Two upsetting factors have been revealed in a recent survey conducted by Census 2011:
1. Beside attending schools, almost 78 lakhs children are forced to earn the livelihood.
2. 8.4 crore children don’t go to school at all.
The facts are very disturbing as not only children are deprived of their basic rights to receive an education but are also victims of domestic violence.
In a country where women account for only 27 percent of the workforce because of the patriarchal attitudes and lack of jobs, it is not surprising that among students who work, 57 percent are boys, the remaining 43 percent are girls. Boys and girls nearly make up to the same proportion of the out of school segment.
As reported by Times of India 68 percent of the children are into marginal work, who not only work in agricultural fields but also serves as unskilled helpers in diverse enterprises. 32 percent accounts for the main work and do not attend school. The other ghastly dimension is that 20 percent of the age group are covered under the Right to Education Act.
A month back, UNESCO report stated that India could be half a century late in achieving its global education commitments. It was said that to meet the 2030 sustainable development goal, it is mandatory to change the education system, but going by the current trend and recent statistics, it seems to be far fetched.
The quality of available schooling options in poor urban areas is another issue to consider. A responsive government can indeed make a difference to it but have been largely ineffective because of lack of sociological, anthropological and geographical research on children.
[The Census 2011 is the 15th National census survey conducted by the Census Organization of India. Mr C. Chandramouli is the Commissioner & Registrar General of the Indian 2011 Census. The 2011 Indian National Census has been conducted in 2 phases – house listing and population. The national census survey covered all the 28 states of the country and 7 Union territories including 640 districts, 497 cities, 5767 tehsils & over 6 lakh villages.]