Skip to main content

Beti padhao? India's 30% girls from poorest families "haven't set foot" inside classroom

By Our Representative
When the whole world is going to celebrate International Women’s Day on March 8, the current scenario of girls’ education in India is very precarious. Nearly 40% of adolescent girls aged 15-18 are not attending any educational institution, aid Ambarish Rai, National Convener, Right of Education (RTE) Forum, has said.
He added, About 30% of girls from the poorest families have never set foot inside a classroom. Girls are twice as likely as boys to have less than 4 years of schooling.
In a statement issued on the eve of International Women’s Day, Rai said, “More than 60 million children are out of school in India. This is the highest number of out of school children of any country in the world. About 25% of boys and girls are unable to read Std 2 level text. Around 36% girls and 38% boys are unable to read words in English. Moreover, about 42% girls and 39% boys are unable to do basic subtraction arithmetic.”
He further said, “India’s Right to Education Act 2009 guarantees every child between the ages of 6 and 14 the right to free and compulsory schooling. However, the act is not widely implemented. The rate of compliance is as low as 9% across India. What’s more pathetic that it excludes secondary school children between 15 and 18 years of age, leaving many children, and girls in particular, without the education they need to build a better future for their families, communities and country.”
Rai stated, many of those who are able to access schools leave without the knowledge and skills they need to enter the labour markets.
“Though Annual Status of Education Report (ASER) data shows secondary school children’s foundational reading and math abilities are poor and average achievement scores of Class V students have declined in all subjects between 2011 and 2014, but why the government is not ready to invest required resources to the government schools, as being done in Kendriya Vidyalyas and Navoday Vidyalyas? Without this how we can expect better results?", he wondered.
According to him, this is partly down to a shortage of trained teachers. He said, “Data shows 17.5% of elementary and 14.8% of secondary teaching posts are vacant. Moreover, only 70% of teachers at primary level are adequately trained and qualified.”
Pointing fingers on government’s negligence towards education system, Rai opined that this Indian system is critically under-resourced. “The Government is only spending 2.7% of GDP on education. This represents a drop from 3.1% on 2012-13. In fact, the spending remains significantly below the 2015 Incheon Declaration and Kothari Commission recommendations of allocating at least 6% of GDP to education,” he observed.
“We have heard the drumbeating of ‘Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao’ by the government. But it is the government which has failed this programme. The total budget of this programme was Rs. 100 crores. And we know through various news-reports that approximately 60 per cent of this fund has been wasted on publicity only. Remaining 40 crores is just farce and inadequate to provide education to girls of this country,” Rai added.
Insisting on the need of educating all girls up to class XII, Rai said, “Increasing the share of girls completing secondary education by 1% increases economic growth by 0.3%.”
“Education serves as an important tool to empower women and girls, and is one of the most powerful investments to prevent child marriage and early pregnancy. With each year of secondary education reduces the likelihood of marrying as a child before the age of 18 by five percentage points,” he added.
“Quality education can counteract the social factors that hinder women’s labour market participation. Earnings increase by approximately 10% for each additional year of schooling. It clearly means that education not only helps to grow the economy but also fights poverty,” he argued.
Rai further said that education, particularly formal secondary education, is the most effective way to develop the skills needed for work and life. As such, it is widely considered one of the best investments to expand prospects of skilled and adequately paid employment.
“Those with access to quality senior secondary education are significantly less likely than workers with only a secondary education to be in vulnerable employment or to work informally without a contract or social benefits,” he observed.

Comments

TRENDING

Missed call drive for VVPAT verification follows online plea to "pressure" poll panel

By Our Representative
Several political activists have begun a new campaign, asking concerned citizens to give a missed call on 9667655855 to “support the demand that 2019 Loksabha elections must be declared only after verification of 50% electronic voting machines (EVMs) with Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) receipts.” The effort, supported by civil society networks across India, is meant to "further pressure" India's election machinery to ensure that the poll outcome becomes more transparent.

Did Modi own, buy digital camera costing Rs 7 lakh in 1987-88, also used email?

Counterview Desk
In an interview to the news channel News Nation, aired on Saturday last, Prime Minister Narendra Modi declaring that he had approved the air strike despite bad weather because he felt the clouds would hide Indian planes from Pakistani radar is known to have become a laughing stock across India.

When a neo-nationalist "invaded" hijab clad ladies, Bengali looking scholar in Delhi metro

By Aditi Kundu*
Travelling in Delhi metro on a daily basis to commute from Mayur Vihar to Dwarka, I see diverse people everyday. One can hear them talk about different aspects of life, from kitchen pilitics to national politics. On the morning of May 13, I witnessed a strange incident; disturbing and amusing at the same time.

Terror attacks: Difference in public reactions in India, those in Colombo, Christchurch

By Battini Rao*
Recently, on April 20 during Easter Sunday, more than 250 people were killed in a series of coordinated terrorist attacks in churches and hotels in Colombo, Sri Lanka. Local Islamic organisations Thawheed Jamath (NJT) and Jamathei Milathu Ibrahim (JMI) are held responsible for the attack. Islamic State has also claimed responsibility.

Women lost 88 lakh jobs in 2018: Why Modi "failed" to address their disempowerment?

Counterview Desk
Five human rights leaders Anjali Bhardwaj, Shabnam Hashmi, Purnima Gupta, Dipta Bhog, and Amrita Johri of the Women March for Change have posed 56 questions (alluding to Modi’s claim of 56 inches chest) to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP against the backdrop of his interview with a Bollywood star, which was allegedly masqueraded as a “non-political” conversation.

World Bank clarifies: Its 26th rank to India not for universal access to power but for ease of doing business

By Our Representative
In a major embarrassment to the Government of India, the World Bank has reportedly clarified that it has not ranked India 26th out of 130 countries for providing power to its population. The top international banker’s clarification comes following Union Power Minister Piyush Goyal’s claim that India has “improved to 26 position from 99” in access to electricity in just one year.

Disproportionately high death sentences against Dalits, Adivasis, Muslims: UN told

Counterview Desk
In their joint submission to the United Nations Human Rights Committee to meet for the listing of adoption of list of issues at its 126th session, July 1-26, 2019, top Dalit rights organizations have taken strong exception to, among other things, "disproportional application of death sentencing by the judiciary of minorities, such as Muslims, Dalits and Adivasis".

Ex-IAS, IPS, IFS officers tell Modi: Pragya Thakur doesn't represent India's rich heritage

Counterview Desk
In an open statement, a group of former civil servants have said that normally they would have dismissed the candidature of Pragya Thakur, who is BJP’s choice for the Bhopal Lok Sabha constituency, as an act of political expediency. However, they were forced to react to her candidature after none other than Prime Minister Narendra Modi termed has as a “symbol of our civilisational heritage.”

India's 80% construction sites "unsafe", deaths 20 times higher than those in Britain

By Rajiv Shah
The Government of India may be seeking to project India’s construction sector as the country’s second-largest employer of the country after agriculture, providing jobs to more than 44 million people, and contributing nearly 9% to the national GDP, yet, ironically, its workforce is more unprotected than any other industrial sector of the country. Data suggest that the possibility of a fatality is five times more likely in the construction industry  than in a manufacturing industry, and the risk of a major injury is 2.5 times higher.

India sans Modi preferable, Congress worthier recipient of Indians’ votes: The Economist

By Our Representative
In a strongly-worded and crucial commentary on Prime Minister Narendra Modi as the electoral political battle is on, influential British weekly “The Economist”, has declared that “Indians, who are in the midst of voting in a fresh election, would be better off with a different leader”, even as pointing out that that under Modi, “India’s ruling party poses a threat to democracy.”