They do not attend school not because they are incompetent, but because they are deprived. They do not show interest towards academics not because they are ‘brainless’, but because they are treated to be ‘different’. They – yes the students of the villages. Of those villages in which according to Mahatma Gandhi, lives India.
Talking about the olden times, education was a word of the big mouth. Illiteracy was increasing at an alarming rate and people belonging to the lower economic strata or the rural dwellers never had a bent towards gaining knowledge or being called educated. They were never even made to realize the importance of education and so this weed named illiteracy went on digging its roots deeper in the society. But before it could spoil the whole system, it was controlled. The government started focusing its attention towards educating the citizens and bringing about an increase in the literacy rate. But unfortunately, the whole of this focus got concentrated in one direction and the other mouths are still left to be fed.
There is no denying the fact that the number of schools and other educational institutions has taken a good leap and the government has formulated a lot of policies to bring about a change in the standard of education. But since majority of India’s population lives in rural areas, they undoubtedly need special attention. Especially when The Annual Status of Education Report (ASER) says that even though the number of rural students attending schools is rising, but more than half of the students in fifth grade are unable to read a second grade text book and are not able to solve simple mathematical problems. Not only this, the level of math and reading is further declining. And this gives the gist of it- there is a huge gap. Gap when t comes to private and government schools, gap when it comes to teachers and simply, gap in the entire education system.
The teachers do not report on time and then gradually, so do the students. Even though the government has set up a permanent body known as the NCT i.e. the National Council of Teachers, the efficiency seems to be missing. Some schools are still run by a single teacher and if the teacher is absent, it’s a holiday. But in the schools of urban areas, the scenario is totally opposite. There seems to be a perfect student-teacher ratio which makes learning all the way more easy and systematic. A comparison of infrastructure of private schools and government aided schools is disheartening. With led projectors being used for the ‘urban’ learners, a black board and chalk is an achievement in the classrooms of villages. Students of government schools have no access to computer education or co-curricular activities due to the lack of facilities. They still have to walk miles to reach to a place which gives them anything but not basic understanding in the name of education. All these discrepancies make them lose interest in acquiring knowledge. Even if the system of the private schools lures them, financial constraints are a reason big enough to leave them uneducated.
The present situation doesn’t call out a need to change the curriculum since the rural students cannot understand English. It is just the grooming which lays down the foundation of a student’s career. Good, responsible, ‘urban-like’ teachers who understand the problems faced by the students of the rural areas keeping in mind their bringing up and the power to grasp can help change the past for a better future. But with the increasing discoveries of loopholes in the already torn result sheet, we are left wondering! Wondering about the economic growth, social order and overall development which seem nearly impossible without educated human resource and also an equally treated workforce.