to go to school.
According to the Castes:
castes are often marginalized from the educational system. Despite efforts to reduce caste-based discrimination, school enrollment rates for children remain very low.
The proportion of girls who can go to school remains low when compared to boys of the same age. About 70% of girls aged 6 to 10 go to primary school compared to 76% of boys in the same age group. Next, only 40% of girls continue school after the age of 10 while the percentage of boys decreases much less.
However, as a UNESCO Education Officer once again affirmed on the occasion of International Literacy Day in New Delhi: “No social progress can be made without the education of women ”.
The main Obstacles to girls’ Education
Among the main factors of this disparity are poverty and the persistence of prejudices and social-cultural traditions that lead to discrimination against girls. First of all, one of the major problems is that of early marriages.
Although the legal minimum age for marriage is 18, child marriages are still common today. It is estimated that 46% of Indian women married before they turned 18, and in rural areas, the proportion is about 55%. This means the entry into the gear of early and repeated pregnancies like a health problem. It also usually means the end of education, which is the best chance for girls to increase their influence at home, in the labor market, and in the entire community.
Then comes the problem of the representation of women in the Indian society. Very often and especially in rural areas with very patriarchal values, girls are considered worthless and are raised in this culture of inferiority. Why send the girl to school while her role is to take care of household chores and get married? It should not be forgotten that the literacy rate of women is less than 50% and very often the mothers themselves do not see the point of sending their daughter to school.
Of course, and fortunately, there are exceptions:
Mothers also work very hard and sometimes deprive themselves of eating to send their daughters to a private school. They are very aware of the importance of education for their daughter: “I do not want my daughter to have the same life. I want her to study, to be independent and to succeed, “said one of her mothers.
In the educational association, they try to explain carefully to each parent why it is useful to send their children to school and especially girls. Since the opening of the school one year ago, we are seeing more and more girls enrolling, even though they represent less than half of the school enrollment. When a girl or boy no longer comes for a few days, the program coordinator goes back to see the parents, or the mother or the grandmother to know the reasons for the absence and then tirelessly reiterates why it is important that their child comes to school.
Another problem not known enough is the toilet. There are not always latrines in schools, let alone latrines just for girls. Some parents, in this case, refuse to send them to school because they are afraid of touching their daughter and she loses her virginity. If the school is too far from home with the problem of the risk of aggression with the girls during the homeschool trip.
Outside the Indian school system, there are also many associations that offer literacy classes to women, while provided vocational training, often sewing and embroidery courses. This brings us back to the concept of community participation that takes into account first and foremost the experiences of women of the fundamental of communities.