The latest change announced in education is that the authorities are thinking seriously about making Technical education as an integral part of the Syllabus. Our education system had remained as a bedrock of controversies for ages together. The Syllabus of education is changed so far umpteen times, with the anticipation of progress and positive social change. But every time it receives nothing but brickbats and criticism.
Our country being a very vast one, with a huge multicultural humanity their needs, expectation and aspirations from education is also multifold. The social stratification is complex. There is also a constant movement towards higher education as a means for upward mobility. In short finding a uniform education system to the entire country as a whole, satisfying and enveloping all their needs, is too complex is nearly impossible.
Since education is a prime factor for advancement in life, we have to shape the education system according to the type of population it is catering. If we consider the four states where still poverty is more dominant, the child employment is very common. It is found that young children are sent for employment for the need of the family. Everyone knows that small children as young as seven years are employed in the making of firecracker, bangle, heavy Jeri work and a lot more such industries. The distressing, mournful fact is that these children are not only made to work, denied of their education, but also deprived of their childhood. They are almost like bonded labourers and are made to work continuously for long hours, in a poor environment, poor food and shelter. The parents willingly send their children to this because they have to feed their other children. The Government agency tried to raid the factories a number of times, but the merciless, ruthless employers get the wind early enough, and they hide the children. Even when the schools are opened and a mid-day meal is served for children still the parents do not send their children to school. So what is the answer to this cruelty of forced bonded labour of children and how do we eradicate them?
Long time back Mahatma Gandhi introduced an education which he called as basic education, where he said children should learn some basic crafts prevalent in their area along with education, which will help them to earn a lively hood. This was grossly misinterpreted as “Charka” learning. In places where there is utter poverty the population will not understand the importance of education, but they are more worried about their day to day bread, and would use their children for earning the same. Hence we should introduce an education in these places so that children will earn while they learn. The teaching should be half a day business and the remaining day children should practice the art which is prevalent in their area. On the tribal area, there is a fine art of painting called as Varali art. Children can be made to work on these such as painting, crafting, basket weaving or are any such art. Alternatively they can also be taught crafts like carpentry, electrical connections, book binding etc. Every weekend the child will be paid for the work he/she had done. When money is given, definitely the parents would send their children and thus every child will get an education for his future. Education will become ” Earn while you learn.”
If someone is saying that children should not be made to work, they have to just look in the wealthy country US. On weekends and holidays,every child picks up some job like car washing, cutting the grass, selling lemonades or work in Pizza huts. It is seen that many times they are dropped and picked up by their parents in the car. They travel in the car, but never think washing others car is something demeaning. Thus when we encourage the children to work and earn, the atrocity and cruelty of child labour will definitely vanish as parents now will start sending their children to school.
In tribal areas, there is a serious dearth of education because of the lack of access to school. For such region Government should provide, “Schools on wheels” these teaching should also be half a day learning and half a day earning. As the children attend school, the health and hygiene factors can also be implemented easily. This way we can prevent the epidemics of Cholera, Jaundice and TB which are prevalent in these areas.
It is heartening to see that even people from lower strata, living in mega cities like Mumbai, Chennai etc send their children to school and take a lot of care in their progress. Hope soon this attitude spreads among the backwards states so that all children of our Nation get their right —Education and Childhood.
LET US SAVE THESE CHILDREN.