The literacy rate in India has made significant stride in the last decade, but as per statistics 72 million primary school children and another 71 million adolescents are not at school. And as per the current trends 56 million primary school age children will still be out of school in 2015. Even with provision of Right to Education and government's high priority to education, increasing number of children are being excluded out of Indian education system. A survey conducted by iCharity among NGOs who working in the field of education to identify reasons for exclusion of large number of children and the issues plaguing Indian education system. The following issues have been identified as some of the underlying reasons;
- Discouragement from family, especially for girls who end up spending more time doing household chores than going to school.
- Family poverty is forcing children to work or help parents in their petty businesses. This is one of the major causes for children leaving school before completing the 8 years of education as stipulated by government. Even though these children are enrolled in a local school, they spend most of the time helping their parents.
- Significant among the issues is the lack of infrastructure and quality teaching staff.
- Many street children and children of migrants are completely excluded. The poor, especially construction workers and petty shop owners often migrate in search of work or better business affecting the children's education. When they move to new place, they usually neglect the enrollment of children in a local school which results in a gap of learning.
- In most other cases, parents usually do not show any interest in their children's education while teachers do not put any efforts to make children attend the school. As a result children go wayward and stops attending school and spend their time elsewhere.
Provision of infrastructure for education alone is not enough, unless the mentioned above issues are addressed in a systematic way. The access to quality education for all, in particular for the poor and rural population, is imperative for the economic and social development of India.
Many NGOs in India have been relentlessly working not only identify children need of education but keeping track of them using their own network of NGOs and other supporting organizations. Whenever a family is migrating, the grassroot NGOs are taking the details of their new location and inform another NGO working in the same area who would eventually take the responsibility of taking care family's education needs in the new area. It's important that these NGOs are given proper support in terms of funds and resources so that the children of India get their due education.