About Child Education in India

Education is one of the most effective agents of change in a society. A child that goes to school sets off a positive change in the course of the society. But, thousands of children in India lack access to education. An educated child stays away from early marriage and is empowered to stand up against exploitation. An educated child grows up to make better choices for himself and the community he lives 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). For children, the effects of illiteracy are numerous.

While the goal of universal elementary education is a long way from being achieved and affects the condition of education for children, even adult illiteracy has effects on them. Statistics have shown that children of uneducated mothers are more prone to problems like malnutrition and anaemia. Illiterate adults are also less likely to send their children to school. Education is, in all probability, the most influential tool required to break the vicious intergenerational cycle of abuse, malnutrition, poverty and oppression. Literacy thus requires a lot of attention.

In addition to this, about 35% children in India with disabilities remain out of Elementary school (District Information System for Education – DISE, 2011-12) and the National Dropout Rate at the Elementary Level is over 40% (DISE, 2011-12).

Despite the Right to Education (RTE) Act coming into force in 2010, access to education for every child remains a huge concern in the country. The following are statistics that portray the seriousness of the situation:

1 in 4 children of school-going age is out of school in our country – 99 million children 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 labourers 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 labour (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)

The situation of children will not change unless it’s dealt with actively. AID is working at the core level to ensure the children are ready for school and they get an education.