The Indian population can be broadly divided into rural and urban. If you’re reading this, you are probably part of the urban population. The rural population relies mainly on agriculture to survive, whereas the urban population relies on business and technology. The living conditions and facilities available in urban areas are far superior to those in rural India. This is especially the case with education. Children in rural India do not have access to quality education and often, do not have access to education.
The majority of the Indian population lives in rural India. But 2021 would have a different permutation. Reverse migration caused by the COVID pandemic has further swelled the rural population. The already frail education system will not be able to handle this upsurge. Here are some of the problems plaguing rural education in India:
- High dropout rates: In rural areas, many children drop out of school to support their families. Poverty is a massive factor in rural student absenteeism. Due to child marriage and lack of washrooms, the rate is even higher among female children. This has brought in an imbalance between the ratio of educated males and females in the locality.
- Lack of infrastructure: Lack of desks, blackboards, bathrooms, and no internet access, lack of consistent electricity all cause the rural education system to be inefficient. They are not able to read at the 2nd-grade level.
- Insufficient schools: 65% of the Indian population resides in rural areas and yet has fewer schools than the 35% that lives in urban areas.
- Teacher Absenteeism: Lack of accountability has caused high levels of teacher absenteeism. Schools are often understaffed, so even when teachers are present, there are not enough of them.
What can be the fortune for the rural population?
- Use of technology: The use of technology will help cut down costs in education and increase accessibility. It will also help children learn computer skills, which are an essential part of education now. Schools can impart e-learning software like Schoolmojo which provides a seamless learning experience to students and guarantee them quality education like the metro cities.
- Schools: First of all, we need to establish more schools near rural areas. Parents need accessible, cheap options for education as they do not have the income to send their children to better schools in far-off places.
- Teacher Management: Teachers need to be equipped with better tools to manage large class sizes of varying abilities. There also needs to be a system that holds them accountable. This will increase the quality of teaching and help combat teacher absenteeism.
- Learning: The old methods of memorizing facts has proved to be ineffective. As we implement better urban school policies, let us look for concept-based practices in rural schools as well.
India has a huge youth population. To properly harness the vast human resource our country possesses, the rural education system’s betterment is crucial. This change is not possible without significant investment and expert help. We need exceptional teachers, new and better teacher training programs, and online systems that specifically cater to rural India‘s needs. We cannot hope to prosper when most of the country remains uneducated. Let us come together and fulfill the vision of a prosperous nation.