Child Education

Children are considered as equal citizens. It is widely accepted that the learning process is instrumental in shaping one’s personality and vision towards life. The shift of thoughts from bookish knowledge to knowledge of real life, at home, in the neighborhood, in surrounding has brought forth a remarkable change.

As Paulo Friere Says, education is the process of liberating people. A process of developing a critical awareness about one’s surrounds and it is a constant process of discovery. India has the largest education system in the world after China. However, the issue of quality education and access remain challenges, especially in rural and tribal parts of India. Despite the government of India has made Education as a fundamental right of every person; the issues like hunger, poverty, lower social status, chores, early marriages, discrimination, school safety and sanitation remain major obstacles in the way of children. Zalkari implements gender just approach in education, with special focus on girl children to identify the unique barriers that keep most girls out of school, while at the same time working with boys and men to help identify and address such barriers. Zalkari attempts to create an equitable environment for all children to learn, thieve and grow.

Household Chores
Zalkai through community discussions identify girls’ engagement in domestic chores 5 times higher than boys. As a result, girls often miss the class and/or arrive late in school. Many times girls accompany parents in labor work for wages, which prevent them from studying. As the household work is linked to overall girls lower social status in their communities, it becomes a mandate for Zalkari to address such inequalities in school and at communities.
School Safety
It becomes a critical hurdle for girls to attend the school. The distance of the school from and to home, transportation modes, school water and sanitation facility, have remained some major challenges for girls to continue school education. Sometimes it becomes a difficulty for the male children as well.
Early Marriage
The study has shown increased rates of early marriages, especially during lock down imposed due to the prevalence of Covid19. Due to lockdown, the schools were closed almost for 2 years and as a reverse impact, children from the lower income groups had to search work for wages or some financial incentive. Children from the disadvantaged communities do not have access to the internet, online education and hence they cannot cope up with the ongoing education pattern. Eventually, the girls end up getting married at the early age and boys start working for wages in the vicinity.
Lack of access to education
Majority rural and tribal children do not have access to online education and as a result they lose their interest in formal education. The children find it difficult to cope up with the ongoing education and drop out from the education system. These children need hand holding to cope up with education. The language of the children and that of the teachers do not match majorly rural and tribal scenario and hence, they hardly understand the syllabus or simply mute self to avoid embarrassment. The language used in the schools in not the one that is used at home and the difference of vocabulary, the accent, etc.

Education is the most powerful weapon you can use to change the world

– Nelson Mandela