Free Education

Education is one of the most effective agents of change in society. When a child is able to go to school today, he or she sets off a cycle of positive change. But, thousands of children in India lack access to education and can’t even write their own names.

Moreover, underprivileged children between the ages of 11 to 14 years are hugely vulnerable to dropping out of schools. An educated child stays away from an early marriage and is empowered to stand up against exploitation. As children grow, they are able to make better choices for themselves and influence the communities they live in. This transforms their present life and ensures a secure future for them. But even today, one of the major problems is rampant illiteracy in India. The literacy rate in the country stands at 74.04% (according to the National Census, 2011). When it comes to children, the effects of illiteracy are manifold.

 

  • 1 in 4 children of school-going age is out of school in our country – 99 millionchildren in total have dropped out of school (Census 2011)
  • Out of every 100 children, only 32 children finish their school education age- appropriately (District Information System for Education (DISE) 2014-15)
  • Only 2% of the schools offer complete school education from Class 1 to Class 12 (District Information System for Education (DISE) 2014-15)
  • There are 10.13 million child laborers between 5-14 years in India (Census 2011)
  • India has 33 million working children between the ages of 5-18 years. In parts of the country, more than half the child population is engaged in labor (Census 2011)
  • 42% of married women in India were married as children (District Information System for Education (DISE 3)
  • 1 in every 3 child brides in the world is a girl in India (UNICEF)
  • India has more than 45 lakh girls under 15 years of age who are married with children. Out of these, 70% of the girls have 2 children (Census 2011)

Lack of educational resources:

There are thousands of villages in our country where there are no proper facilities for education. And if there is any, it is miles away.

Illiteracy:

Children that are employed do not have the time to go to school. The lack of education and illiteracy makes them individuals with limited opportunities as far as employment is concerned.

The State shall provide free and compulsory education to all children of the age six to 14 years. (Article 21 (A))

The State shall endeavor to provide within a period of 10 years from the commencement of the Constitution for free and compulsory education for all children until they complete the age of 14 years (Article 45).

Preparing children withdrawn from work for mainstream education along with vocational
training;

  • The Right to Education Act of 2009 has made it mandatory for the state to ensure that all children aged six to 14 years are in school and receive free education.
  • Along with Article 21A of the Constitution of India recognizing education as a fundamental right, this constitutes a timely opportunity to use education to combat child labor in India.

Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009

Free education:

Free education holds the key to eliminating child labor. It has already proved to be a success in many places around the globe and with more effort; the cases of child labor will greatly reduce.

Spreading literacy and education:

is a potent weapon against the practice of child labor because illiterate persons do not understand the implications of child labor.

Moral Polishing:

Child labor should not be entertained at all. It is legally and morally wrong. Children should not be allowed to provide labor at the expense of getting an education and enjoying their childhood.

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