By Volunteer Nidhi Lohia, FHI Kolkata
It is said that there is no end to gaining knowledge, one can never cease to learn. However, not all are privileged to receive a formal education, let alone aspiring to learn throughout their lives. Primary education might have been guaranteed by the government for children belonging to the 6-14 year age group but the reality is just a sham. Many unprivileged children do not get access to schools and even if they get, they, unfortunately, drop out early. This is a huge problem that needs to be addressed. There are several reasons, behind children dropping out of schools, and if we attend to those root causes, there will be more children with access to secondary education.
To serve as an additional bread-winner, many poor children quit school.
There is a need to spread awareness about the importance of human capital among the poor section of society. They need to get enlightened about the importance of investing in their children’s education. One can create videos depicting skits which express the difference between dropping out of school and compromising on education rather than investing in it. In the age of social media, it does not take much effort and time to reach the masses through the medium of videos.
The percentage of girls quitting school early after they reach puberty is relatively higher.
The stigma around menstruation, lack of sanitary items, and proper washrooms in schools are the main reasons behind it. Through the medium of social media, masses can be mobilized to raise funds to make sanitary items and proper washroom available for the girls.
Live chat sessions with teachers of the government schools by social activists can help in sensitizing them about the dire need to remove the stigma around this natural process. In schools, teachers and non-teaching staff serve as the guardians, they have to play a role in lessening this.
Efforts could also be put to arrange a one-time meal for not only the students in government schools but also for their families. In this way, the burden of earning the bread gets reduced from the young shoulders and they can focus on their studies. Through social media, campaigns can be organized to draw the attention of the government to this issue and this will cause the latter to bring in more effective policies.
Receiving formal education is a necessity and also a basic human right for everyone. Education not only helps in climbing the social order but also becomes the path to eradicating more social evils. This huge issue of the increasing number of school dropouts requires to be tackled immediately.
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