Mains Paper 2: Governance | Issues relating to development & management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources.
From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:
Prelims level: Particulars of the UNESCO Global Education Monitoring Report 2019
Mains level: Ill effects of migration on Literacy
Seasonal Migration hits Literacy
- Literacy levels in rural households of India dip with seasonal migration, the UNESCO global education monitoring report 2019 has observed while bringing out the educational challenges thrown up by migration.
- In India, 10.7 million children aged 6 to 14 lived in rural households with a seasonal migrant in 2013.
- About 28% of youth aged 15 to 19 in these households were illiterate or had not completed primary school, compared to 18% of the cohort overall says the report.
- About 80% of seasonal migrant children in seven cities lacked access to education near work sites, and 40% are likely to end up in work rather than education, experiencing abuse and exploitation.
- Inter-State migration rates have doubled between 2001 and 2011.
- An estimated 9 million migrated between States annually from 2011 to 2016.
- It also warns of the negative impact on education for children who are left behind as their parents migrate.
Construction labors: The worst hit
- The report says that the construction sector absorbs the majority of short-term migrants.
- A survey in Punjab state of 3,000 brick kiln workers in 2015-16 found that 60% were inter-State migrants.
- Between 65% and 80% of all children aged five to 14 living at the kilns worked there seven to nine hours per day.
- About 77% of kiln workers reported lack of access to early childhood or primary education for their children.
Addressing the issue
- The report, however, acknowledges that India has taken steps to address the issue.
- The Right to Education Act in 2009 made it mandatory for local authorities to admit migrant children.
- National-level guidelines were issued, allowing for flexible admission of children, providing transport and volunteers to support with mobile education.
- The policies were attempted to create seasonal hostels and aiming to improve coordination between sending and receiving districts and states.
At State Level
- The report says some State governments have also taken steps for migrant children’s education.
- It, however, observes that most interventions are focused on keeping children in home communities instead of actively addressing the challenges faced by those who are already on the move.
- The report also talks of a failed initiative in Rajasthan
- A pilot programme used on brick kiln sites from 2010-2011 in Rajasthan to track the progress of out-of-school children did not improve learning in any substantial way.
- Teachers on the sites cited culture, language, lifestyle, cleanliness and clothing as major barriers between them and the kiln labour community.
- Teacher and student absenteeism were rampant.
Urban Challenges yet Unaddressed
- The report sees the growth of slums and informal settlements where schools are often scarce due to migration as a challenge.
- 18% of the students displaced by a riverfront project in Ahmedabad dropped out and an additional 11% had lower attendance.
- The report shows there is only one urban planner for every 1, 00,000 people in India, while there are 38 for every 1, 00,000 in the United Kingdom.