This article is the sixth part of the ‘Education’ series of articles. Read Part V here.
‘Education ’ is a hot topic for UPSC. Questions from this topic can be expected in the essay paper or any other general studies paper. Therefore, in order to cover various aspects and dimensions of this topic we bring to you a series of posts dedicated to this specific topic. We would be analysing the topic from multiple angles and at the same time provide data, quotes etc. related to the topic.
Wherever required, we will link the article with previous parts of the series. This will not only help our readers better understand the topic but also would assist in revision.
Migration and its effect on education
Literacy levels in rural households of India dip with seasonal migration, the UNESCO global education monitoring report 2019 has observed, bringing out the educational challenges thrown up by migration.
In India, 10.7 million children aged 6 to 14 lived in rural households with a seasonal migrant in 2013. About 28% of youth aged 15 to 19 in these households were illiterate or had not completed primary school, compared to 18% of the cohort overall – says the report. About 80% of seasonal migrant children in seven cities lacked access to education near work sites, and 40% are likely to end up in work rather than education, experiencing abuse and exploitation.”
Construction sector – The report says that the construction sector absorbs the majority of short-term migrants. Sites like kiln workers reported lack of access to early childhood or primary education for their children.
Inter-State migration rates have doubled between 2001 and 2011.
Steps taken –
The Right to Education Act in 2009 made it mandatory for local authorities to admit migrant children. National-level guidelines were issued, allowing for flexible admission of children, providing transport and volunteers to support with mobile education, create seasonal hostels and aiming to improve coordination between sending and receiving districts and states.
- Several cities lack access to education near work sites, and the children of migrant workers are likely to end up in work rather than education, experiencing abuse and exploitation.
- Most interventions are focused on keeping children in home communities instead of actively addressing the challenges faced by those who are already on the move.
- Culture, language, lifestyle, cleanliness and clothing as major barriers between them and the migrant labour community.
- Growth of slums and informal settlements — where schools are often scarce — due to migration.
Encouraging steps taken by state governments –
- Tamil Nadu – the government provides text books in other languages to migrant children.
- Gujarat – It has introduced seasonal boarding schools to provide education to migrant children.
- Maharashtra – Authorities have enrolled volunteers to provide after-school psycho-social support to children left behind by migrating parents.
- Odisha – It has taken up responsibility of seasonal hostels run by NGOs and works with Andhra Pradesh government to improve migrant well being.
Funds and Teachers
State governments have increased their budgets for school education in the past three years, but the allotment of funds has not been enough to attract permanent qualified teaching staff to government schools, finds a recent study conducted across six States (West Bengal, Chhattisgarh, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Maharashtra). The report, prepared jointly by Child Rights and You (CRY) and the Centre for Budget and Governance Accountability (CBGA).
Despite a varying level of commitment towards school education across the six States, all of them struggle with a shortage of teachers.
More than one lakh schools in India are run with only one teacher and all the six States surveyed have shown the number of such schools on the rise. The figures don’t entirely capture the severity of the shortfall as they do not reflect the shortage of subject teachers.
Source: The Hindu