When it comes to education, girls lag behind boys significantly. This situation arises due to the patriarchal mindset of a lot of families in India. Girls are often viewed as future housewives and family caretakers. They are often deprived higher education and in some cases even school education. Being educated gives an equal opportunity for women to be skilled workers who use their learning as a boon that will help better the future of their families and their communities.
With great strides having been made in ensuring elementary education for girls, the new challenge is getting them into secondary and higher secondary school and making sure they don’t drop out.
Ninety per cent of the girls are dependent on someone to go to school. Frequent absenteeism of teacher and not having a female teacher keeps away 29 per cent of the girls from school. A whopping 52 per cent drop out because of frequent illness and 46 per cent said household chores discouraged them from going to school.
While a number of education schemes and policies are in place and are excellent on paper, the results tell a different story.
The key to reforming education for the underprivileged lies in first going back to basics. Understanding the term 'underprivileged' and comprehending the socio-economic background of the underprivileged is an absolute necessity.
The umbrella term covers multiple categories of people across various spectrums. Each category has different upbringings, views, ambitions and goals. It is necessary to segregate these various sections and then provide customisable solutions that are both viable and sustainable.
These children yearn to learn. Through a combination of informal education, skill development, co-curricular activities and regular meals, these children can build a solid foundation and can then merge into formal systems of education.
The journey is slow, but is more effective and has shown significant and verifiable results. It is only by covering multiple verticals that the underprivileged can be aided.
There are multiple entities at play, and it is of utmost importance to invest in the future of these children. Education is the prime way through which the underprivileged can escape the vicious cycle of poverty.