Contributors- Aiswarya G.K, Kavya Srinivas, LakshmiPriya G.D, Priya Rathnam, Ramsi Parveen
“You educate a man; you educate a man. You educate a woman, you educate a generation”. Education is the powerful weapon with which one can create a change in this world. It plays an important role in development. What lies next to poverty as an obstacle for India’s development is the literacy rate of India. Among 145 countries in the world, India ranks 92nd position in terms of education. Kerala has the highest total literacy rate and female literacy rate whereas Lakshadweep had the highest male literacy rate. Bihar has the lowest total literacy rate and male literacy rates while Rajasthan has the lowest female literacy rate. In a democratic country like India it is very pathetic to notice that women are denied of the basic freedom from the male dominated society, so as in the case of education. They have no rights to express their thoughts, ideas, and dreams and above all they are restricted from entering into their path of education. Women are considered as a weak symbol and are born to do all services under men.
In this male dominated society, women lack education, especially in higher levels of education. Most of the females are done up to the primary level of education. So far, a very few girls will attend high school level and move on to other degrees. Society thinks that girls are not born to get educated then men and are not supposed to. The forced marriage of girls at a very young age proved to be worse for the educational prospects of girls than boys. It has become a tie to stop education.
The large proportion of illiterate females is another reason for the low literacy rate in India. Inequality based on gender differences resulted in female literacy rates being lower at 65.46% than that of their male counterparts at 82.14% recently. Due to strong stereotyping of female and male roles, sons are thought of to be more useful and hence are educated instead of daughters. They are always a liability for their family and the society as well. Women are pulled to help out on agricultural farms or any other household chores at home as they are increasingly replacing the males on such activities which require no formal education.
Several measures are taken by the private as well as public sectors for the upliftment of women as an empowerment. Provisions in job opportunities and schemes like RTE (Right to Education) ‘Sakshar Bharath Mission’ for female literacy, ‘SABLA Rajiv Gandhi Scheme’ for empowerment of adolescent girls, etc. Women education assures social development as well as gender equality. It has positive effects on women empowerment, living standards and ensures economic sustainability. We can examine the educational condition of our country on a state level basis. Comparing the ratios of male students and female students from 29 states and 7 union territories in 2013-2016, several changes and dropouts in education of girl students are found.
STATE WISE GENDER RATIO IN HIGHER EDUCATION
According to Government of India’s State level gender ratio report of higher education 2012, the female participation is less compared to the male students. While coming to the level of Ph D, M.Phil, Post Graduation, Graduation, Under Graduation, P.G Diploma, Diploma, Certificate and other integrated courses, we can identify the gradual inclination and declination in both male and female numbers. On comparing and contrasting the gender ratio in higher level education among 29 states and 7 Union territories in India, Goa stands in top with the ratio of 20.28 (no. of females/no. of males). The second position is occupied by Kerala (15.4). Dadra and Nagar Haveli constitutes 1.9, has the lesser number of gender ratio in higher education. Bihar and Madhya Pradesh along with Dagra and Nagar have lower female ratio, where higher education in all the fields are dominated by male students. The balanced ratio of female and male students can be traced from states such as Meghalaya (M.Phil) and Mizoram (Certificate level), with a ratio of 1 each and Odisha( Ph.D) with a ratio of 4. Most of the Ph.D scholars hail from Goa with a ratio of 1.45. Female participation is more compared to male here. Pudichery with a ratio of 2.38 has more of M.Phil participants. Lakshadweep tops in the more participation of graduates and under graduates with a ratio of 3.17 for graduation and 3.12 for under graduation. Nagaland constitutes (1.93) in the area of P.G Diploma, whereas Meghalaya contributes 3.36 ratio for diploma courses. Pudichery (8.6) again constitutes more students in the field of certificate courses and Andaman has the more number of participants for integrated courses (2.97). Jammu & Kashmir stands in a pretty good position in education, but certain areas’ data are not often released due to security reasons.
More number of female students is for the certificate courses. In Pudichery, Chattisgarh, Kerala and Mizoram, there is more number of female participation in certificate courses than other courses.
ANALYSIS OF GENDER RATIO IN SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
The era of globalization and rapid technological development has changed people’s lives dramatically. Science and technology plays an extremely important role in the contemporary society. The roles of men and women have changed to their extent in the present world scenario. Women have got more freedom to express themselves and take active part in the development of technologies, despite the fact that there are still problems in the sphere. According to the data collected between the years of 1998 and 2012 the enrollment of women under the roof of science and technology has ascended. In 1998-99 the total percentage of women enrolled in the discipline of Science and technology was noted as 25.3%. Among them, the field of science stood at the zenith with 19.2%. Engineering, medicine and Agriculture backed 2.1%, 3.3% and 0.6% respectively. As far as the year 1999-00 is considered, the lions share was again grabbed by science with 19%. Engineering moved ahead with 2.3% while agriculture and veterinary remained constant. In the year 2001-02, the same scenario continued with science at the lead with 19.9%. There existed a decline in Agriculture and medicine to 0.3% and 3.5% respectively. There took place an improvement in engineering to 3.8%. 2002-03 marked an improvement in the discipline of engineering, with an improvement to 4.2%. While Science and agriculture remained constant. There took place a decline in medicine by 0.1%.
In the years between 2003 and 2005, the fields of engineering and medicine remained constant with 4.1% and 3.6%. There took place a decline in science and increase in agriculture by 0.1%. Between the years of 2005 and 2012 the discipline of science reached 19.2%, where engineering rocketed to 11.1%, medicine and agriculture were on a snails’ pace at 4% and 0.3% respectively. The field of veterinary stayed constant throughout the years and hasn’t accommodated any fluctuations.
DROPOUTS IN EDUCATION
Based on the 2012 report by UNESCO, 13.54 million South Asian students leave school before completing their primary education. In 2013 over 14% of female students between the ages of 7 – 16 went missing from school in Maharashtra, as opposed to 11.7% in 2012. Thus, it seems that although the prevalent ethos and the legislation (including the Right to Education Act of 2008) in India nearly guarantees that every Indian student will start schooling, it does not yet have the abilities to ensure that the environment to actually attain an education exists.
The effect of this problem is indeed exacerbated where women are concerned, as effective literacy rates in 2011 was at about 82.14% for men, versus 65.46% for women. The dropouts in education include the factors that relatively impact girls the most. The specific reasons for marginalization of girls from the schooling system include expectations of domesticity where girls are expected to contribute to the household far younger than boys. The implicit understanding being that a girl is being trained for a role as a wife, mother and daughter-in-law, whereas boys are being trained for an occupation. Girls get married younger than boys do. When we looking into the rates of child marriage in 2011, it is found that girls aged 14-17, 37% were engaged and 12% married. On the other hand, for boys in the same age range, only 27% were engages and 3% married. The strong correlation between marital status and school attendance rates (in which married children were over twice as likely to not attend school as single children) were observed in 2012-2014.
Besides, families often think that the cost of education, both monetary and psychological is wasted on a girl because of her decreased earning potential and this selfsame expectation of domesticity. The economic benefit thereof is not immediately apparent to most families. Overall, the expectation of the girl child’s participation in family life seems to be a hindrance in her participation in schooling.
Safety of girls travelling alone is a major concern for Indians. The prevalent discourse surrounding recent events has brought to the forefront a longstanding problem. We also see a fear that educating girls causes excessive independence, and this is seemingly manifested in the attitude that parents take to a girl’s education.
The Right to Education bill has set forth some norms and standards in this regard – it codifies expectations and requirements of norms and standards relating inter alia to pupil-teacher ratios buildings and infrastructure, school-working days, teacher-working hours. Therefore we do see legislators are at the very least, considering this area of concern further. It is also one of the easier aspects to tackle, as it falls within the purview of Education Departments in the Centre and in States. However, it is commonly perceived that girls suffer for various reasons from the lack of infrastructure much worse than boys do—for instance, as of 2012, 40% of all government schools lacked a functioning common toilet, and another 40% lacked a separate toilet for girls. This in fact creates even more reluctance to allow for girls to be educated.
Although including girls in the scheme of Indian universalized education, these causes seems to make one thing clear – the causes are ingrained in systems that are larger than education. While temporary solutions are rampant and popular, it will take attention on the long-term scale to ensure that girls across India are able to freely, safely, and consistently attend school and access an education.
As the society is completely not aware of the consequences on the education of girls, dropouts can be seen as high before the 20th century itself and this is boosting up now from NOT APPLICABLE to 52%.
The statistical report shows a gradual declination of girl students from class I-V, I-VIII and I-X during 1960 to 2012. The year 1960 was a period where the education has started in India. Society made a clear vision and thus created a difference between boys and girls. Their view of perspective for girls was meant for domestic purposes and boys for earning capacity. At that point of time, this was the major reason for the dropout of girls. This year touched peaks stating percentages like 80% and 85% of class I-V and I-VIII respectively. I-X class is stated Not Applicable because they parents were not ready for more higher education. Although it started decreasing gradually in the successive years. The statistics of girls’ dropout in 2012 was decreased to 21, 40 and 52.2 in class I-V, I-VIII, I-X respectively.
DROPOUTS OF GIRLS IN SCHEDULE CASTE AND SCHEDULE TRIBE
Indian scenario had witnessed a strong regime on religion and caste and it gained a negative impact on the sector of education in the Schedule Caste and tribal society, especially in girls’ education. Our nation was going through under the caste discriminated society that had affected the system of education and people in various ways.
The Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes comprise about 16.6 percent and 8.6 percent, respectively, of India’s population. Tracing back to history, we can see that the concept of dalit and untouchability that leads to many clashes in education. The below graph depicts the dropouts in education of girls belong to Schedule Caste and Schedule Tribes in 1960’s from class I-V, I-VIII, I-X. The data sources are shown as Not Applicable because girls weren’t permitted to schools in primary as well as secondary education. The class differentiation between high caste and low caste people had existed during that time. Only high class people were allowed to learn. The same repeated in the two successive years. Rather than considering the less number of female students, it is very unveiling to notice that, none of the girls from SC and ST were enrolled in the education sector. The same pattern continued till the year 2000-2001. But there is a slight progress in the following years. In the year 2012, the hike in number of girls from Schedule Caste of class I-V, I-VIII and I-X reached 24.7, 36.4 and 55.6 respectively. The girls of Schedule Tribe of class I-V, I-VIII and I-X ranges from 34.4, 57.1 and 67.6 respectively.
The graphical representation of the Schedule Caste and Schedule Tribe girls’ dropouts
Read similar story on: http://www.right-to-education.org/issue-page/marginalised-groups/girls-women
Education is important to promote the key principle of non-discrimination and the protection of life and human dignity of all in times of violence and crisis. Women play an important role in the development criteria. They had started setting their foot in all fields of industries including the educational and economic sectors. Due to the growth in literacy, the living standards of each state are increasing day by day. We can observe a rapid growth in economy and total development of the country. If we can tackle the problems of dropouts, by doing an in-depth study on the reasons such as expectations of domesticity, safety and infrastructure barriers we will be able to face this problem in a better way. Creating better means of infrastructure in rural areas, educating the parents about the need of education, especially educating a girl child, introducing lesser known disciplines among the public, providing provisions to the under development. Let’s put our hands together to make India, an incredible nation were our sons and daughters are the same in every sense.