Friday, October 20, 2006

Calcutta 106

Towards a new dawn …

The sight of children from poor households going to school – is one that never fails to cheer me and give hope.

But tragically, the reality of the apartheid system in India is that the govt schools play a cruel fraud on the children. Though the aspiration for education is strong among the poor and low-income, and though the bias against educating girls is dissolving, the condition of the schools is quite abysmal. One would find as many as 150 children packed into a poorly-ventilated, dimly-lit room, sitting on each others’ laps. (Read Adil Najam's essay on educational apartheid in Pakistan here.)

And when they finish their secondary education – the economy and society is unable to offer them any employment, except as manual labourers. Hence boys drop out of school, and begin working, while girls complete their schooling.

1 comment:

Yves said...

In England (according to today's newspaper) and in Jamaica - just two places I know about - it is girls who are foing better in school. But it is the shame of this country that children so often do not value education, and waste their teachers' time with their misbehaviour. Your description is in poignant contrast.