EDUCATION ACCESS FOR WOMEN : PART I
Updated: Dec 30, 2020
Improving the literacy rates in the country, has been driven by a zeal to enable women to write the names as an art practice module. People are taught to draw their names rather than alphabet clarity and writing. Hence crops the larger debate around education vs literacy vs learning. The subsequent issue of lifelong learning is long forgotten.
"ग्रामीण क्षेत्रों में 77.15% की ग्रामीण पुरूष साक्षरता दर और 57.93% की ग्रामीण महिला साक्षरता दर के साथ साक्षरता दर 67.77% है, जबकि शहरी क्षेत्रों में 88.76% की शहरी पुरूष साक्षरता दर और 79.11% की शहरी महिला साक्षरता दर के साथ साक्षरता दर 84.11% है।" [india.gov.in. 2020]
Adult education per my experience should primarily concern the ability to overcome day to day challenges of life. To assist adults to 1. Increase competence, 2. Negotiate transitions in their social roles, 3. To help them gain fulfilment in their personal lives, and 4. To assist them in solving personal and community problems.
Adult education remains insufficient in inclusion when it comes to women. They are made to learn things which are beyond the reach of their local environment. These programmes fail to consider the diverse indigenous knowledge, context and experiences women have, which creates wide lacunae. The prevailing patriarchal norms increase the challenge to prioritise education against all the domestic chores they are responsible for.
As we work with children we got an opportunity to interact with the mothers and sisters in the family. We interacted and identified all who were interested in learning. To our shock, out of all the women we discussed this with, 80-85% of them showed interest in education. None was able to experience education despite a wish to do so. They also made a mention of how the entire day they are engaged in various activities like cooking, livestock management etc. All these responsibilities leave no time to think about their interests.
The women shared that; “ didi, sab log mazak banaaengey humaara agar humne padhai karna shuru kia to. Sabne kehna hai ki tum konsa masterni lag rahi ho jo is umar me ab padhai ka soch rahi to”.
TO BE CONTD........
Mandal, S. (2019) ‘The rise of lifelong learning and fall of adult education in India’. London Review of Education, 17 (3): 318–330. DOI https://doi.org/10.18546/LRE.17.3.08
India.Gov.in (2020). https://www.india.gov.in/topics/education/adult-education [Adult Education for women and education groups]