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When will our Children have Quality Education?

A sharing by the Director of BDVS

It was a devastating experience for us (a team of three from BDVS) to meet with children of two villages in Barh Subdivision in Patna during our visit to these villages on 29 July. Went to these villages to conduct a simple quiz competition for children and give away small prizes to them to motivate them towards education; but returned from these villages with a deeper realization that the children, although studying in different standards up to V11th, knew not reading or writing in Hindi!

                
In one village, none in a group of 50 children could read or write anything at all in Hindi; and in the other village only 3 out of 40 children could read or write in Hindi. We learnt from our inquiry that the three children who could read or write had been going for private coaching. We were astonished at the fact the academic competency of these school going children is worse than what has been suggested by ASER study (2014) on the quality of Education in the state.

                
We planned our trip to these villages in an effort to test a set of programs that we have designed under “Baba Ambedkar Prerana Kendra“(BAPK) – a motivational program in the making for continuously motivating children towards education. BAPK is, primarily, not a physical place; rather it is a force of motivation for children. The twin slogan of this ‘force’ is: Being Regular to School; Being Regular to self/group study. Under this idea, BDVS team meets with children two times a month. Motivate them to be regular to school and to be regular in their self study at home. A series of quiz, reading, storytelling and such other competitions are integral to BAPK in order to inculcate in children a desire to learn; and to create in villages a spirit of healthy competition in learning and pursuit of knowledge.

The scheduled program during our visit to these two villages was organizing a quiz competition for children. To our surprise, we learnt that the children who had gathered in good numbers did not know which Panchayat, state, or country they live in. They did not know who their Mukhiya or Chief Minister is. They also did not know when our country celebrates Independence Day!

Well, we find comfort even if they did not know these simple matters of their general knowledge because they are children and hence may not know information such as above! But what about their ability to read or write in their mother tongue? They did not know! What about their ability for simple addition, subtraction, etc.? They did not know it either!

Will this situation change? Will the parents, the civil society, and the state demand that our schools provide quality education? Will our teachers measure up to their obligation to teach?


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