Education is a Fundamental Right (RTE-2009) as it plays very important role in human development and developing societies. It also plays significant role in poverty alleviation. However, despite education being made as a fundamental right, there are challenges in implementation and to make the right as reality especially for children from very poor families/single parent families/orphaned children. These children often drop out from school and are forced to join the labour market as child labour. In many cases, young girls are getting marriage at very early age in tribal communities and parents are not able to handle the situations.
This is also reflected in UNDP report on MDG and India 2015. Latest report of Sustainable Millennium development Goals 2030 highlights that India is off-track on the targets to achieve universal primary enrolment and completion of education. Large numbers of children still remain out of school and more specific to children of most excluded groups such as SC and ST that fails to complete primary education. The quality of education is also a major concern. Further direct testing of primary school students indicates very poor learning very little improvement in areas of reading and mathematics.
Thus more attention is needed on regular assessment of teachers' performance accountability and efforts to reach the most excluded groups such as Scheduled Castes(SC) and Scheduled Tribes(ST), among other vulnerable segments of populations, encourage early childhood education ; and accord priority to improving learning outcomes.
Early Childhood Education is of crucial significance for the optimum development of the child. Studies have proved conclusively that foundation for later development is laid in the early years and impoverishment suffered at this stage damages severely the subsequent development of the child.
The importance of Early Childhood Education in the Indian context where 48% of the population live below the poverty line 63.83% are illiterate and one-fifth of the population is the age- group 0-6 years hardly needs any emphasis. Government of India and International Organizations are emphasizing on the importance of Early Childhood Education in the context of the programme of Universalization of Elementary Education and ensuring quality education among children.
Health and education are closely linked. While malnutrition handicaps children's cognitive development, the very access to adequate nutrition, hygiene and basic health care significantly increases their chances of completing primary school. Moreover, education remains the best preventive action against major diseases and epidemics.
The growth in the education of girls and women in the country has revealed its remarkable impact on societal development: reduction of forced marriages and early pregnancies, as well as infant mortality (a child whose mother is able to read has 50% more of a chance of surviving beyond its fifth year), growth in the enrolment of girls in school, etc. Ensuring girls and women's education, is a key to their emancipation, is a key issue of encouraging women's autonomy and leadership.
Education is a core focus area of ASHA's work and the areas of intervention under this theme will be:
Goal- Ensure that the learning and education needs more specifically of children, youths and women from poor and marginalized families are met through formal and non formal education
- At least 1000 Anganwadi workers, mothers and girls of marriageable age are trained on early childhood care and education.
- Promoted adult literacy among 500 women and ensure completion of school education among 200 dropout youths (boys/girls)
- 1000 Women, youths among communities are imparted education on better health and hygiene, environment protection and human rights education.
- Increased capacity of 300 primary teachers from government schools as well as Holy Cross Schools on RTE Act and their skill enhancement on teaching learning ability.
- Capacitate 100 women and youth groups within community on RTE Act-2009 to monitor the implementation of the Act within their areas to ensure right to education of all children.