School Achha Hai

By , February 4, 2010 6:04 pm

AROH strives to have no out-of-school children in its target areas

Here’s the story of the bright-eyed, eleven-year-old Rashmi, daughter of the milkman at our project in Gharbarah, Gautam Buddh Nagar. This girl was enrolled in the only government school in the village which was upto the V std. She was a bright student and wanted to study further. Her parents were also keen on sending her to school. But there was no middle or higher school in the village or neighbouring areas. Private schools were to expensive and the poor village community could not afford. So the girl joined the band of out-of-school children.

school1AROH has been helping children like Rashmi to get a learning continuum. Those who have left school some years back are being brought back to non-formal education.

It is true that much has been achieved in India in education. According to the 2001 Census, 65 percent of Indians are literate, up from the 18 percent figure of 50 years ago. The number of out-of-school children between the ages of 6 and 14 has declined from 39 million in 1999 to 25 million in 2003.

But this is not good enough. India still accounts for one-quarter of the world’s 104 million out-of-school children. Nearly fifty percent of the children drop out of school by Class Five with dismal literacy skills. For every 100 girls that enroll in school in rural India, only 18 reach Class Eight, nine reach Class Nine, and only one makes it to Class Twelve.

There is a big gap between male and female literacy which is at 76 percent and 54 percent respectively. There is also the great disparity between states, with 90 percent literacy for Kerala and Himachal and only 38 percent for Bihar. Although 95 percent of children have access to school within one kilometre of their home for basic primary classes, the figure drops to only 85 percent for access within three kilometres for upper primary classes.

States like Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and West Bengal have several districts where female literacy is less than 30 percent.

The drop-out rates are due to several factors, such as the distance that the child has to walk to the school, or the perception of the student of the family that the school is not teaching much. Most schools are poorly equipped: about half lack playgrounds and drinking water; nine out of ten do not have toilets. In nearly eight schools out of ten, there is no library.

Many of the problems facing India are a consequence of the lack of educational opportunity to large sections of the population.

The litercay ratio of India is 65.38% with
male literacy at 75.85% and female literacy at 54.16%

Of the 193 million Children in the age group 6 to 14 years,
8.1 million children are out of school as of
Sept 2004 as per Government statistics.

Net primary enrolment ratio in 2001/02 : 83 7%

Children reaching grade 5 in 2000/01 : 59 8 %

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