As per the last Census held in 2011, there are 444 million children in India under the age of 18 years. This constitutes over one-third of population in India in 2011. This is said to be the world’s largest child population in a single country. About 27 million children are born each year in India where only 53% of habitation have a primary school and only 20% of the habitation have a secondary school. The statistics are further grim in nature. Less than half of India’s children between the age 6 to 14 go to school. Only about 33% of all children who enroll in grade one reach grade eight. Infrastructure-wise, in nearly 60% of schools, there are less than two teachers to teach Classes I to V. 1 in 40 primary schools in India is conducted in open spaces or tents. As far as drop outs are concerned, 25% children of school-going age are out of school in India. As per District Information System for Education 2014-15, only 32% children finish their school education age appropriately and only 2% of the schools offer complete school education from grade 1 to grade 12.
Under such conditions the role of NGO in India for children education becomes very crucial. There are numerous NGOs who have taken up the onus of taking care of children education, especially for the under-privileged ones. One of the prominent one is Lakshyam NGO. This NGO not only helps to spread education among the under-privileged children in India across various cities but also work towards protecting the basic right to education of children. It provides the attitude, opportunity and exposure to good education to such children and helps them develop to be at par with the more privileged children of the society in terms of literacy.
The major objectives of the NGO in India for Children education are:
- increasing the enrollment in schools
- developing learning skills in local schools & communities
- make education reach to such masses who are unable to attend formal schools due to reasons like poverty, proximity distance, health issues, etc.
- replicate their education models and scale them up to serve large number of children to achieve a large-scale impact
- provide inclusive education to children with special needs
- vocational training to children with permanent disabilities
- work as a catalyst to bring sustainable change in the lives of the children with a life-cycle approach of development
Girl child education has also been promoted widely by multiple NGOs through various means. For example, Lakshyam NGO in collaboration with a corporate giant plans to distribute free solar panels to all the girl students studying in government schools to encourage girl child education. It has already identified various govt. schools for girls in Noida where it intends to conduct the distribution along with awareness drive.
The underlying principle on which such NGOs work is that education is the most effective tool which helps children build a strong foundation, enabling them to free themselves from the vicious cycle of ignorance, poverty and disease. For them, education is the means as well as the end to a better life because it empowers children to earn their own livelihood in future and it increases their awareness on a range of issues from healthcare, social behavior to understanding one’s rights – and in the process, help them evolve as better citizens of the country. Lakshyam has been a pioneering example where they prepare the underprivileged kids by teaching basic subjects and behavioral etiquettes in their free of cost remedial schools so that the kids can get admissions in nearby government schools easily. With government bringing in more and more policies to encourage children education in India, NGOs still have a long way to go in improving the current literacy rates of the country. With proper public support and resources, NGOs can surely change the face of India in the field of primary & secondary education by mobilizing the local communities and enabling the change in the lives of the children.