According to Annual Status of Education Report (ASER) data , only a little over 25% of all rural 18-year-old were attending schools in 2001 .By 2016, the share of 18-year-old in schools and colleges had gone up to 70%. So There is a rapidly rising trend of education in rural India.

 Yes, education will enable them to get jobs /livelihoods:-

  • Earlier girls role was confined to households but based on the latest ASER report it is visible that girls have closed the gap with boys in rural areas: at age 14, 94% of girls and 95% of boys are enrolled in school; by age 18, 68% of girls and 72% of boys are still in school, a wholesale improvement on the proportions of a generation earlier.
  • Education for these people is very significant in reducing the ascriptive tendencies which dominate the rural areas be it caste discrimination, communal clashes, to achieve social mobility
  • There have been instances of many scientists and leaders from Indian rural areas like APJ Kalam who became one of the most respected scientists in India.
  • Education for rural people with a focus on children is crucial to achieving both an inclusive and equitable education for all and the sustainable development goals of eradicating extreme poverty, hunger, and promoting gender equity

No, education will not enable them to get jobs /livelihoods:

  • According to the latest ASER report, the quality of education in rural schools is dismal. Among 14-18-year-olds only 43% could solve a class IV mathematics problem. So  problem of low learning outcomes was not resolved by remaining in school.
  • This younger generation will be graduating from high schools and colleges but India is already facing unemployment crisis and jobless growth making only the ones with best quality to be employed. So these children might lose the race.
  • Rural private schools perform no better than rural public schools in terms of learning outcomes.
  • Digital literacy is also very less in rural areas to take advantage of online classrooms.
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Way ahead:-

  • Mobile science laboratories and model learning centres: will go a long way in shaping careers and the future of rural children whose chances of accessing a standard laboratory or even perform an experiment are often time a far dream.
  • Options like distance learning, non-formal educational programmes, school feeding programmes, strengthening early childhood care and education, establishing feeder schools and clusters, promoting multi-grade classrooms, reforming teacher recruitment and deployment policies and promoting vocational education for rural development and sustainable livelihoods are necessary.
  • Creating new partnerships between people working in agriculture and rural development with those working in education.

Source – Livemint

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Categories: Q&A