Education, as we all know, is an important tool to the human resource development and empowerment in the stages of growth of a nation. Increased access to education can improve the overall health and longevity of the society, grow economies and even combat climatic changes. Yet in many developing countries, children’s access to education is limited by numerous factors.
Following are some of the problems which each and every developing country faces –
• A lack of funding for education
• Having no teacher, or having an untrained teacher
• No classroom or proper infrastructure
• A lack of learning materials and other tools
• Living in a country in conflict or at risk of conflict
• Various discrimination and crimes against children
• Distance from home to school
• Hunger and poor nutrition
• The expense of education
• Being the ‘wrong’ gender
• The exclusion of children with disabilities
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights makes clear that every child has the right to a free basic education, so that poverty and lack of money should not be a barrier to schooling. In many developing countries, over the last decades governments have announced the abolition of school fees and as a result, seen remarkable increase in the number of children going to school.
According to a UN report India has made significant progress in ensuring access to education through Sarva Siksha Abhiyan (Education for All) and the implementation of RTE (Right to Compulsory and Free Education ). There is near universal enrollment at the primary school level. But the challenge still remains because around one third of children drop out before even completing the full cycle of education.
There are many government, non-government and private organizations which are working towards this cause. But there are many challenges since India is a developing economy with the second largest population in the world which hinders the speed of development.
Smile Foundation is also one such NGO which has introduced various education programmes for underprivileged boys and girls throughout the country. It covers primary, secondary as well as senior secondary levels of schooling. To know more, visit www.smilefoundationindia.org/me
Education is both the means as well as the end to a better life. As quoted by Nelson Mandela –
‘Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.’