India, our country, is one of the largest democratic countries in the world. The main pillars of democracy are equality, liberty, fraternity, and justice. In this democratic system, all men are treated equally and enjoy equal rights without any discrimination. But in the case of women, the interests of girls need special protection. Gender-based discrimination is an evil practice. Both should have equal rights to evolve as individual personalities. The problems of non-participation and non-retention of girls at every point of education are quite visible.
Girl education in the country is a serious problem that is often neglected. The first and the most critical problem is the problem of wastage in the education system. Wastage is nothing but the dropout of girl students at the early educational level. There are several points responsible for it at the primary level particularly with regards to girls. An attempt to provide primary education to all children of primary school-going age is not new in our country with reference to girls’ education. Governments at the center as well as in the states have been trying hard to achieve this goal. But, there is still a long way to go when it comes to changing the mentality of every individual.
Some Useful Statistics
As per a recent report from the Data of Elementary Education in the state Orissa, the total enrolment of students at the primary level schools (Class I to V) was estimated to be 46.56 lakhs (28.21 lakhs of boys and 19.35 lakhs of girls) and the total enrolment at upper primary level (Class VI to VIII) was estimated to be 9.80 lakhs (boys 6.18 lakhs and girls 3.78 lakhs) respectively in the year 2000.
Furthermore, the enrolment ratio percentages at primary (class I to V) and upper primary (class VI to VIII) levels were calculated to be 102.6% (male 120% and females 28.6%) and 37% (boys 46.8% and girls 27.4%) in 2000-01.
These figures are enough to interpret the status of enrollment of girls in schools at the primary stage of education.
Education Wastage – Dropout
The phenomenon of dropout refers to the premature withdrawal of students before the completion of the desired level of education. The reasons for such dropout of girl students are also of different nature. But now the condition has improved to a particular level, according to the report there is a spike in numbers of girls completing their school level education but when it comes to college-level mainly in the courses like B.Tech. or Engineering, there are still many girls out there who only dream of becoming engineer looking to that some states are giving scholarship and reservations to the female candidates, especially there are several colleges in up for engineering which provides scholarship and many facilities female candidates who want to pursue their graduation in engineering even the state level engineering exam of UP which is called UPSEE provides reservation to the female candidates.
It is found that most of the students leave the school at any stage before completion of their education. This results in problems like wastage and stagnation. So the country, as well as the state, must have to make sincere efforts and strive hard for solving the problems of non-involvement of the girl students at primary school stage for creating an educated society. The problems of non-retention of girl students in the process of achieving Universalisation of Elementary Education are numerous.
Some problems are found to be very common. These common issues are:
- Educational causes
- Social causes
- Economic causes
The educational causes may be analyzed under the poor infrastructure of schools and colleges, poor quality of teaching, defective nature of curricula and language difficulties, etc.
Likewise, social problems are illiteracy of parents, disinterest in the education of Girls, caste feelings and communal differences, and lack of relationship between school and community. Many of the community members, particularly in the tribal and rural areas are illiterate. They do not understand the values of education in the life of a person.
Most of these parents do not send their children to schools and neglect the education of their sons and daughters. In many communities, there are superstitious beliefs such as early marriage due to which kids are refrained from getting educated.
In some cases, parents have no option other than to keep their children deprived of education because they do not have enough finances to pay the school/college fees.
Other than that, there are also communal differences among the people. These types of differences also raise issues for providing equal opportunities in education to their children. But, considering all these problems, the government and other regulatory institutions believe that girls are the future of our nation and their education should be supported in all ways. That’s why the government is introducing new schemes for girls and the colleges in UP for engineering courses also have reservations/special options for supporting girl education.