‘Knowledge is power, Information is liberating. Education is the premise of progress in every society, in every family.” Kofi Annan
The foremost foundation of life is education. Tomorrow’s adult citizens are kids of today, demanding quality basic education. School gives chance to society’s growth and progress. Most educated children significantly contribute to their families and society in various aspects. This helps in creating a stable and inspiring community.
The present-day education has no specific goals to pursue, children are confused with the vast range of subjects available, mentors play a crucial role in guiding and supporting, showing the right path to choose. Thus it is the knowledge or skill obtained or developed by a learning process.
Where education illuminates a person’s mind and thinking, the awareness helps in a way to feel and behave the way that education contributes to society. The status they can share in society is because of the quality education they receive, developing human personality, thoughts, and being able to prepare and deal with life-changing events and circumstances. This enlightenment and reinforcement of thoughts, strengthening the little minds, form big brains and character.
There is a give and take role shared by the community and the educated ones, in contributing to the economy of the country being well-placed in career, utilizing the theoretical and practical approaches learned.
In a developed country like ours, each child should have the right to education, they would give the liberation to study whichever subject and specializations they are interested in. This process of gathering information, exploring new information, and analysing it to reach the results and conclusion is the only thing a student desire. It is the primary role of the government to support such dreams of several kids In India.
In considering, education system and provisions, in both urban and rural India, the picture is certainly different. With a population of 70% and more, rural children demand less quality education. The wrong perception and lack of awareness is the main obstacle. The resource constraints hinder the academic inspiration needed for the student’s cognitive development. The intellectual and social development of the child is often ignored by the administration and teachers.
Rural India is still the most pretentious and deprived in terms of attention paid by central and state governments. Lack of infrastructure, poor teacher-student ratio, lack of conceptual study, attention towards cognitive development, and lack of practical approach are the few major obstacles faced. It counts its maximum population of work-age groups. Where education becomes important to alleviate poor employability, the lack of awareness among these groups persists. Children are forced to work without basic primary education. Most girl child ends in early marriage. Few families send their children to Anganwadi, for the mid-day meals. Anganwadi accounts for the second-highest share as per the statistic research department, among the government schools, private schools, and Anganwadi. Approximately 37.3 percent of five-year-old children were enrolled in private pre-schools and schools as per the data published in 2020.
The Education Strategy 2019–2030 by UNICEF, ‘Every Child Learns’, outlines three discrete goals of equitable access to learning opportunities, improved learning and skills, and improved learning and protection for children. Despite such predefined goals, there lies a severe mismatch in the objectives and achievements of schools in rural and urban areas. No doubt the motive to elevate the standards of these schools to the national level, requires a professional approach, research, policy development, and revision of the educational system.
The situation in the deprived areas is the vulnerability of these poor people. Education becomes secondary when basic needs are not fulfilled. Education and that too quality become hope in minds. Most kids suffer from a lack of sanitation, proper infrastructure, and quality experts. This scenario often leads to demotivation and lack of interest.
Lack of expressing the interests and difficulties faced by a child is one of the major problems that researchers have found. This often leads to incomplete or rather no specific solution to their problems. The state and central government’s initiatives are not well accessed after implementation. Did these initiatives do any good to the students? Remains unanswered because of a lack of authentic data.
The awareness programs conducted by the NGOs are appreciable as they cultivate the minds of the kids and their parents. This becomes the first step to introduce the importance of education.
The highlights of the status of education in rural India can be enumerated as below.
- Number of schools
The rural areas of India have approximately 84% of the total schools in urban and rural areas, which comprises of primary 59%, 27% of upper primary, 9% of secondary, and 5 % of higher secondary schools according to the 8th survey of NCERT.
For kids to enroll in the school government needs to set up more educational institutions with minimal fees. The scarcity of schools in rural India makes it difficult for the students of remote areas to reach school and learn. If more schools are set up, and parents in rural India are promoted to send their kids to schools, it surely will improve the education level of rural India. For those who come from a very low financial background, the government should provide free textbooks, laboratory facilities, and other perks so that education doesn’t seem like a burden to their parents. Special focus should be laid on enhancing the education level of girls in rural India.
- Lack of facilities
The lack of proper infrastructure facilities becomes a major hindrance to the smooth education of a child in rural areas. These kids have to sit on the floor for their classes., it becomes worse when no rooms are available for studying and the students are compelled to sit under the open sky and take their classes. In this context, basic computer education becomes a dream.
However, since sports play an indispensable role in the development of a child’s overall personality, the children play in the open study areas after their class. Apart from these the basic facility that rural schools in India lack are the availability of washrooms, hygiene, and sanitation. This often limits female students to go to school and maintaining regularity.
- Less government supports
As per a survey report called the Annual Status of Education Report (ASER), more than 50% of students of 5th standard studying in rural schools cannot read a second standard book and solve basic mathematical questions. In the state of Uttar Pradesh, only 7% of students studying in the 3rd standard in village schools were able to comprehend the lessons covered in the 2nd class. This survey report underlines various issues that are ruining the education system of schools in rural India. Further, we shall read in detail about the issues faced by schools in rural India.
Rural India paints a different picture when it comes to educating its children. They are unaware of opportunities after education. It was found that 33,344 children had dropped out of school and 9,716 children had never enrolled.
There is a crucial need for setting up certain awareness programs for rural parents. They are often motivated to send their kids to school. Irrespective of proper infrastructure, sanitation, and teachers, few of them can understand the significance of studying. According to a survey, the drop-outs from the schools are age-wise studied. It was analysed that 5-15 age group, 58.1%females and 62.7% male respectively, among 16-24 age group, 41.5% females and 36.7% males, 25-29 years old, 0.4 to0.6 % of female and male respectively were the ratio of drop-outs from the schools published in 2016. The major reasons were lack of interest, financial constraints, early earning, distance from home to school, and marriage at early ages.
- Lack of quality education
For teachers, who are exceptionally good in the subject and delivering, the expectations of earning and getting settled in a more civilized area are primary. The poor facilities available, the low morale of students and parents, and the insensitivity of administration in proving funds or arranging required materials are the basic reasons for good teachers to escape. This hampers quality education.
The non-teaching roles like duties in the election, etc often derail a teacher, leading to distraction. The issue of absenteeism of teachers in rural areas persists.
Where education is compulsory for all, these obstacles should be minutely observed and analyzed. There is an urgent need of revisiting the policies and follow the new education system 2020. Government has to enforce certain rules for the educational hubs in the rural areas, proving learning equipment and necessary infrastructure for the students who are still enrolled.
The government is taking various initiatives to overcome such problems faced by rural children. These initiatives are Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan, Shiksha Karmi, The National Programme of Nutritional Support to Primary Education, etc
The states cannot compromise on quality education and the mental health of the students. It should be kept in mind that few initiatives taken by the government should be properly implemented, with training and educating the benefits.
Better education can build a better nation, contributing to the economy, allowing better living hood, sound health, and mind of many students of rural India.