The topic Educational aspirations of rural India deals with studying the aspirations of the rural children and trying to focus on the various factors that affect the aspirations of the children in some way or the other. Five of us had gone to five different states in India with the aim of studying the aspirations of the rural children of that region and then trying to find out the factors that really contribute towards them. The reason for selecting this particular topic was that we were given a choice of our own to explore any field we want. We were all interested in knowing more about the rural youths and their aspirations.
To try to know what is the difference between the kids from a rural India and since we some of us had lived and had our education in rural India we wanted to go back and explore the changes that have come in the society if any. Our curiousness towards the education system and to know where the future of India sees itself made us choose this topic. Initially we all were thinking individually on the topic but once we knew about our similar interest, we tried coming up with a topic in the field that excites us all and finally we chose this topic.
Also one more reason for choosing this topic was that few of us were going to really backward states and some of us were going to the states with the best educational services. So in a way we were getting the opportunity to study across states and come up with our findings of the reasons of particular aspirations in particular regions and how these are affected in different societies. The topic in our view holds quite an importance in today’s time as learning about the primary kids of the rural India gives us a glimpse into what the future might hold in for them and also for the nation.
Since children of today are the future of tomorrow so knowing their aspirations, factors affecting them can certainly help in making changes that can lead the society and the nation towards a better future. The five of us had gone to five different states namely Bihar, Odisha, Haryana, Kerala and Uttarakhand. The comparative study in the later part of the report talks about the status of primary education across these states along with the factors affecting them. 2. OBJECTIVES * To develop an understanding of the educational aspirations of the primary level children in rural India.
* Trying to understand the various factors that play an important role in affecting the aspirations of the primary level children. * To do the comparative analysis across 5 different states under a common platform and identify common issues and problems. 3. STATUS OF PRIMARY EDUCATION IN INDIA Education is important not only for the growth of an individual but also for the nation as a whole. Primary education has been the foundation on which the development of every individual as well as the nation depends.
But making primary education available to everyone has been a major issue and along with this making quality primary education available has all been more problematic for the state. But in the past few years, India has shown tremendous growth in the literacy levels and achievements in providing successfully education to all at the primary level. Various govt. schemes are being implemented in different states that have resulted in providing assistance as well as incentives to the children to come to school and study.
Right of children to free and compulsory education bill was passed in 2008. Special schemes for the underprivileged sections of the society are being implemented. 3. 1 Govt. schemes Different govt. schemes are being implemented in various states across India at the primary level. Some of them are: * Mid Day Meal Scheme (MDMS): MDMS is a scheme that was launched as a Centrally Sponsored Scheme in 1995. This programme ensures provision of cooked mid day meal to children studying at elementary level at govt. , local body or govt. aided schools.
* Cycle distribution: Another scheme in Bihar where a cycle is distributed to the children………………………………………………. * Scholarships for EWS: ………………………………………….. * SSA: Sarva Siksha Abhiyan meaning education for all is another one of the many govt. schemes that aims at providing education to all. This program aims to universalize elementary education by community ownership of the school system. This program also provides an opportunity for improving human capabilities to all children. * Education Guarantee Scheme: This is one of the components of SSA aimed at providing education to the children.
3. 2 Literacy level The literacy level has been on a rise in India with the latest census report stating the literacy rate of our country to be 68% in 2007. This is a substantial increase from 12% at the time of independence and is commendable since the population is also growing at an abrupt pace. Among the Indian states Kerala holds the highest literacy level where Bihar is the lowest. This also accounted for an interesting study as these were the 2 of 5 states being covered. The adult literacy rate was 66% in 2007 whereas the youth literacy rate was 82% in 2001.
4. METHOD OF STUDY * Structured and unstructured interviews: One of the techniques used by us for getting information was structured and unstructured interviews. Many a times, going with questionnaires in our hands raised doubts in the minds of the people, so to avoid that we started with informal chats and then went on with the topic. * Questionnaires: Questionnaires were a means of getting information especially from the primary teachers and the village level authorities. Household interviews were also conducted based on the questionnaires.
* Emoticon analysis: For the children of primary level it is many a time difficult to ask questions and get the answers. Also they identify more easily with the visual aids rather than talking, so for a part of our questions to the primary children, we had a set of emoticons for them and they had to choose the answer based on the emoticons. These emoticons basically expressed their feelings and moods at different points of time. * FGDs: FGDs were conducted among teachers so that we can come to know their view points on the current education system and the factors affecting the level of primary education.
* Observations: Also observing was one of our main methods of studying about the village and also what the kids do in the school during their breaks and the classes. 5. CHALLENGES FACED There were many challenges faced by us during the work we were carrying out on the theme paper. Many a times the teachers were suspicious as to why we are doing this work and why do we want to know about them and the education there from the kids? Initially most of our time went in explaining our field work objectives and our reasons to be there.
Getting information from the kids was one major challenging task as most of them were very shy and it really took great effort to get things out of them and that too correct information. Also a major challenge faced was that many lower caste families who didn’t send their children to primary schools showed no interest in talking on this topic to us. It was hard for us to convince them to talk to us. Language was one more challenge that was faced especially in Odisha. Few of the people in Uttarakhand too, especially women talked in the local Jaunsar language that made things difficult to interpret.
6. STATEWISE DATA All of us had gone to different states viz. Bihar, Odisha, Haryana, Kerala and Uttarakhand. Following is a brief description of the villages that we had gone to along with some of the information about our villages and the level of primary education there, along with the factors affecting them in our respective villages. The comparative analysis across states shows the factors affecting the aspirations of the primary level children and how they differ in different societies. 6. 1 BIHAR Literacy rate of Bihar: 47. 53% Literacy rate of Samastipur: 45. 76% Male: 57. 83%.
Female: 32. 69% Educational programmes going in Bihar: 1). Sarva Siksha Abhiyan (SSA) 2). National programme for Education of Girls at Primary Level (NPEGEL) 3). Kasturba Gandhi Balika Vidyalaya (KGBV) 4). School Sanitation and Hygiene Education Programme (SSHE) Literacy rate of Muhammadpur Kowari village: 42% Population of Muhammadpur Kowari village: 11,500 Income sources: Agriculture Laborer Business Rickshaw pulling Government and private service. Income level: Annual income ranged from Rs. 20,000 – 1, 50,000 per annum of the respondents. Education Infrastructure: 1) Anganwadis- 11 in no.
2) Government School- 5 in no. Primary-4 Middle- 1 High– Nil 3) Private School- 1 ( upto class 8) 4) LSC runned by AKRSP-22 Village had eleven Anganwadi centres which would impart learning to toddlers and preschoolers. There were five government primary schools out of which one was upgraded to the middle school. In addition to this there was one private school in village upto class 8th. For higher studies students had to go to Tajpur for class eighth upwards. Apart from this there were private schools at Pusa Road and Tajpur where students of better off families used to study.
Muslim families preferred Madarasa education for their children in adjoining village Shahpur Baghauni. One can also find coaching centres mushrooming in and around the village where unemployed college graduates were taking classes and also private tuitions. We came to know that this mushrooming was due to ‘Haushla Afjaaayi Sceme’ of state government who would reward students promoted from class ninth to tenth and those who passed tenth board examination with first division marks.
Parent would supplement government school education with private tuitions (Rs.50-100 per student) and coaching for class eighth upwards. But this was not the case for poor who had higher dropout rates. Regarding this the role of AKRSP is worthwhile to mention that it ran Learning and Support Centre (LSC) in minority and dalit tolas which imparted free education at nominal fee of Rs. 10 per child per month for two hours in the morning at 22 centres. It was not considered as substitute for schools rather a complement to emphasize role and awareness regarding education. It attracted students from muslim community and dalits who could not afford high cost otherwise.
Here education was more fun rather than drudgery unlike government schools. 6. 1. 1 Factors affecting primary education: a). Parents- Parents attitude and perception regarding the education determines the education and aspiration of children. This attitude and perception in turn is decided by the education of the parents, environment they live in, earnings, some past experiences and interest in child development. Muhammadpur Kowari village had 58% muslim population and 42% hindus of lower castes and their education level and income was very low.
Mostly worked as farmers, laborers, and rickshaw pullers and migrated to other states and cities as land holding was less while family size was quite large. So they had a pressure to earn from the very beginning and hardly anyone was matriculate except few. Given the constraints they could not afford good education or think big and were reluctant as many had daughters to marry. Though fathers were not so optimistic regarding education of the child but mothers were very conscious and enthusiastic.
Mostly the reply came they don’t want their children to suffer hardships as they had and education was the way to end misery by getting better jobs and lifestyle. Migrant workers that returned on Chhath and BakrId had exposure to outside world and emphasized the need of education and it was evident in their family. However there existed a disparity between spending on education of male and female child in financially sound or medium families whereas there was slight or no difference in poor families as both sexes went to same school and no access to tuitions or coachings or private school.
The difference was owing to notion that male child would support family while girls are a liability. b). Teachers- Their qualification, training, apathy, absenteeism or engagement in other works( e. g. election duty, vaccination drives etc. ) proves to be a deciding factor in shaping the minds and thus aspirations of the children. The differentiation on basis of caste, religion or gender has very deleterious effect emotionally and psychologically. Such children develop low self esteem, unwantedness and develop bitterness.
In this village when the teachers were interviewed regarding this topic they agreed the lack of staff s (4 teachers were for a middle school upto 8th standard) and hampering of studies due to other official works. Also, the teachers arrived late for the duty and could be seen chatting on the verandah and had no concerns what was going inside the classroom. The lack of trained teachers was felt as para teachers appointed to take classes were not qualified enough to take classes off higher standards.
In 2 schools it was found that more than 1 class was going on in a single classroom and in 1 school had 2 rooms only so the classes were conducted under a thatched roof. It was common in many schools the student of class 6 had less learning what would have been otherwise obvious for class 4 reasons being the quality of teaching in government school. An incident was there when a teacher was asked in an informal conversation about aforesaid e. g. he told parents would come and quarrel that my child knows less than the ‘Y’ child and create nuisance so they had to pass all. As a result of this child would fare badly in high classes.
Moreover the mismanagement of funds in midday meal scheme was brought in a notice in panchayat meeting. In another example when an Anganwadi staff was asked about the afternoon meal offered at anganwadi she told that out of Rs. 10,000 allocated Rs. 6000 would be shared among officer issuing the fund and the rest would serve the purpose naturally the quality will decline. c). Students- When the students were interviewed along with emoticons it was a real fun for them. However it was tried best to interview them post school so in front of teachers they would hesitate and could not express freely.
Female students were interviewed in school only because of the conservative nature of the households and they used to come from far places. In schools as well as at LSCs the performance of girls was better than that of boys. The students had interest and had better result in mathematics but had poor performance in language paper. According to the survey it s because of 2 reasons- teaching was boring and teacher was usually absent, secondly many students had been taught in urdu at home and thus had difficulty in writing in hindi.
When boys were asked about being absent from school they gave following reasons- going to relatives house ( as it was a festival time), helping father in fields( sowing time for tobacco and cauliflower), no teaching in school as many teachers were either absent or had taken leave after the election duty. Also, there were boys who came to school but did not attend classes as their peers were playing. However girls had a different reason as some of them had to look after their younger brother or sister while her mother went to work in fields while some of them accompanied their parents to pusa road market to sell vegetables.
But surprisingly the attendance, interest and performance of the students were better at LSC because it incorporated rhymes, playthings, drawing and games period and more dynamic teachers. LSC had meeting with parents once a month, emphasized on curricular activities as well. It had organized ‘Bal Sabha’ (parent’s day) on 19th November which was a new experience for kids and more fun. d). School infrastructure- The debilitated conditions of government schools with leaky roofs, lack of drinking water and toilets is a discouraging factor for girl child enrollment and also absenteeism.
Lack of teaching aids, text books, sports articles makes teaching learning process a monotonous act so a child tries different ways to escape school. Also, bullying by other boys or fear of corporeal punishment by teachers is a major cause of dropouts and absenteeism in these schools. All these were common in the village and absenteeism was more in rainy season as school had lessrooms or was leaky. One can imagine the scene of two classes commencing in a single room and learning of child in this environment. Moreover if there were any marriages around it was a practice to stay Baraat in the school so unofficially it was a kin of holiday.
e). Economic condition of family- This factor was found to be the most important factor along with parent’s attitude and perception during the village stay. Now here are 4 cases- firstly the family was poor and wanted the child to continue study, secondly they wanted child to earn or assist in fields or do other works for livelihood, thirdly family was well off and could afford education and fourthly they wanted them to look after agriculture as land holding and agricultural income was more so they felt there is no need to study. It has been discussed in detail in parents section. f).
Societal culture – It describes how the society affects parents and children thinking and feeling about education and what they aspire to become in future. At Muhammadpur Kowari the villagers were involved in agriculture and labor works mainly and were either illiterate or had very less formal education so they were less informed. They viewed education as a way to overcome poverty by seeking jobs such as teaching, police, army, government service etc. So any successful example of anyone getting such jobs was looked with respect and younger generation wanted to emulate his success.
On the other hand many of the views that every educated man does not gets the government job so there is no use to study and wanted their child to engage in works. Another kind of thought that emerged was to seek benefit of schemes by enrolling child to school or to engage naughty children for few hours or the meal served in the afternoon at school. Many dalits had bitter experience of discrimination in the past and viewed education and ‘aspirations’ as privilege of upper class and caste and it would make no difference to their conditions.
Muslims send their children to madarsa for education and by 14 years of age they dropped out to learn some tailoring or masonry works to earn bread and butter. Very few muslim households send their children to school and those belonging to Sheikhs and business class had tutors for their children. Home tutors were available for girl child because of parda system they were not going outside the village to study and after 8th standard they dropped out. However it was a matter of surprise that these girls when interviewed were happier and had no desire to study further and it had developed in their society as upper limit of girl education..
One more observation was that muslim family had no issues in sending their girl child to LSCs run by AKRSP because it was nearby or in their locality and mostly the female teachers were in that centres. Hence concern for security and parda system was guiding the aspirations. 6. 2 ODISHA Village:Badampada Block:Kaptipada District:Mayurbhanj State: Odisha 6. 2. 1 Village:Badampada: -The village Badampada is 60 kms from Baripada, the district head quarter of Mayurbhanj. It is around 8 km away from block head quarter, kaptipada. The place I visited is coming under tribal belt of Mayurbhanj.
The Similipal reserve forest is near to our village. since the area is surrounded by the dense forest, people are more involved into NTFP collection from the jungle. Since the forest cover is depleting day by day, more people are diverted towards agriculture. Besides agriculture, some people depend on livestock. A very few people are salaried and a small fraction of the villagers are businessmen. The literacy rate of Orissa is 63. 08% (2001 census), while the literacy rate of the district is 52. 43%. The literacy rate of the district is not par with the state, because the tribe constitute 57.
67% of the total population of the state. Since there was very less tribal family in our village, literacy rate of the village is more than that of district i. e 60%. The various schemes are implemented by the state govt to attract the children to the school. The children in the primary school are provided Mid Day meal . The students are also text books, free of cost through District Primary Education Programme (DPEP). To improve the female literacy rate, the state Govt is providing school uniform to girls in the primary school. TheState govt. declared Rs 500 cr for Sarva Siksha Abhijan scheme .
There is a primary school in the village, badampada which caters to the need of nearby villages like vaisnab sahi,Dhumkheta ,sisodia etc. Among them Vaisnab Sahi is the tribal dominated village. 6. 2. 2 Factors Affecting aspiration of the Children of Primary School * Parents- School students in the village are enthusiastic about education; however, parents are not very supportive. Most parents seem to think education as a meaningless practice without any real benefit. Most people in the village are from the working class, they force their children to help them in their work. I found major difference between Odiya and tribal families.
While parents of Odiya family are very much enthusiastic to send their children to school, the case is opposite is in tribal families. * Teachers-The teachers play a vital role in the primary education. The teachers in the village show very little interest towards the education . I came to know, some teachers are involved in parallel business during school time. They do not work for the entire duration of their duty period and go home early. Another trick used by teachers is periodic presence by teachers (at a particular time one teacher remains present, while may be the remaining one is absent) .
I am reliably informed that the school Head master was caught while stealing eggs which were provide for Mid day meal . * School Infrastructure- There is two class rooms and one office room in the primary school. So multiple classes are going on in one class room. The situation inside the class room is very much chaotic. It is very difficult on the part of the teacher to handle the multiple classes at a time. I have observed number children moving outside the classroom during school time. The teacher student ratio is 38 in the school. The school children are not getting books at the right time.
No audio visual aid is provided to the school. * Economic status – The parents of the well off family send their children to English Medium School at Kaptipada. Due to poor economic status of the tribal household, they can’t afford the other facilities to their children during festival period; there is high absenteeism in the school in case of tribal students. Since they are not provided with any amusement in their home, they attend the fair without going to school. Some children help their household working in others firm to meet the day to day household consumption.
* Societal Culture- Children imbibes from the society, surrounding them. Since, the parents are not much aware about the benefit of the education; they don’t motivate their children to attend the school. They are in favour of instant income. Children leave school in early age to earn money in tribal family. 6. 3 HARYANA Village : Gundiani Block : Mustafabad Tehsil : Jaghadhari District : Yamuna Nagar 6. 3. 1 Village: Gundiani: – A small village of population 494, located about 4 km away from a small town called Mustafabad, connected via road and rail routes.
According to my fieldwork stay , village seems to be prosperous and it was supported by government data of BPL family number which was eight only out of total 68 households. Major income generating source of villagers is agriculture and apparently few villagers do have some business and services options as well which they have chosen over agriculture, even there are some instances of villagers going abroad for earning livelihood. Hence as the sources of income was varied so the income level was also have a varied range of about one lakh to 60 lakh per annum.
Infrastructures related to education available in village boundaries were a government primary school, however within a 3 km radius of village one government higher secondary school, three private schools were located and school buses of 3-4 prominent private schools of which one include Delhi Public School, ply to the village for picking students. Literacy rate of Haryana is 67. 91 % ( 2006 data ), and that of the Yamuna nagar district is 72. 20 % ( 2006 data ) while that of village Gundiani was found to be 68. 81% ( 2010 data collected by Kamal & Sandeep).
Well irrespective of all these infrastructure the literacy level of village was on not a brighter side as compared to overall state literacy level and on the lower side as compared to that of district. This can be attributed to the previous generation literacy as the thinking of previous generation was that they need to do agriculture only, so there is no need of education for that, hence this thinking pulled down the overall literacy level to lower side. 6. 3. 2 Factors affecting aspiration of primary school children: * Parents: They play the most important role as home is the building stone of the child’s life and in the home the family i.
e parents play a vital role in aspiring the child for education. Educational qualification of parents is a major factor which shapes the thinking of parents towards education and future of their child. In village Gundiani, although the literacy level was low but still parents were conscious enough about education of their child. But they were not aware of future aspects and where to get this information. Parents just see other children from the village and their society and hence understand the importance of education and hence inspire high for the children.
* Teachers: At primary level teachers influence the most the future of a child as they mold the mind of a child and hence inspire the actions of child towards life and education as well. In village Gundiani, in government primary school there were only two teachers and they were taking enough pain to work towards better future of students. They used to educated students regarding what they have to face in future if they don’t study well and always used to give examples of various other people from their village only so that children can easily relate them and can learn easily the importance of education.
While in the private schools in nearby areas it was not so as the teachers employed by majority of schools were not well qualified, they were there to just teach from text books and were helping the children to understand the importance of education. But still the parents tend to send their child to a private school, the main reason behind this was that admitting your child to private school was seen as a status symbol in the village, and even few poor people used to send their child just to develop their status. Hence we can say that the teachers play a vital role developing the aspirations of a child at primary level.
* School Infrastructure: This is one of the vital components affecting the aspiration of children and their perception towards education. In the village Gundiani the government school was having two class rooms and one room for mid day meal scheme meal preparation. There were six standards in the school but there were only two class rooms in each of which three consecutive standards were taught by teachers side by side. While in case of nearby private schools each standard was taught in different class room and enough teachers were available but the qualification of teachers was questionable to some extent.
In the class rooms teaching aid were available in case of government schools while in some of the few private schools they were thinking of incorporating it. * Economic Status: Economic status of family matters a lot in case of the education provided to the child and hence in direct proportion affects the inspirations of the child as well parents towards education. As the family income largely determines the chances of a child getting education and its quality depending upon the schools to which children are sent.
Apart from the school the outside school education and facilities provided by parents according to their economic status like availing school bus so that child can go to far off better school and also time wastage in traveling can be minimized, availing private tuitions, better text books. Also better economic status of parents give a high confidence level to the child and in turn all the above factors highly influence the inspirations of child as well that of parents towards education of their child.
* Societal culture: This section basically include the society and culture the village which highly affect the thinking of parents, teachers and in the end that of child. In society parents see the other children and then compare their child with others and hence try that their child also progress up to some benchmark set by them. Also availability of few role models in the village like few villagers have migrated to other big cities due to jobs and a few migrated foreign which proved to be role models for the parents of other children and hence they also wanted their child to prosper in life and get up to those positions.
For this the parents were clearly aware that their child needs to be sent to school. Hence the societal cultures of the village influence significantly the inspiration of the parents in in turn that of the child. 6. 4 KERALA It is possible to say that the state of Kerala has a unique position in the education map of India with a literacy rate of 90. 92%. This rate is the highest in India according to 2001 census. Out of which literacy rate of men and women accounts to 94. 2% and 87. 86% respectively. Kerala became the first state in India to declare full literacy in one district called Ernakulam (1990).
With the support of central government, government of Kerala launched a number of programmes in education sector. One of such programmes is “Akshara Keralam” introduced in 1991. It was aimed at bringing maximum number of illiterates to schools and other study centres. Apart from all these NGO interventions on education are also there in rural and backward areas of Kerala. In April1991 Kerala was declared as fully literate state by NLM (As per the norms of NLM, a literacy rate above 90 % shall be treated as complete literacy).
Kerala topped the Education Development Index (EDI) among 21 major states in India in year 2006-2007. A report by NLM in 2007 states that Mizoram surpassed Kerala in literacy rate. SSA is also running well in Kerala. CDS, Trivandrum is monitoring the activities of SSA in Kerala. Kerala has made major achievements in school enrolment at the primary level and in preventing drop outs. Education providers in Kerala include both government and private parties. The percentage of private aided schools is considerably high. Government schools constitute 33% of total schools in Kerala. Education in these schools is completely free.
Government aided private schools and fully private owned schools accounts to 45% and 22% respectively. Number of primary schools in Kerala is 6712(2551-govt, 4003-aided private, 158-unaided private) Education accounts for more than one third of the total revenue expenditure of the state. The per capita expenditure on education is the second highest among states in India. 6. 4. 1 Idukki District Profile Idukki is the high range district of Kerala. It is famous for its Mountainous Hills and Spices. This district occupies 13% of the area of Kerala. It can be said that for Keralites Idukki, means power generation also.
About 66% of the state’s power needs come from the Hydroelectric Power Projects in Idukki. 88. 58% of the district population is literate. Male literacy rate (92%) is much higher compared to female literacy rate (85%). 6. 4. 2 Karunapuram Village Profile Karunapuram village comes under Udumbanchola taluka of Idukki and Nedumkandam block. It has a population of 26033 according to 2001 census. The major source of income is agriculture and allied activities. The literacy rate of this village is 87%. 40 Anganwadis are there. 6. 4. 3 Factors affecting the educational aspirations and their role in Karunapuram * Parents: -.