Education for all is perhaps a cause that everyone believes in and supports – it is a noble cause, non-controversial and is one of the best known child rights.
Despite this, affordable and quality education remains out of reach of hundreds of thousands of students in India.
According to the Annual Survey of Education Report (ASER) 2017, students in age group 14-18 demonstrated lack of basic skills despite the many years of schooling behind them. Out of all children in Std. VIII, 27% are unable to read a Std. II level text. 42% children in age group 14-18 cannot carry out basic tasks like reading simple sentences in English. When it comes to basic mathematics, a whopping 57% are unable to solve a 3-digit by 1-digit division sum.
It is no surprise that given such dismal quality of education, youth drop out and instead join the workforce as unskilled or semi-skilled workers. This situation specifically affects youth belonging to vulnerable groups – who are most in need of good quality government education. According to GOI reports, drop out rates in primary school is around 3.5% which sharply rises to 17.8% in secondary school. Drop out rates are higher for SC children at 18.6% and a whopping 27.2% for ST students. Similarly, pass percentages are lesser for SC/ST students than the total. There is an even more massive gap in the enrolment numbers between overall and SC/ST students. Enrolment numbers of overall students in 2014-2015 in class IX-X was 383 lakhs, in XI-XII was 235 lakhs and in higher education was 342 lakhs. Compare this with SC students whose numbers were 71, 41 and 46 lakhs and with ST students whose were 33, 15 and 16 lakhs respectively. This means SC and ST students are enroled almost 5 to 16 times lesser than the overall numbers. Despite this situation, India’s budget for education remains a dismal 3.48% of our GDP, which is incredibly a decrease from last year’s allocation.
These figures are extremely important to understand the efforts that we are actually putting into development of our youth, who make up more than 50% of the population in India. How do we then justify our expectations from them to be ‘leaders of tomorrow’ and so on? How are we a youth-friendly nation if we cannot even provide them affordable, good quality education, let alone their other fundamental rights?
As adults who are part of the social, economic and political processes of our country, we hold prime responsibility for the continuing denial of this basic right to our youth.
Anubhuti has started the process for ensuring that youth in our project areas, that is – Bamanwada in Mumbai and Kolegaon in Thane District get as much opportunity to pursue their studies as possible. Apart from our ongoing education and career counselling, remedial coaching, family counselling, etc. we have started the process of a community-participatory drive for re-enrolment of drop-out youth.
This means that youth and others associated with Anubhuti in the village / basti are themselves leading the identification, counselling and admission of drop-out youth in Kolegoan and Bamanwada. They have identified and have started the process of re-enrolment with young people who include trans persons, minorities, SC, ST and young women who have been forced to leave education due to various reasons such as lack of finances, early marriage, bad quality education, lack of information about higher studies, lack of coaching and mentoring and desperate need to earn.
These youth need support to continue their education. We welcome your contributions for the same – in any way that is possible for you. Following are few ways:
- Sponsor their education – Donate towards scholarships to cover fees, books, travel and nutrition.
1000 – books of one student
2000 – nutrition & travel costs of one student
4000 – average fees of one student
7000 – total average sponsorship of a student
You can donate for scholarships here.
- Point us to scholarship sources, give references.
- Volunteer as a remedial teacher (helping in subjects they are weak in) in our project sites in Kolegaon and Bamanwada. Main help is required in English, Science and Maths for classes 8 – 10 in Marathi medium and 11 – 12 in English medium.
- Volunteer your expertise if you can help in career counselling, class XI online admissions, aptitude test, etc.
You are welcome to visit either of our sites and meet the youth, we will be glad to have you.
These are youth who have been handling major responsibilities since a young age and are struggling against many odds to stay in education – it is our responsibility to ensure they do. Please write to us at [email protected] or call on 9820778330 if you wish to volunteer.