India caught the world’s eye when a recent UN report declared that more than half of the nation’s population is under the age of 25, accounting for more than 600 million people. With a major segment of its people constituting of children and youth, India surely seems to be on its way to a bright tomorrow. The youth form quite a respectable portion of the existing workforce.
However, the true potential of the workforce of the future(say, children) can be satisfactorily exercised, only if the child receives the nourishment crucial for their proper physical, emotional, and intellectual growth.
The said nourishment can come in the form of good education, training in income generating activities, nutritional and health support, emotional and physical security, to quote a few. The sad thing is, that a lot of our young ones spend their childhoods in a state of deprivation. A lot of them never get to attend school. This alludes to the possibility of a bleak future for them, and for the country at large.
Children turning away from their study books
According to a World Bank Report, only 44 percent of Indian children complete their standard 10th studies, with a lot of them dropping out of school before finishing their primary level education. If not arrested, this drop-out rate will escalate the rate of illiteracy in the future.
India is on its way to becoming the country with the largest and the youngest workforce the world has ever seen. This makes it extremely important for us to address this issue with more concern and attention. And to be able to do so, we must first investigate why children withdraw from schools within a few years of their induction into formal education.
What is dragging children out of their classrooms?
Poverty forms one of the major reasons for students discontinuing their education midway. Children belonging to economically weaker sections of the society are the most susceptible. Their parents cannot afford to pay for their education. Even when a child is studying in a
Poverty takes a massive hit on the poor children who are orphans living out of the streets. With nobody to care for them, the street children are left to fend for themselves. Struggling for survival on a daily basis, they usually never get the opportunity to study, unless there is some form of external intervention.
The Gender Bias
Our predominantly patriarchal society still hesitates a little when it comes to sending their girl children to school. Although our societal structure has gradually become more accommodative of girl rights, we still have a long way to go. The country is becoming increasingly aware about the importance of girl education. The girls are continuously proving that they are in no way the feebler sex. The metropolises are painting quite a pleasant picture of gender equality, but we still finds parents shying away from formal education for their daughters. The situation is much more severe in the rural areas, and is in need of nation’s urgent attention.
The Rote, Uninteresting Methods of Teaching
Children grasp things best when they are taught in a way that tickles their curiosity. The traditional way of imparting knowledge, which has been more of a theoretical approach than practical, may not always invoke a child’s interest in learning. The rote, directive method of teaching can drive the children away from studies, increasing their possibility of dropping out of school at an early stage.
The need of the hour is to make the pursuit of education interesting for children. This can easily be done by adopting a more interactive, approach towards knowledge transfer. This shall positively keep the children invested in the learning process, and thereby continuing their education.
What can we do to bring a child to the book?
The government’s mid-day meal initiative has been quite successful in bringing the poor children back to classrooms. It has also changed the attitude of poverty-stricken parents towards schooling for better. Knowing that their child will receive a nutritious meal, the parents don’t meddle with their education.
Some charities in our country are also running the mid-day meal programmes for school children. However, since they are non-profit entities, they need our help in carrying on with the good work. Any contribution that we make towards the cause, shall help feed a poor kid. It will also greatly impact their academic career by giving me an additional reason to stay in school.
If you want to drive a change in the lives of these poor children, please make a donation here. Your contribution will go a long way in repairing their lives, and hence, the future of our country.
Aprajita is a writer and editor who loves to play with animals. She hopes to publish her first novel sometime soon.