“Educating a boy is educating a person, Educating a girl is educating a nation”
As we know, that education is an important power that shapes the lives of mankind. It empowers with the ability to think, to make decisions and to become self-reliant. Education is one way through which girl can establish her identity. Since ancient times in India, the girls were deprived of this precious wealth of education. Literacy of girls was looked upon as a disgrace.Life of majority girls was confined to domestic work. It took an era, for many countries, including India to understand ‘The power of educating girl’. Now the society has begun to comprehend that girl’s education is essential. The modern age is the age of awakening of girls. Today the girls are competing with men in all sphere of life. On contrary, there are people who still have the opinion that proper sphere for a girl is the home only not only in rural but urban too. They also believe that money spent on their education is a mere wastage.
The power of educating girls.
The impact of educating a girl is extraordinary. As we know, that education sustains human values. It forms the foundation for learning and critical thinking. An educated girl can play an important role in the development of their family and country. It empowers them to become economically independent and thus, able to stand up for their rights. Education is a boon to girls in this age of economic crises. Nowadays, as we are aware that it is difficult for the low-income groups of people especially in rural to make both ends meet. So after marriage, educated girls can share the financial burden of men in the different phases of life by adding to their income of their husbands and thus add-ons to the prosperity and better future of their children.They can also serve the society as Teachers, Lawyers, Doctors and in many other extraordinary fields like Biological and Chemical research, Media, Fashion Designing, Space, etc which earlier had limited scope for women.
Girl education is essential for making the homes an island of peace and happiness. Our family life would be more brightened if we have well-educated wives and mothers. Well, educated women can brighten the future of the country by contributing in the good upbringing of their children. It also gives them a freedom of thought, broadens their outlook and makes her more responsive about her duties and responsibilities. Offering quality and universal education to young girls promote advancement for society as a whole. Thus, we can say that education is the powerful weapon for the empowerment of girls. Women can be great entrepreneurs and can create millions of jobs rather than just doing a job.
Why is girl education important?
Education brightens future of a girl and empowers her to live a good life. Her identity as an individual would never vanish. She can read and learn about her rights and her rights would not get trodden down. Education enables them to discover their own perspective, to develop themselves fully and increase their resistance towards inequality. Educated girls are better aware of the importance of health and hygiene. It empowers them to have a positive impact on their families. An educated mother can better take care of herself and her kids in terms health perspective. Education heightens their awareness about their important role in the community. It empowers them to find out the solutions to various problems that hamper the development and social stability and also enables them to be conversant about their rights for justice.
Despite Indian constitution guaranteeing equality before the law and nondiscrimination on the basis of sex, India remains a patriarchal society.
Repeatedly, it has been seen that many parents, especially in lower segments of society, send their boys to good schools but not the girl child. That is why the dropout rates of girl are high. This clearly outlines the pattern of gender inequality in access to education which seems to be escalating. Why are the girls treated like this? Are they only born to do household works? This issue is still prevailing in our country especially in rural areas. Various studies show that illiterate women have the high level of fertility and mortality, poor nutritional status, low earning potential and little autonomy within households.
In a recent survey in India, it was found that infant mortality is inversely related to mother’s education level. In rural and backward areas there is fear for educating girls. In many villages, an educated girl, rather seen as an asset is seen as a liability. It is assumed that it is difficult to find a groom for an educated girl. Very often, the parents who are willing to educate their daughters are discouraged by the absence of school within the surrounding areas, as a result, they are reluctant to let their daughters travel to distant places due to safety reasons. Even if schools are there in villages they lack in many areas like in terms of infrastructure, management, unavailability of sufficient books, classes and efficient teachers.
Besides these factors, treating the girl as child labor at home, lack encouragement from family and society at large hinders their proper educational growth. Thus, girls in rural areas are not allowed to come out with flying colors and their caliber remains unexplored. The government has taken many steps to improve the education level of girls in India. Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan(SSA) is one of the commendable initiative taken by the government. Under this program, the elementary education was made free and compulsory for the children belonging to the age (6-14 years). The main aim of this initiative was to achieve the universalization of elementary education. Another initiative taken by the government is ‘Beti Bachao Beti Padhao). This scheme is to save and empower the girl child is making waves all over the nation. But how many of the government officials are helping to make this campaigns successful? As educated women, it is our responsibility to help to execute government initiatives well and be whistleblowers in case we find integrity issues. Apart from the government programs, many NGO’s are also promoting girl education on a large scale. I have a friend Ms. Pearl running IVE Children – An NGO running in city Amritsar and teaching 100+ kids, especially girls in play way methods from more than seven years. Our NGO Smiles.Care also runs a formal evening school in the village, Tangra near Amritsar. Our NGO provides free education and facilities to 120+ children as on October 1st, 2016 where nearly 60% kids are girls. We are also providing free English and computer classes for the upliftment of underprivileged girls especially. Such outstanding efforts by Smiles.Care and other NGO’s can impudently bring about a positive change towards the development of girl education in India. It will be right to say that investing in girls may transform into better future for women, children, and families which ultimately leads to growthand prosperous future of the country. We as educated individuals should take a step forward to counsel and tell real time short stories to the underprivileged to understand how education can completely transform their lives.
I would like to put the examples of women like Noble Prize winner Malala, boxing champion Mary Kom, CEO of PepsiCo Indra Nooyie, Civil services 2015 Topper Tina Dabi , who had proved the fact that educating a girl would bring pride to the family and nation as a whole. Thus, the country and educated men and women entrepreneurs should stand as a whole to support and initiate educational initiatives especially in rural to bring the change. We need to invest our time to motivate girls in rural to study and even surpass us. Let us work together for change, Let us inspire humanity.
My Honest Writings
Mandeep Kaur Sidhu
Co writer - Jaspreet Kaur