Infrastructure and mentality are key to sustainable education in rural India

Adequate infrastructure and attitudes towards education are key factors for achieving sustainable education in rural India

Rural education is the driving force of social change and transformation. The ongoing epidemic has caused a number of disruptions in the education system with the shift to digital education. According to the 16th edition of Aser 2021, the availability of smartphones in rural India has accelerated from 36.5 per cent in 2018 to 67.6 per cent in 2021, while 79 per cent of students studying in private schools have smartphones at home as compared to 63.7 per cent. Percentage of students in government schools. With limited Internet penetration, the rural West is slowly advancing by adopting innovative solutions for sustainable education.

Ensuring a sustainable learning environment in rural India can serve as a critical change agent in preventing the poverty, violence and exploitation that millions of children and adults face every day. The ongoing epidemic has deepened the educational crisis, including potential learning disadvantages and school dropouts, including incessant gender inequality in educating girls. With online education taking the front seat, schools in remote areas of the country were not ready to change gears and quickly apply new learning strategies. To widen the educational landscape and ensure equal learning opportunities among rural children, schools / kindergartens must be equipped with adequate infrastructure before the digital shift. This can only be done if the community, regulatory authorities, corporates and educational institutions take collaborative measures to work towards the sustainable development goals of rural education.

Strengthen the resilience of the education system

Accessibility and quality of education is the primary right of every child to be relevant and to maximize emerging opportunities that can complement economic growth and social well-being. However, children in rural India face multiple challenges in accessing primary education, including a limited number of schools and lack of proper transportation facilities for long distance travel, lack of infrastructure and basic facilities like drinking water, toilets etc. The curriculum followed in rural schools is outdated, combined with ineffective teaching strategies with no access to technology due to lack of funds to upgrade school systems or even train teachers. Mobile phone use is less than 30 percent among rural government school children.

Significantly, remote tribal communities and other socially and economically disadvantaged children lack the resources to receive an online education.

Some of the key issues in sustaining education include focusing on preventing learning loss and dropping out, especially of girls and children living in extreme poverty or food insecurity, providing improved infrastructure to improve connectivity and implementing successful digital literacy. Prioritizing education in rural areas will demonstrate community progress at the grassroots level and contribute to boosting the country’s economic growth.

Creating programs to accelerate positive change

In response to a strong call to promote inclusive and equitable quality education in rural India, the corporate trustee of a leading two-wheeler manufacturer is working with the community and government to empower India’s rural poor through awareness, skills and training programs. One such success story is the intervention of a corporate trust in the family of a farmer living in Kamalandapuram village of Padvedu panchayat in Tiruvannamalai district. The farmer has five daughters and has a limited income from his profession. In 2014, when his eldest daughter T. Rajasundari was studying in class X at Renukondapuram Government High School when she was informed about the free higher education activities and training conducted by the corporate trust. Rajasundari enrolled in the program, and she successfully passed the screening test, which helped her to pursue her higher studies at the Nachimuthu Vocational Training Institute in Pollachi. This learning opportunity helped the princess get a job at a leading two-wheeler manufacturing company after finishing the program. Based on Rajsundari’s success, even her sister Abirmio followed the same path, which enabled her to find employment. The farmer’s family is safe and adequate, both daughters are employed. This story is not only an indication of the success of the family but also a great achievement in educating the girls.

Another consistent measure that highlights the respect for education is the positive results of Kadarpi, who has been working for 28 years at an Anganwari center in Venkatagiri Municipality. Lacking a number of basic amenities like drinking water, toilets, kitchens, electricity, and proper floors, he actively approached the Srinivasan Service Trust, the social arm of a leading two-wheeler company, seeking help to improve Anganwari infrastructure. . The trust has accepted the project at an estimated cost of Rs 210,000 and has ensured the participation of local people in the financing of the project. This sustainable approach has helped to improve school infrastructure by January 2021, in a short span of 45 days, with community support and contributions. As a result, the number of children studying in Anganwari Centers has increased significantly. Safe premises allow children to spend more time in school and improve their learning.

It is the responsibility of governments, corporates, local communities and education stakeholders to help rural children regain their promised future. Not only the basic services of education, there is an endless need to evaluate and work on the unused resources to continue to restructure its basic objectives. Through a sustainable approach, we can bridge the educational divide and facilitate the continuity of education in rural India.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.