Education in Rural Region: Some Additional Thoughts

In many of the rural schools such as the one in the photograph in my earlier entry, there is plenty of land to be converted into playground or to develop a good enough nursery to improve the ambiance to make the students learn better. Unfortunately, the school hardly gets a motivated school administrator or headmaster who takes initiative. In good old days, some were easily available as there were missionary educationists at heart inspired by great political leaders such as Mahatma who has social issues as his priority.

English can’t be the right medium till the student understands it as proficiently as his own mother tongues. Unfortunately, in India, many a times, the mother tongues are different than the language used as medium. In Hindi belt itself, the mother tongue is different. Students find it difficult to pick up the matter taught even in Hindi. With Bhojpuri at home and Hindi as medium of instruction, the students find it difficult to grasp the subject taught in Hindi. The school must focus to teach the language of its medium of instruction in the first five years for effective understanding of what is taught. It’s unfortunate that the students even after 10 years of schooling don’t become proficient in the language used as medium, say, Hindi or as second language, such as English. It is only because of the scarcity of good trained teacher. Only the use of technologies both at school by teachers and at home by tutors or guardians can overcome the problem. India had this problem since ages and so is its illiteracy so high. India must learn some lessons from the developed non-English speaking countries. India has wasted 60 years and has still failed in reaching at the right policy on the medium of instruction.

For the students in rural school, the English has been the toughest subject to pass the tests and the reason of shunning the schooling. Interestingly, with emphasis on English they do neither become proficient in Hindi nor in English. Still in hope of better employability in present situation, the English medium schools are mushrooming all over the country, even in rural region.
All the political parties and administrators must agree that the system of temporary or contractual teachers for cutting the cost of educating is not the answer for enhancing the accessibility of education for a larger population. It has made the mess of teaching; Let all the teachers be on regular agreed or better scale to attract the best stuff in teaching. One can’t expect good teaching from third class input of teachers. It’s not only the qualification judged by the certificates and degrees but the aptitude for teaching should be the criteria to select teachers for the rural schools. If anything it is the technology that can facilitate the accessibility of education for all. But it requires a change in the mindsets of those in education sector and setting up of the facilities. Alumni of the schools and the local donors can participate in big way to overcome the financial constraints.

It must be mandatory for the school to impart some skills before a student completes the class x or xii or before he leaves the school even midway.

In good old days, someone in the village used to donate the land and or get constructed the building. The first high school at Samahuta, a village near my own village came up because of the endeavour of one Late Dharamraj Rai. The only girls’ high school there was the work of another person named Raja Rai. The story of BHU that was the handiwork of Madan Mohan Malviya is well known. The education policy for the rural India must emphasize and encourage the role of the locals without which education will not reach to every child of every household.

The school premises must become a place of pride for the community and must come up as a place of worship that provides knowledge as well peace of mind.

Even after the passage of the Right of Education Bill, I doubt the education to spread the way it is intended if the community doesn’t participate positively for educating its children rightly.

I wish the education at rural schools is under an independent group selected by the parents of students and out of the manipulation of the heads of panchayat system that has gone political and so extremely corrupt. People of the community that the school serves, are not bold and conscious enough to stand against the malpractices that the panchayat heads in collusion with the government officers are inflicting on schools and education.

I wish the people are alive to this major issue of building the future generation and find the effective solution to attain 100% literate, enlightened and empowered community through good education from the rural schools.

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