Education, as we all know, is a basic tool that empowers an individual to take up all challenges of life. Realizing this, the government of India has made right to education a fundamental right. Numerous programs have been started by the center and the states to spread literacy and make children attend school. However, there are millions and millions of children in both rural and urban India who don’t have the privilege of attending school. To their misfortune, the compulsion of earning daily wages weighs more than the luxury of going to school. This is the reason why so many poor parents chose to not send their children to school despite knowing how important it is to their children’s future. For such parents, each pair of hands is a tool that earns so that each one in family has something on plate. Survival is, we can’t disagree, more important than education for them.
It is very important that these millions of children also have a stake in the overall planning of the government with regard to children and their right to education. And it is just not enough to make schools, put teachers in these schools and have a cook to prepare mid-day meal. Such a system is of just no use for these street urchins. What they need is an innovative process through which education reaches them and not vice versa. It is equally important that the education does not interfere in their work. At the same time, there is a need to incorporate vocational training to these classes so that these children actually learn something that helps them increase their earnings thus bringing them in the economic mainstream. This would be adding a new dimension of the Skill India campaign.
And it is not just for these children who have to work to support their families, it is necessary that education generally has a more practical orientation. It must not produce people with just degrees, and no acumen to apply learned concepts to productive ends. This lack of application has been the single most crucial lacuna of the Indian education system. It is simply not producing employable graduates. Resultantly, it is not just the money spent on the entire education of the person that goes waste, it also robs the country of a person which could have been of useful in nation building.
Needless to say, there is a need for massive overhaul of the entire spectrum of education and this includes regulatory system, teaching standard, curriculum development, faculty development, university structure and private participation in the education sector. It is a crucial service that any elected government owes to the citizens. All our dreams of becoming an economic superpower would remain just that unless there is enough trained manpower to make that dream a reality.