Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Relevance of Ekal Vidyalaya in to day’s prospective

Despite the fact that the constitution of India as directive principle article 45 having made it the duty of the State to provide free and compulsory education to all children up to age fourteen in ten years (1960), the number of out of school children particularly from the disadvantaged groups and those engaged in labor, and those receiving poor quality education has remained very large, hence it has become a big challenge to meet the goal set by UNESCO to achieve universal literacy by 2015.

Further to supplement this A bill was introduced in Parliament of India named “Right to Education bill 2005” which very clearly defines duties of State Government and Central Government for providing Child’s Right to Free and Compulsory Education of Equitable Quality. Still Unesco's 'Education for All Global Monitoring Report-2007” which provides projections for 127 countries in terms of the goal to achieve universal literacy by 2015, puts India among the 15 countries with low ‘Education for All' (EFA) Development Index. The report paints a poor picture of the manner in which the goal of total literacy is being taken up by various countries including India.

The official statistics available for the “out of school children” states more than 80 Lac students in the age group of 6-14 years are still out of the school, the unofficial figures are even larger. This is an alarming situation and all round efforts are required to be made not only by the State and Central Government but it should be shouldered by all those who are concern with the presents scenario be it social organizations or corporate taking it as their social responsibility supplementing the efforts being done by the governments at various level.

The challenges are many of which most prominent are :

· Education is a non priority for the BPL families

· Infrastructure available in the remote places is inadequate to facilitate the basic education.

It is well understood that the most important priority for the living creature is food ,hence for all those families living below BPL allowing their children to go to school leaving their work which they are required to do for livelihood is out of question. At the same time it is not possible to wait till they are out of the BPL to provide education to these children hence the solution left is that work to meet the basic need and education both should go together, the limitation to this concept is that the operating timing for normal schools are same which is working time too ,hence providing education in time which is a non working time for villagers could be good option, therefore system which can offer flexible time to learn and work can go together can work among the BPL population.

The children in the age group of 6-10 years can not go to attend the school which is more than 2-3 K.M. away from their village hence it is required to create the basic facilities in the neighborhood of their settlement so that these are not required to move in unsafe condition more over they should be able to make use of their time which is spared after their routine work of helping their parents. Therefore most suitable infrastructure required to be created is to offer such facilities at the door step of the village children. Again opening large number of school ,managing their administration ,providing basic amenitis at each such school and arranging finances for such activities is a very big challenge before the society.

These challenges are being met by the Ekal Vidylays Who could realize the need and offer the solution some 20 years ago as One Teacher School which are now managing more than 27000 such schools all over country in more than 22 states providing education to 8 lakh students has become world’s largest NGO working for the Tribal and deprived population offering most cost effective solution for the problem which so far has not been addressed effectively for some reason or other.

The One Teacher Schools are being managed by Friends of Tribal society having head office in Kolkatta and 21 chapters all over country and Bharat Lok Shiksha Parishad head office at New Delhi and have 4 chapters in different states. Both of these organizations are managing their funds being collected form individuals , Corporate and other sources in India. The financial support to these organization is also made available through Ekal Vidylaya foundation of India which responsible to raise funds form Non Resident Indians settled in USA,UK, Hong Kong and Middle East etc. Thus supplementing the efforts being made by various agencies managed by Government of India and State Governments for spreading the literacy movement and contributing towards UNESCO’s education for all goal set to be achieved by 2015.

More than 5000 volunteers are devoting full time to make sure the target for literacy are achieved in the time frame fixed for the same, more over these volunteers are paid only honorarium for the work they do and the condition they are working in are very tough ,still these motivated people are doing wonders by their efforts and I am proud of these volunteers who are putting continues efforts to make the Bharat a great country