Annual Examination

June

Women’s Education in India

Women’s Education in India

Women have much lower literacy rate than men. Far fewer girls are enrolled in the schools, and many of them drop out. According to a 1998 report by U.S. Department of Commerce, the chief barrier to female education in India are inadequate school facilities (such as sanitary facilities), shortage of female teachers and gender bias in curriculum (majority of the female characters being depicted as weak and helpless). A conservative cultural attitude, especially among muslims, prevents some girls from attending school.

Since 1947 the Indian government has tried to provide incentives for girls’ school attendance through programs for midday meals, free books, and uniforms. This welfare thrust raised primary enrollment between 1951 and 1981. In 1986 the National Policy on Education decided to restructure education in tune with the social framework of each state, and with larger national goals. It emphasized that education was necessary for democracy, and central to the improvement of women’s condition. The new policy aimed at social change through revised texts, curricula, increased funding for schools, expansion in the numbers of schools, and policy improvements. Emphasis was placed on expanding girls’ occupational centers and primary education; secondary and higher education; and rural and urban Educational institutions. The report tried to connect problems like low school attendance with poverty, and the dependence on girls for housework and sibling day care. The National Literacy Mission also worked through female tutors in villages. Although the minimum marriage age is now eighteen for girls, many continue to be married much earlier. Therefore, at the secondary level, female dropout rates are high.

Concerted efforts led to improvement of female literacy rate from 15.3% in 1961 to 28.5% in 1981. By 2001 literacy for women had exceeded 50% of the overall female population. Recently the Indian government has launched Saakshar Bharat Mission for Female Literacy. This mission aims to bring down female illiteracy by half of its present level.

The education of women in India plays a significant role in improving livings standards in the country. A higher women literacy rate improves the quality of life both at home and outside of home, by encouraging and promoting education of children, especially female children, and in reducing the infant mortality rate. Several studies have shown that a lower level of women literacy rates results in higher levels of fertility and infant mortality, poorer nutrition, lower earning potential and the lack of an ability to make decisions within a household. Women’s lower educational levels are also shown to adversely affect the health and living conditions of children. A survey that was conducted in India showed results which support the fact that infant mortality rate was inversely related to female literacy rate and educational level. The survey also suggests a correlation between education and economic growth.

Following independence, India viewed education as an effective tool for bringing social change through community development. The administrative control was effectively initiated in the 1950s, when, in 1952, the government grouped villages under a Community Development Block—an authority under national program which could control education in up to 100 villages. A Block Development Officer (BDO) oversaw a geographical area of 150 square miles (390 km2) which could contain a population of as many as 70,000 people.

The community development programs comprise agriculture, animal husbandry, cooperation, rural industries, rural engineering (consisting of minor irrigation, roads, buildings), health and sanitation including family welfare, family planning, women welfare, child care and nutrition, education including adult education, social education and literacy, youth welfare and community organization. In each of these areas of development there are several programs, schemes and activities which are additive, expanding and tapering off covering the total community, some segments, or specific target populations such as small and marginal farmers, artisans, women and in general people below the poverty line.

Despite some setbacks the rural education programs continued throughout the 1950s, with support from private institutions. A sizable network of rural education had been established by the time the Gandhigram Rural Institute was established and 5,200 Community Development Blocks were established in India. Nursery schools, elementary schools, secondary school, and schools for adult education for women were set up.

The government continued to view rural education as an agenda that could be relatively free from bureaucratic backlog and general stagnation. However, in some cases lack of financing balanced the gains made by rural education institutes of India. Some ideas failed to find acceptability among India’s poor and investments made by the government sometimes yielded little results. Today, government rural schools remain poorly funded and understaffed. Several foundations, such as the Rural Development Foundation (Hyderabad), actively build high-quality rural schools, but the number of students served is small.

Review of Unemployment

Review of Unemployment

How many forms are there of unemployment?

An economic condition marked by the fact that individuals actively seeking jobs remain unemployed. Unemployment is expressed as a percentage of the total available work force. The level of unemployment varies with economic conditions and other circumstances.

Henry Pratt Fairchild (1880-1956) defined unemployment as “Unemployment is forced and involuntary separation from remunerative work on thne part of the normal working force during normal working time, at normal wages and uder normal conditions.”

Karl Pribram (1877-1973) defined as “Unemployment is a condition of the labour market in which the supply of labour is greater than the number of available openings.”

According to Alfred Hook (1850-1905), unemployment is of five kinds. These are as follows:

  1. Cyclical unemployment
  2. Sudden unemployment
  3. Unemployment arising from failure in industry or business
  4. Unemployment resulting from deterioration in industries
  5. Unemployment arising from seasonal business

Bob Chapman’s opinion: According to Chapman there are six forms of unemployment.

  1. Subjective Unemployment:  This is caused by physical or mental shortcoming of the individual.
  2. Objective Unemployment:  This is caused by factors beyond the control of the individual and is related to objective circumstances. They can have four forms.
  3. Seasonal Unemployment:  This is the unemployment caused by the shutting down of seasonal industries.
  4. Cyclical unemployment:  This is due to the cyclical economic inflation and depression.
  5. Structural Unemployment:  This is due to the defects in the economic structure, for example while thousands of people are unemployed in Kanpur there may be a heavy demand for labour in New Delhi. In this situation the unemployment is not due to the excess of supply over demand, but rather due to the defect of the economic structure.
  6. Normal Unemployment:  This form of unemployment prevails in almost all countries. In the complex economic organization it is difficult to provide full time employment to everybody.

Other forms of Unemployment:  Besides the above mentioned forms of the unemployment the following three forms are also accepted.

  1. Agricultural Unemployment.
  2. Technological Unemployment.
  3. Educational Unemployment.

School and Child Development

School and Child Development

Child psychology has brought a revolution in modern educational methods. It has put an end to the role of the rod and the whip. Children are taught to be disciplined by psychological methods, not by force. Such new innovations as the Montessori and the Kindergarten methods are based on the Child psychology. Teaching has become more scientific, easier and goal oriented. Child psychology gives the teacher’s information about the processes of learning, methods of teaching, important factors, conditions which help or impede the process of learning, allowing the teacher to make use of this information in his teaching.

1. Understanding the student: The teacher must know the student better than he knows the subject he is to teach. Pestalozzi was of the opinion that education should be based on a realistic and accurate knowledge of the student’s mental processes. A teacher must be equipped with detailed information concerning the student’s needs, the bases of his behavior, mental level, interests, abilities and personality etc. Any successful education must be based on these fundamental forces that control behavior.

2. Improvement in the curriculum: Child psychology has led to important improvements in the curriculum for teaching children. It has laid stress on such activities as games, scouting, picnics, camps, dancing and other extracurricular activities which supplement rather than supplant class room teaching of academic subjects. Education has become an interesting process and develops various facets of the child’s personality which remain untouched under more formal teaching conditions. The curriculum of a school should be based on the individual differences of children, their motives, the values and principles of learning, all of which can be known only through the study of psychology. In deciding the subjects to be taught, such things as the student’s ages, their individual and social needs and the responsibility they are expected to shoulder in later life must be taken into consideration. Besides, the methods of presenting teaching material should be based on psychological facts.

3. Diagnosis and solution of classroom problems: Many problems are faced in the classroom by the relationship between individual students and the teacher, the mental abilities of the students, the fact of their being backward etc. These problems can be solved only by psychological methods. Basically, all such problems are behavior issues of children which require psychological knowledge in order to be solved. Child psychology can assist the teacher in tackling such problems as the backwardness of children, maladjustment, indiscipline, juvenile delinquency, sexual crimes, defects in the child’s progress, mental defects of mentally challenged children etc.

4. Experiment and Research: Knowledge of child psychology encourages the teacher to make experiments in the field of education. By this research he can bring new facts to light and improve education.

“Child psychology is a positive science which studies the behavior of the child in the context of its environment treating the child as an individual.” 

It is apparent from the above definition that knowledge of child psychology helps in teaching and is of immense importance and value to the teachers.

Habit and Children Part 2

Every habit is the result of repetitions: If we wish a child to acquire any particular habit, whether it has to do with learning to play some instrument, or with a manner of speech, we must make sure that he repeats the desired act a sufficient number of times—and the habit will be there.

The problem is thus largely one of providing suitable inducements for repeating the act. This does not mean that we must offer children some reward for practicing, or for doing things in general the right way. There are various ways of providing the inducements for repetition. Thus, the child who mispronounces words from infancy, needs usually but to hear the words pronounced properly, and through imitation he will repeat, the correct sounds until they become habitual with him.

Most habits are acquired by children because certain acts which they perform bring with them various satisfactions, which in turn furnish the inducements for further repetition, until the habits are fixed.

When we are trying to fix habits in a young child we should introduce the desired actions into the child’s routine, and insist upon their performance on every occasion—whether it is saying the prayers nightly or putting the toys away. And the desired bits of conduct must be practiced at the time when they have meaning in relation to other affairs. It is not enough to take the single step correctly all by itself. The dancing master makes the child go back and start over again, so that the right step may become one of the fixed series of right steps.

Until the habits are fixed, allow no exceptions to occur. Every exception has its dangers, because it may introduce new interests, new satisfactions, tempting to a repetition of the exception and making this the new order.

The same principle applies to the breaking of habits. Every exception is like a switch that may let the train of events get side-tracked, with possibly disastrous results. The child must stop chewing his gum at once. Whatever it is that must be stopped, must be stopped the instant the action is noticed, and not allowed a little extension of time for practice in the objectionable act. Do not allow children to say “Just this once” and get away with bad habits since this is the greatest enemy to the development of good habits; and it is the greatest obstacle to the conquest of bad habits.

Concluded.