Every Child In School – Part I

If you were to think about the most vulnerable populations in the world, who would you think of? Before a few months ago, I rather naively never realized how truly vulnerable children are. There are so many factors that contribute to ensuring the safety of a child. For example, something that I never thought about, was how the nature of a parent’s occupation can determine so much about how many basic rights a child receives. Educo’s efforts have honed in on some of the most vulnerable populations of children and the organization is working on specifically keeping these children in school. Below are some demographics that are prone to difficulties in accessing education and some of the most pressing challenges being presented.

Children attending Ashram Schools

An average of 46% children in Ashram schools are absent from the classroom (Situational Analysis Report of Government Tribal Ashram school in Vidarbha region) . In the Ashram schools, there is inadequate water supply and toilets that are in bad condition, where the doors do not close. Children were afraid to use the toilets and they preferred to defecate in open spaces. Along these lines, there are many instances where there are either no bathrooms for girls, or bathrooms were not in use for girls (Ibid).  Additionally, there are infrastructural issues in many schools, which allow for many sacrifices in safety, including increased chances of sexual abuse for girl students. There have been many cases of sexual abuse under various circumstances in Ashram Schools, often times purely because of the lack of solid infrastructure (Status of Ashram Schools in Maharashtra, 2016).

Children of migration workers

Migration has a drastic effect on children, especially when it comes to many aspects of their lives, including their education access. Often times, when attempting to address the difficulties in education access, there are many factors that make such work very tricky. For example, tracking the movement of children who are constantly travelling with their parents is extremely difficult. Because of this, many children are often unable to continue with their education and are later lured into employment which further inhibits school attendance and increases the chances for violence to be inflicted (Reed, 2014). When children begin to work instead of attend school, they are subjected to hazardous and unsafe work places, corruption, addiction, social deviance, mental and physical challenges, vulnerability for girl-children, and for migrant children (Ibid).

Issues such as infrastructure and a parent’s occupation never occurred to me as impediments to a child receiving a proper educations. Researching these demographics was the first time that I realized the precariousness of this and the complexity of taking on an issue like this one. As I continued my research, I came across some extremely innovative solutions that various organisations and governments came up with to address this problem. Stay tuned for various fixes to educating children of migrant workers around the world in the next blog, Every Child in School Part II.

 

References:

[1] Situational Analysis Report of Government Tribal Ashram school in Vidarbha region, Apeksha Homoeo Society & Child Rights Alliance

[2] Status of Ashram Schools in Maharashtra, 2016, Balprafuta: A Child Rights Advocacy Initiative

[3] Reed, Megan, June 30th, 2014, Ensuring Education for the Children of India’s Migrants, Center For The Advanced Study Of India

 

Although being an Indian-American, Nisha has never been to India like her parents did and now is excited to integrate into the Indian culture and make it a strong part of her identity. She is passionate about health and education and is looking forward to working in the same field through AIF and her host organization. Through this fellowship, she wants to learn about the issues from the people who are living through them and wants to gain a deep understanding of them. Prior to AIF, she was living and working in Peru and Tanzania, an experience she things that would help her in this fellowship.

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