A few decades ago, there was a stark difference between the education imparted in rural and urban India. However, with the introduction of technology, the adaptation of better infrastructure and a broad-minded approach, the quality of education provided in rural schools has improved.
Having said that, even today, it is difficult to convince parents in the villages to send their children to school.While we do have schools in the villages, it takes more than just setting up a premise and providing education we need counseling sessions to make parents understand the importance of being educated. Government support allows most schools to provide free education and standard mid-day meals to students. They are also provide text books and other study material at no cost.
While this may seem a good enough reason for them to visit school, sometimes, parents yet restrict their children from going to school and instead, prefer them working on a daily wage basis and help fi nance the family.At times, NGOs and trusts pay children from their funds to coax them to return to school.
These schools follow the state curriculum and exam pattern.Like any other school in the urban area, students in rural India are trained in punctuality, soft skills, grooming, hygiene, personality development, etc.
The rural mindset is shifting and it is no longer restricted to imparting education through pen and paper.What is fascinating about schools in the interiors of India is their willingness to adapt to technology in the classroom. Today, a number of schools host computer laboratories with an internet connection and train students in basic computer lessons.This, not only exposes them to the virtual world and the unlimited information available online, but also allows them to take better career decisions. Students now apply for further education online, fill in application forms to migrate to the city to study, and approach counsellors to seek advice. A few schools opt for tech tools such as the audio-visual mode of learning where classrooms are equipped with a screen and a digital learning library.
Access to more information has helped students move out of the rural area and pursue career options they would have otherwise not considered. Students from rural schools are now graduating in different fields and pursuing careers in teaching, The Indian Army, Indian police services, civil services, medical representatives, etc. A number of them are also working as engineers, doctors, administration professionals and accountants.
The only area where the interiors of the country lag behind is access to higher education. Not many villages have easy access to higher education institutes. This forces students to either stop studying or move out to the city to seek a degree and a job.
The importance of education has gained momentum due to more awareness. Mindsets have changed from not allowing girls to step out of the house to allowing them to take up government jobs, pursue teaching, take up hobbies that interest them and move to the cities to work. This has helped in improving their standard of living, and in turn, the country's economy.
Times of India 30 May' 2016