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

HSBC shareholders seek exit from funding Adani's 'contentious' Australian coalmine

By Our Representative  In a move that may embarrass India's top business house known to be close to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, shareholders of HSBC, a British multinational investment bank, the largest in Europe with total assets of US$2.715 trillion, are likely to decide at its AGM on May 28, 2021 a plan to exit coal financing related to the Adani Group, as it begins digging the Carmichael mega coal mine in Australia, reports Melbourne-based South Asia Times.

Gross 'injustice' to children: Rs 5000 cr cut in education budget; 15 lakh schools shut down

Counterview Desk  More than 100 dignitaries, including educationists, academia, social activists, teachers’ union, civil society organisations (CSOs), various networks and people working on child rights, in a letter to Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman have sought reversal of reduction in allocation for education in the Union Budget 2021-22, even as demanding substantial increase in it.

Communal rhetoric? Hindutva preached by RSS-BJP is 'monolithic', not Hinduism

By Prem Verma*  I am a devout Hindu but not a believer of RSS Hindutva form of Hinduism which brings about hatred of other religions. My Hindu religion has not taught me to look down on other religions and neither has it instilled in me to go about converting others to my religion because my religion is superior.

Buddhist shrines massively destroyed by Brahmanical rulers in "pre-Islamic" era: Historian DN Jha's survey

Nalanda mahavihara By Our Representative Prominent historian DN Jha, an expert in India's ancient and medieval past, in his new book , "Against the Grain: Notes on Identity, Intolerance and History", in a sharp critique of "Hindutva ideologues", who look at the ancient period of Indian history as "a golden age marked by social harmony, devoid of any religious violence", has said, "Demolition and desecration of rival religious establishments, and the appropriation of their idols, was not uncommon in India before the advent of Islam".

Ciminalising 'tool' created, name: Gujarat Land Grabbing Prohibition Act 2020

By Varsha Bhagat-Ganguly, Rejitha Nair* The year 2021 in Gujarat opened its account with 647 alleged land grabbing cases under investigation, 16 FIRs filed against 34 land grabbers within 35 days of Gujarat Land Grabbing Prohibition Act 2020 (GLGPA), as informed by the Additional Chief Secretary (Home), Gujarat State, in a press conference on January 22, 2021. He further informed that of 647 alleged cases, 605 applications of land grabbing were received by different collectors who have initiated suo moto proceedings in 42 cases. The total land in these cases is estimated to be around 1.35 lakh square metre, worth Rs 220 crore as per jantri rates (ready reckoner of land prices in different parts of the state). By March 15, 2021, at least six even cases are before the Gujarat High Court. Of about 11 cases reported in the daily newspapers, in three cases, grabbing of government land is charged, and the rest are land disputes between two individuals. The promptness of the district collect

Swami Vivekananda's views on caste and sexuality were 'painfully' regressive

By Bhaskar Sur* Swami Vivekananda now belongs more to the modern Hindu mythology than reality. It makes a daunting job to discover the real human being who knew unemployment, humiliation of losing a teaching job for 'incompetence', longed in vain for the bliss of a happy conjugal life only to suffer the consequent frustration.

RSS love for 'killer' Myanmar junta behind Indian military presence at Tatmadaw Day?

By Shamsul Islam*  If a shameful act means an action which is criminal and nauseating, it would be an understatement to describe the attitude of the present RSS-BJP rulers of India towards the demolition of democracy and large-scale killing of the people of Myanmar by the military ( tatmadaw ) junta which took power through a coup on February 1, 2021 after renegading the election results in which the party of Aung San Suu Kyi, National League for Democracy, was a clear winner.

Chhattisgarh’s Apra riverfront imitates Sabarmati: 'Devaluing' water, environment

Sabarmati riverfront By Mansee Bal Bhargava*  This year’s #WorldWaterDay (March 22) focus was on ‘Valuing Water’. My school friend, Pragati Tiwari from Bilaspur, Chhattisgarh, called that day knowing my interest in water matters. We were remembering our childhood days as how we used to play on the banks and the bed of the Arpa Nadi (River) during the summer holidays and as how the river would swell like Anaconda to flow happily during the monsoon.

Bihar massacre on Holi day: Brahminical, casteist mindset behind 'uneasy' silence

Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar By Vidya Bhushan Rawat*  Several people were killed in Bihar amidst Holi festivities, but not much response has come in from the media. The silence of the government and the society as a whole is also appalling. We seek to romanticise these festivals, yet we forget that every year they take so many lives. This despite the fact that Holi appears to be the best time for 'avenging things'.

India's draft migrants policy: Whither concern on job restrictions imposed by states?

By Anil Kumar*  India’s Niti Aayog has prepared a Draft Migration Policy. The draft policy acknowledges migration as an integral part of development, and it calls for positive government interventions that facilitate internal migration. With a rights-based solution to migration, the draft states that the policy should “enhance the agency and capability of the community and thereby remove aspects that come in the way of an individual’s own natural ability to thrive”.