Right to Education and Schooling in Rural India
Right to Education is the primary right of every citizen of India, whether a child resides in a high-profile society or in a faraway not so developed secluded village. In India, condition of rural education is still improving, the conditions of these rural schools are still very poor. There are very few schools in the rural areas and children must travel far away distances to avail these facilities and most schools in these locations do not provide drinking water and amenities like Electricity, Playgrounds with Sports equipment which often fall under “Special privileges” category for access to them.
India has made substantial effort to bring education to rural India. However, what it could not bring is quality education. There are a multitude of reasons for it:
Funds: The amount of funds the Government is spending on primary education is not enough to provide quality education to rural population which still makes up over 65% of Indian population. Even the budget sanctioned is routed mainly to cities due to a greater number of enrollments compared to Govt. Schools in Rural India.
Infrastructure and Facilities: There are a smaller number of schools. There is one school for several villages. Many existent schools lack proper buildings, classroom, benches, toilets, blackboards and other amenities. The lack of other infrastructure in rural areas like basic roads, bridges, bus or rail connectivity make it even more difficult to source things and sustain them in good condition.
Planning and Monitoring: Although educating rural population is one of the most important tasks for the Govt, the onus is on the people to go and access the education provided at certain villages which act as a center to many community pockets. There are either insufficient or no measures in place to ensure 100% children enrollment to schools and for checking the quality of education. Inadequate or no feedback mechanism is another bane added to this.
Teachers and Capacity building: We lack in terms of both quality and quantity. Many schools have insufficient teachers. Some schools have teachers allocated as per the proportion of Children but not based on the grades which affects the quality of education received by children. It is also found, in some cases teachers lack adequate training or are poorly trained or untrained to handle the ground realities of Govt. Schools in Rural areas. It gets worse for higher classes. It is also observed that majority of the expert and skilled teachers go for privatization and the others remain at Govt. Schools. There are thousands of expert and skilled teachers in Govt. Schools but lack proper motivation and hand-holding, receive unattractive salaries and insufficient school management funds to improve and sustain the facilities as well as provide quality education.
Poverty and Earnings: Forget paying fees, many parents do not send their kids to school so that they can earn daily bread for the family. Many have a mindset that they lose money if their kids are sent to school.
Dropouts: Since the quality of education imparted in these schools is relatively poor in comparison to the high-fees collecting school establishments, the students find it increasingly difficult to understand and cope-up with things as they go up the education ladder. And as age increases, they are expected to start earning too, which makes them more stressful. So, it makes little sense for them to continue education and ‘waste time’ in self and the parents’ eyes. Drop-outs from schools due to parents being migrant labour who lead nomadic life to earn daily bread in another area of major concern.
The Schools in rural areas are promoted to raise the level of education and literacy in rural India. The main aim of running these types of schools in India is to increase the rates of literacy in rural areas. More than 35 per cent of India’s population is illiterate and cannot read or write. And schools in rural areas are inadequate and often equivalent to being non-existent. The lack of basic school amenities, quality education tools and teachers’ capacity are the most apparent hurdles in the way of “Right to Quality Education in Rural India”. A Public-private partnership model would be one of the approaches to solve this social issue which is prevalent across India.