Once an abode of learning, India, today, has the largest population of illiterates in the world.
Spread and diffusion of literacy are associated with the essential feature of today’s civilization. There is a relationship between literacy and productivity and overall quality of human life on the other
India is developing but at a slow rate, this is not the fault of only a corrupt system; it is due to this problem of illiteracy also. Literacy enables a person to think rationally, to be understanding, to be more responsible and to take good decisions. But the fact remains that majority of our schools lack necessary infrastructure. What makes the situation grimmer is the fact that schools are lacking in hygiene also. Recently, the author had to stay overnight in two government-run primary schools. One doesn’t have electricity and the one having electricity, only one room has a fan installed. Both the schools had dirty toilets. . Our world is moving towards becoming a knowledge society, and we have such pathetic schools.
In spite of the adoption of ‘mission mode’ to universalize elementary education, the dropout rate in schools continues to be high.
The government, in its mission to provide elementary education to all, has been able to increase the rate of enrolment but has failed to stop the dropout rate. Only 47 of the 100 children enrolled in Class I reach Class VIII, putting the dropout rate in primary and elementary schools at around 53 percent.
According to official sources, the dropout rate at the primary level (Class I to V) for girls is 33.72% and for boys it is 35.5%. Dropout rates are even more alarming at the elementary level (Class I to VIII) where 53.45% of girls and 52.28% of boys drop out of school.
I have interviewed a friend Dr. Noorus Sahar who is a principal of a school and got some valuable points about improvements of schools
According to Dr. Sahar:
• Teacher student ratio is poor in our schools. Recruiting more and good teachers can also be helpful in improving the quality.
• Spacious Classrooms will also help in improvement
• Proper distance from white or blackboard is also necessary
• Activity Rooms is good input for overall improvement of students and teachers
• Good Playground is a valuable input in the well-being of children
• Health Care Centre is a must for every school
• Good Library is also a must.
With almost identical points, Support My School is taking up mission 1000 i.e. to revitalise 1000 schools in the country. This campaign is around spreading awareness on the importance of education and the programme run by Coca-Cola India ,NDTV and other NGO partners.
The campaign brought a turnaround in these schools. They are revitalized and full of life. The environment of schools has become cleaner, healthier and more conducive to learning. The campaign is a big success. The need of the hour is to take up more and more schools. Citizen funding is also necessary besides the government. Community participation is a key to the success of this wonderful initiative. The Schools revitalized under the campaign have served as model schools in several districts and have led to enhanced community engagement and a higher emphasis on attendance and enrolment.Till date Over 600 schools are revitalized and work in another 200 schools is in full swing.Approximately 200,000 children receive access to better sanitation, water, playing and other facilities In these schools enrolment figures have gone up, and also attendance have shown significant improvement.The campaign engaged Panchayats, District Education Officers, Local elected officials, Teachers, Parents and Community members engaged across country
If we want to move towards a knowledge society we should wholeheartedly support campaigns such as support my school. This piece is a small step in that direction. We request our readers to donate generously in Mission 1000 campaign also.