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Re: Education debate



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Please help make the Manifesto better, or accept it, and propagate it!
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The only possibility that I can think of ensuring that the building
contractor also puts in his share towards educating the children is that the
Charity that is managing the school is given  a say in  awarding of the
contract.This will give it requisite hold over the contractor.This may not
be easy to do but I thought I will mention it.

----- Original Message -----
From: Richard Parr <rjparr@hotmail.com>
To: <debate@indiapolicy.org>
Sent: Tuesday, February 01, 2000 8:00 AM
Subject: Education debate


> ---------------------------------------------------------------------
> Please help make the Manifesto better, or accept it, and propagate it!
> ---------------------------------------------------------------------
> Dear All,
>
> This is an article from Manchester's 'Guardian' newspaper.
> Ant comments?
>
> India
>
> --------------------------------------------------------------------------
--
> ----
> Charity lays rough building blocks for instruction
>
> There are now more illiterate people than there were 30 years ago
>
> Stephen Bates in New Delhi
> Monday January 31, 2000
>
> In a dark corner of a building site in central Delhi, where they are
> erecting the latest satellite technology for the Indian Broadcasting
> Corporation, is a school from the dark ages.
> Yards from where the Indian army was last week rehearsing its annual
parade
> for Constitution Day, exactly 50 years after article 45 of the
constitution
> promised to provide free schooling for all within 10 years, here is the
> reality of what education still means for millions of the subcontinent's
> children.
>
> The school is a breeze-block bunker with a corrugated iron roof and
yawning
> gaps in the walls. Inside two dark rooms about 30 children huddle on the
> earth floor with the women who look after them all day. A couple of
homemade
> posters are the only teaching aids.
>
> Outside is a dingy yard, 6ft wide, for break time. Beyond that piles of
> rubbish and mud, potholes, rusting metal and pools of stagnant water
litter
> the building site.
>
> The contractor is by law required to provide school premises for the
> children of his workers and is in this instance employed by a state
> corporation. The children range from two weeks to 12 years. For the
younger
> ones it is a form of creche. For the older ones it is the only form of
> schooling they get.
>
> Their parents work all day on the site: the women haul building materials
> such as cement for the men and earn about 26 rupees (less than 30p) a day.
>
> In one sense these children are lucky. If the school was not here they
would
> be left on their own all day. As it is, they are fed, looked after and
> perhaps even taught something.
>
> Mohit, a 12-year-old boy, likes the school but is not hopeful about the
> future. Like many others, his family has travelled hundreds of miles from
a
> rural village in Bihar in search of work at the building sites of the
> capital.
>
> "I like coming to the school but I hate the contractor. I don't want to be
a
> building labourer. I would like to do anything else than that," he said.
>
> Beside him, 10-year-old Praduman, who looks six or seven, is overcome by
> shyness and just nods when asked if he likes the school. Two girls, Rajni
> and Kabita, say they like dancing best. They come here six days a week to
be
> fed and supervised.
>
> There are 18 such schools on the construction sites of Delhi. They are run
> by Mobile Creches, a charity which has operated on a shoestring budget for
> 30 years, funded mainly by foreign donations. Parents contribute to the
cost
> - 2 rupees a month for the poorest, up to 30 rupees for those described as
> better off.
>
> Mridula Bajaj, the charity's director, said: "The contractors don't want
us.
> They don't support us because it eats into their profits. A
> government-funded building is being built here and yet they don't enforce
> the law. If a contractor gets warned, he says he won't employ the mothers
> any more, and that leaves these families with less."
>
> Fifty years after the constitution, 34 years since legislation laid down
> that all children should learn in their mother tongue, before learning
> Hindi, then English, the gap between legislation and reality remains
> immense. In a country predicted to become an economic tiger of the 21st
> century, 33m children between the ages of six and 10 - nearly one-third -
do
> not attend any school.
>
> According to the World Bank, four out of five children from the poorest
> classes do not complete eight years of basic education as promised by the
> constitution.
>
> Adult literacy is estimated at barely 52% of India's 1000m population.
Only
> 39% of women can read and - owing to population growth - there are thought
> to be more illiterate people in India now than 30 years ago.
>
>
> Bombs or blackboards
> How India spends its money
>
> Primary Education
> 1.2% of GDP, total 2.4bn
>
> Military spending
> 3.0% of GDP, total 6.1bn
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>
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> This is the National Debate on System Reform.       debate@indiapolicy.org
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>


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This is the National Debate on System Reform.       debate@indiapolicy.org
Rules, Procedures, Archives:            http://www.indiapolicy.org/debate/
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