Without quality education, children face considerable barriers to employment and earning potential later in life. They are more likely to suffer adverse health outcomes and less likely to participate in decisions that affect them – threatening their ability to shape a better future for themselves and their societies.
The statement "Children are the future of the nation" stops making sense, then! In fact, it sounds like an ominous prophecy. For how can we explain that even after 75 years of independence, half of India's children are illiterate? Despite identifying primary child education as a key thrust area and possessing one of the largest networks of schools in the world?
Clearly, we have a lot to answer for. And as concerned citizens do something about it; something meaningful, something concrete, something urgently. No more do we have the luxury of blaming the system or postponing our actions. The time to take collective as well as individual responsibility to remedy the present situation is here. Right now! And also we need many more Smiles to cater to the vast (increasing) number of children in our country's population.
Child Education in India is the focus of Shubh Lagan Divyang Foundation Programmes across India. Our various welfare projects spread across different Indian states provide Literacy and Basic Education for Poor Children, besides health care support. Ensuring educational support for needy Children remains the prime agenda of Shubh Lagan Divyang Foundation programs also by supporting genuine small NGOs, educational trust, child welfare initiatives, various child education foundations and grassroots non government organisations. The Indian states covered by Shubh Lagan Divyang Foundation initiatives include Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Delhi NCR, Uttarakhand, Jammu & Kashmir, Rajasthan, Bihar, West Bengal, Assam, Manipur, Orissa, Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Goa, Maharashtra, Gujarat and Jharkhand.
Facts on Education and effects of child labour in India
Less than half of India's children between the age 6 and 14 go to school.
A little over one-third of all children who enroll in grade one reach grade eight.
At least 35 million children aged 6 - 14 years do not attend school.
53% of girls in the age group of 5 to 9 years are illiterate.
In India, only 53% of habitation has a primary school.
In India, only 20% of habitation has a secondary school.
On an average an upper primary school is 3 km away in 22% of areas under habitations.
In nearly 60% of schools, there are less than two teachers to teach Classes I to V.
On an average, there are less than three teachers per primary school. They have to manage classes from I to V every day.
High cost of private education and need to work to support their families and little interest in studies are the reasons given by 3 in every four drop-outs as the reason they leave.
Dropout rates increase alarmingly in class III to V, its 50% for boys, 58% for girls.
1 in 40, primary school in India is conducted in open spaces or tents.
In Andhra Pradesh (South India), 52 upper primary schools were operating without a building in 2002, while in 1993, there were none.
In Maharashtra (West India), there were 10 schools operating without a building in 1993, this has climbed to 33 in 2002.
More than 50 per cent of girls fail to enroll in school; those that do are likely to drop out by the age of 12.
50% of Indian children aged 6-18 do not go to school.
Source: 7th All India Education Survey, 2002