“Education liberates the intellect, unlocks the imagination and is fundamental for self-respect. It is the key to prosperity and opens a world of opportunities, making it possible for each of us to contribute to a progressive, healthy society. Learning benefits every human being and should be available to all.”
Learning has traditionally been stratified because of income and social inequality. Those with access to money or social network are better able to negotiate school and college systems. This in turn gives the credentials required by the job market. Entering the school system is often contingent on being born into a system that has resources to care for a child and pay for the costs of education. This includes keeping a child in school and not pulling him/her out to provide for the family.
The targets under this Goal include providing free primary and secondary education, equal access to all levels of education, universal literacy and numeracy and more.
NGOs in India have made admirable progress towards the goal of Quality Education. They work at different levels of the education system the underprivileged struggle with, and come up with unique solutions. This includes mobile schools, after-school education centres, night schools, scholarships for financially underprivileged children and more areas.
The Society for Door Step School tackles literacy for children of pavement, slum and construction site dwellers. They use innovative intervention programs like community learning centers, school on wheels, child care centers, community libraries and more to encourage learning. BREAD Society sets up children’s libraries in government schools that don’t have access to one. They have successfully set up over 1,000 children’s libraries, each consisting of 650 books in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana.
Masoom works to improve the quality and capacity of night schools to deliver better education to their students. It’s a reality that many students can’t afford to work and study. Night schools provide them with a helpline instead of having them completely exit the school system. Masoom was established with an objective to give them best quality education at the school they attend. Masoom’s programs aim to improve the education, infrastructure and inputs available to students in night schools. It’s not just academics – they have also set up a Career Cell to help students access employment after their studies. Masoom has worked with 22,000+ beneficiaries so far, with the average attendance at class at 62%. Their Career Cell has placed 532 students. Thanks to their efforts, more than 4,000 students have access to an evening meal scheme provided by the Central Government.
Teach to Lead (Teach for India) wants to build a movement of leaders who will end educational inequity in India. Teach for India places Fellows for two years in full-time teaching positions in government or low-income schools. They recruit the highest-quality university graduates and young professionals who drive impact on student achievement and become lifelong leaders able to affect systemic change. Their alumni are a networked community committed to educational inequity in India.
PS: You can read our blogs on the other UN Sustainable Development Goals here.
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