Educate a Child, Educate a Nation

There is a very strong push to increase the literacy rate in India, and literacy rates have been improving at a steady rate, at least in the cities.  But 70% of the population lives in rural village areas.  There are 600,000 villages in India.

The Government has enacted a form of No Child Left Behind.  It is called the Right to Education Act.  Twenty-five percent of a schools enrolled students must be economically disadvantaged.  This is true whether the school is private or public.

School officials are concerned about having the funding needed to make the changes required.  For example all schools should meet set student/teacher ratios, have well equipped libraries, separate toilets for boys and girls, a fence or wall around the school, an all-weather building with a playground, etc.

The North Carolina teachers I am travelling with and I were able to visit a number of schools.  The quality of the physical structures as well as the resources available in the schools varied dramatically.  The curriculum however, seemed to be mostly the same.  Each student had a syllabus that gave the daily lessons for the quarter.  Classes were conducted from that syllabus mostly in lecture form with call and response technique.

IMG_2621This is Prajakta, a standard (grade) 9 student, showing me her History syllabus.

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