I hope this letter finds you in good spirits and in the best of health.
My basic concern for many years now, has been the quality and the awareness of the importance of education.
Although, there is significant improvement in the kind of education in urban India over the years, the children and students in rural areas have been less fortunate, I feel, despite serious efforts.
The basic problem in most villages, is the lack of good teachers and that’s because we expect most teachers in rural areas to either teach for a very nominal fee or as a good will gesture, which keeps the quality of teachers at bay…
I feel, the solution is to give incentives and perks to teachers who will make a difference to the students… Some incentives which would want them to take up the job of teaching in a rural area out of choice and not as a last resort. After all, even a teacher needs to take are of his/her family and I don’t think its fair that an important and a noble job such as teaching, whether in rural or urban India , be taken for granted.
Incentives can range from better pay to free education for the teacher’s children in the best institutions.
We must remember that a good teacher is capable of creating responsible and good citizens of the country while a bad one can ruin them..
Another problem at the grassroot level is the general perception of some parents of a certain social strata in the rural as well as urban areas that an education might not be necessary ,if their children are going to follow in their footsteps of choosing a profession.
For eg: My erstwhile domestic help, one fine day decided that it was time her daughters started working just like her and hence give up school…they were at that time 15 and 18…
When I told her that, that would be a mistake, she said she couldn’t afford it which was understandable, therefore I offered to help. She agreed to that, but in a few months her daughters were out of school again. When I asked her, she gave me a broad smile and said that the money got used up and after all, her daughters are going to follow in her footsteps, so what was the point in sending them to school.
The problem is not that she thinks that her daughters are going to take up the same profession as her, but the fact that she doesn’t think that education is important. I feel, people like her need to realise that giving her daughters an education, gives them the gift of choice and broadens their horizon, and tomorrow if they decide to follow her into the profession of a housekeeper, it’ll be out of choice and not compulsion.
The practical solution here I think is to take effective steps towards educating these parents on the ‘importance of educating their child’.
There should be booths set up in conducive areas , where the parents are called and lectured on the benefits of sending their child to school because its the parents who are going to make the decision of whether or not they want to give their child an education.
It’s fantastic that there are so many efforts being made for free education of the girl child and many free of cost schools all across the country but unless we target the right people (parents) to drive the point home, I’m afraid these efforts might not be fruitful.
I have faith in our education system but lets make it better by Infusing some practicality into it and using our funds in the right direction
Dipannita Sharma Atwal
Image Courtesy: [The Viewspaper]
Disclaimer: The above article is the personal opinion of the author and not of the publication.