Inaugurates Conference on Factors of Poor learning: Challenges, Opportunities and Practices for Learning Improvement in Socially Diverse Elementary Schools of India .
The Vice President of India, Shri M. Hamid Ansari has said that the education, that is equitable, easily accessible and provides equal opportunities – is the sine qua non for development and it would determine the future shape of our society and polity. He was addressing the gathering, here today, after inaugurating a Conference on ‘Factors of Poor learning: Challenges, Opportunities and Practices for Learning Improvement in Socially Diverse Elementary Schools of India’ organized by Deshkal Society, Delhi.
The Vice President said that the power of education extends beyond the development of skills we need for economic success, it is an essential condition for political development, democracy and social justice. With the coming into force of the Right to Education Act, we have made substantial gains in spread of elementary education, but a critical appraisal of the elementary education scenario reveals that large gaps in implementation, he added.
The Vice President said that there is great disparity between urban and rural education, and children from different social and geographic backgrounds have radically different schooling experiences. Referring to the Government’s reply to a question in the Parliament, the Vice President said that some 6.064 million children remained out of school, of which, a massive 4.6 million or 76% belonged to the Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and other religious minorities.
The Vice President said that several independent civil society organizations have flagged that the present education system, especially in rural areas, is not creating a heterogeneous environment for inclusive education to cater to the educational needs of socially backward communities. He further said that serious issues, such as, low literacy rates, poor enrolment rates, high dropouts, high infant mortality of children from socially and economically weaker segments of the society remain un-addressed. An effort is being made to address some of these lacunae, and issues of gender, social, cultural and regional disparities, with an emphasis on diversity, will be properly addressed in the curriculum that will also cover issues of social justice and harmony and legal measures in order to avoid social discrimination, he added.