“There’s no reason why children in inner cities or rural areas do not receive the same quality education or opportunities as those in suburbs or wealthy neighborhoods. If we truly believe in giving all citizens a chance to pursue happiness and pursue their goals, then we cannot continue to marginalize entire groups of people”.
-Al Sharpton, American civil rights activist,
Education is the most powerful weapon that holds the potency to change the world.
India is a developing country and to make it stand out among other powerful nations, it must improve its education system, especially the rural education scenario.
India has the greatest education system in the world after China. However, there remains a lot of daunting issues that need to be addressed, like quality education, hindered access to education, etc.
Imparting educational opportunities to every child irrespective of their gender, status or category is the call of the hour. Since the majority of the Indian population lives in rural areas, it is undeniable that public schools in these areas should be upgraded and education be transformed into a more standardized form.
To improve education, it is requisite that the other parameters like health, nutrition, housing, and sanitation be given equal concern. 87% of the schools in India are in the country’s villages. Government statistics and independent surveys have revealed that over 90% of the rural schools at the elementary level are run by the government.
Other factors that are responsible for impoverished education scenario in rural areas include:
- poor infrastructure
- lack of trained teachers
- shortage of resources
The initial step in providing rural education is by giving the children proper school infrastructure.
Proper classrooms, toilets, playgrounds are indispensable requirements.
Continuous supply of drinking water, electricity, drainage systems are other must-haves. According to District Information System for Education(DISE), only 53% of all government schools have an electricity supply.
LACK OF TRAINED TEACHERS-
DISE also has stated that though teachers are recruited in public schools, their competency is below par. 18% of teachers between 2016-17 had no professional teaching degree.
Further, high rates of absenteeism have been recorded in government-run schools. According to a World Bank report, 1 in 4 teachers is absent from all government-run elementary schools.
It has also been seen that many subject teachers posted in government schools do not have basic subject knowledge and they end up giving poor students wrong subject understanding.
In another case, there are insufficient teachers in schools. Sometimes there is just one teacher for the entire school and if he/she remains absent for any reason then the schools remain closed for that day.
Improving the quality of teachers in these schools should be a high priority. Teachers recruited in rural areas must be educated and equipped with teaching skills and professional qualifications.
SHORTAGE OF RESOURCES-
Books, stationery, labs, sports/games pieces of stuff are other important necessities. Students in many schools do not have stationeries like copies, pencils, books, etc. which debars them from studying at home.
All these things must be looked after.
A new set of syllabus and education program should be planned for students of rural areas. They must also be exposed to extracurricular activities, which would help them recognize their real talent and pursue it.
Rural elementary education should be revised and more funds must be allocated for this purpose.
After all, "padhega India tab hi to badhega India" (India will read, only then India will grow).