India ranks 102nd out of 129 nations in “Education for all development index”- UNESCO Education in India is in a state of crisis, where 40% children cannot count from 1-10. While the privileged access private educational institutions, many poor parents/ people from lower socio economic status are left with no option but to admit their children to a (pitiful) government school. This is particularly true of backward states like Bihar, Jharkhand, Uttar Pradesh, Chhatisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Orissa etc.
According to a recent World Bank survey, 25% of government school teachers are absent on any given day in India, the figure for Jharkhand being 42%. The quality of education in government school can be gauged from the fact that over a third of students of Class V, cannot read the text of Class I, while 4/5th fail to perform single digit subtraction (Pratham, ASER Report). The natural consequence of this abysmal quality is that, of 100 students admitted to Class I only 1 completes Class X! Our own experience, confirmed by various studies like that of James Tooley, has been that even the poorest of parents prefer to send their children to small private schools in slums paying a monthly fee of Rs 50 – 100 (US $ 1-2), than send their children to free government schools. Government schools it seems are free in a double sense, free of fee and free of learning as well. Needless to say with such state of affairs, a dark cloud looms over the future of literarily/ nearly millions of poor children seeking quality education. Ours is a small effort towards helping to enlighten a million young minds and their futures. We believe that access and choice to quality school education is a fundamental right of any and every child, not only irrespective of caste, creed, sex and religion but also the economic status of the parents.
We believe that given the prolonged abysmal failure of the present system, Education Voucher System is a way ahead in delivering quality schooling. Education Voucher System As per this scheme every child will be given an Education Voucher worth a certain amount. With this voucher a child can take admission in any school of her/his parent’s choice .This voucher can be redeemed in any school. If the parents are not satisfied with that school, they have an option of changing the school. In this system, money follows the child, and not the school. Schools will have to compete to attract the vouchers and hence perform, as every parent will have an ample number of schools to choose from. This makes the schools directly accountable to the parents since they are paying for the education through the voucher, thereby ending the present system where government schools are accountable only to the bureaucracy. To bring in this revolutionary change in the basic structure of Education System, and ensure “Right to Quality School Education” for each and every chid our endeavor is constituted of the following programmes-
- Education Voucher Programme
- Srijan Bachpan Programme
- YUVA Programme
- RTE – 25% Facilitation Programme
- URGE Programme