Everyone wishes to see this world become a better place and strives to do their bit to change the world. But often we find it difficult to find a cause we want to support..
In our enormous research we came across the issue of quality and affordable education, it is one of the most pressing issues in India in our context.
In our country, many people are unaware of quality of education and how the education of the girl child can transform lives for the better. It is a sad state of affairs when people across socio-economic strata think that investing in a girl child’s education is a waste of money. The fact that they would rather justify spending on their daughter’s marriage expenses or dowry instead of their education is even more disheartening. Early education can be instrumental in shaping the society towards progress. When a girl is educated, she is empowered. She can make decisions for herself, raise the standard of living for her family and children, generate more employment options and reform the society as a whole. Therefore, a change in the mindset towards girl child education in India is the need of the hour. Every girl child must be treated equally with love and respect.
The government has been making persistent efforts to raise the status of the girl child in the society as well as incentivize her education through various schemes and programs. These have surely contributed to girls’ education to an extent yet a lot more needs to be done for girls to be truly treated as equal to boys. And in this time of post corona pandemic situations went worse in majority areas.
Corona pandemic / Lock down is a major daunt in this context and most effected the Indian economy.
In India, the remotest and weakest communities bore the brunt of the abrupt lockdown with millions of daily wage workers and migrants losing their livelihood. They were forced to set out on an abominable enterprise—walking hundreds of kilometers to reach their native towns, starved and badly-off. The vicious system watched their plight from a distance and swept its inability to provide timely and adequate relief under the carpet.
Since the nationwide school closures, it is a rather unpleasant union for millions of families. The poor are simply out of work, scraping along on what the government has provided in the name of covid relief. The continuity of schooling has been disrupted, and it is likely to send a lot of girls back in the tiresome drudgery of household chores, taking care of the family’s needs, and standing up to the pressure for marriage.
The detrimental impact of the pandemic and the lockdown on children’s mental health is the least of concerns for the government and the citizens alike. For the girls from poverty-stricken families neglected by the government and the media, one cannot possibly rule out the most dreadful consequence of the current predicament: being coerced into child labor and child trafficking.
The cases of child abuse during the lockdown are on the rise, and therefore we must understand that schools act as a safe place for children from toxic households. It should not be surprising if a lot of young girls drop out of schools in the post-covid world while their families set about to recover their losses at the cost of their children’s education.
The transition from classroom experience to virtual teaching is not as exciting and accommodating for every stakeholder who is expected to quickly assimilate the process. The majority of government schools in India are not equipped with the needful technology to impart online education—the teachers and the students are unaccustomed to online classes. The problem does not stop at the lack of experience and resources, we must also understand that the classrooms are not mere walls that surround the children where they are expected to perform their work with machine-like efficiency.
For a lot of people, online education is a distant, fantastical world with superficial promises and the illusion of classroom learning. It is not easy for girls from disadvantaged sections to continue their education from home. According to a National Sample Survey in India only 14.9% of rural Indian households had internet access, and only 4.4% of them had computers. The survey also highlights the digital divide in the country where 36% of males have internet access compared to 16% females.
The prolonged period of school closures has magnified the lack of resources among the poor to support their children’s online education. Many simply do not have smartphones, internet connection, laptops and/or financial assistance to pay data bills. The privileged sections do not share the same experience and turn a blind eye to such ‘trivial’ matters.
When we dive more into this context there were more bitter truths to find out. For instance In Valanchery, Malappuram district of Kerala, a class X girl allegedly died by suicide because she did not have a smartphone and missed the online classes.
The girls who had to fight very hard for their fundamental right to receive education in the first place again find themselves fighting poverty, deteriorating mental health, lack of access to the required resources, and sexual discrimination at the same time.
Coming back to our context of Girl Child Education the above discussed situations are standing strong against them and eventually it leads downfall of Nation development and Economy as well in coming future.
This is the time to be responsible towards ourselves and set the things right in the ground level for future growth of our Nation i.e., ourselves.