Is education in India accessible to underprivileged children? A report by Vidya Chetana

Education is one of the factors that can turn around lives of underprivileged communities for the better.

Great leaders and the United Nations has time and again advocated that education is the panacea to overcome several social problems, just to mention a few are poverty, illiteracy, hunger, unemployment, and health crisis. Nelson Mandela rightly said, “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” However, to fully realise this, we need to make education, rather quality education accessible to all, regardless of socio-economic status. While from the top, education sector appears to have undergone a huge shift via means of technology, collaborations, and curriculum revamp, a closer look reveals that not every child has access to this shift. The variability and unevenness in the education ecosystem makes accessibility of education for underprivileged children challenging. 

Reasons causing the education divide 

‘Children are the future of a nation’ is a well-accepted fact, and to actually harness the potential of it, education is a must. It is education that will make children abled, resourceful and contributing members of the nation. This not only means getting education, it means getting quality education. Below are some of the key factors that keeps children away from getting access to education:

Low socio-economic status: Often times, socio-economic status decides the kind of education children receive. The privileged ones get the chance to attend reputed academic institutions, while those at the bottom of the pyramid either attend substandard schools or don’t get a chance at all.  

Inadequate funds: Financial constraints make education for underprivileged children a far-fetched dream. It either forces children to drop-out of school or college, or doesn’t allow them to receive education at all.

Poverty: Poor parents send their children to work so they can earn for a square meal. Elder siblings, especially girls are given the responsibility of household chores and raising the younger siblings. This keeps them trapped in the recurring cycle of poverty. 

Imbalance in quality and quantity: Among the 35 million school-going age children in India, most belong to the low-income families. This huge population of children are also caught up in the existing urban-rural divide, making it even more challenging for the government education system. While trying to cater to the quantity, quality of education has taken a backseat with half of Grade 5 students having learning skills equivalent to Grade 2. 

Current interventions to bridge the education gap

  • The Government of India has initiated several education schemes for underprivileged children.
  • Several non-governmental organisations work closely with underprivileged communities to help their children receive education. One such NGO for education is Vidya Chetana, an initiative of Youth for Seva.
  • Scholarship programmes of schools, colleges, and universities as well as of the social work wing of corporates. 
  • Creating awareness among the mass to garner support and encourage them to donate for education of underprivileged children.

What can you do to make education accessible?

  • Take the responsibility of educating one child.
  • You can contribute to an NGO for education like Vidya Chetana thatsupports higher education of children hailing from challenging financial backgrounds, specially-abled children, and children who lost their parents during COVID-19 pandemic.
  • By opting to donate for education via Vidya Chetana, you will enable these children to pursue and complete their higher education in the fields of PUC (10+2), Degree, Engineering and Medical.

-Collaborate with education NGOs as a CSR partner and enable education for underprivileged children. 

-Conduct a fundraising campaign and multiply your support. 

Your one conscious effort will certainly change the education landscape of India by making quality education accessible for all. Join the efforts of government and NGOs, today! 

Author Profile:

Vidya Chetana Scholarship Program is an initiative of Youth for Seva to support higher education of socio-economically underprivileged children. Your support will help children wanting to pursue PUC (10+2), Degree, Engineering, and Medical Courses. Your contribution towards Scholarship Program will help children continue their education as well as qualify you to receive tax exemption on your donated amount (₹500 & above). 

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