Benjamin Franklin once summarised education, "If a man empties his purse into his head, no man can take it away from him. An investment in knowledge or education always pays the best interest." On that note, it is quite disheartening to know that India has the largest illiterate population in the world with the level being well below the World Average Literacy rate of 84 percent. A survey conducted by the UNICEF showed that approximately 60 percent of the girls in developing countries do not go to schools. Another survey indicated that most girls, who live in the villages of India, are not sent to school. This is because most villagers do not believe in educating girls since they are of the opinion that they are only home makers. The "girl child" typically faces discrimination, including the common preference for male children and early marriage. Poor families are more likely to keep girls at home to care for younger siblings, the sick, the elderly or to work in family enterprises. Most often, if a family has to choose between educating a son, or a daughter, because of financial restrictions, typically the son is chosen. Negative parental attitudes toward educating daughters can also be a barrier to a girl's education. Many parents view educating sons as an investment because they feel that sons are responsible when it comes to caring for aging parents. On the other hand, many parents see the education of daughters as a waste of money because daughters eventually live with their husbands' families, and the parents do not benefit directly from their education. Also, daughters with higher levels of education are likely to have higher dowry expenses, as they will want a comparably educated husband. This kind of discrimination has a negative impact on the society and on the Country, as a whole.
Working towards Improving the Quality of Education
I strongly believe that the education of women should be our foremost priority. Educating a girl is an investment not only to the family, but to the whole community, and consequently the nation, since educated girls correspond to empowered women. Consequently, the result can be seen in the future generations as empowered women are often linked to empowered children. Without education, the cycle of poverty in our society will continue. Education will break this vicious cycle of poverty, illiteracy and therefore, will empower the entire community. Educating women has also resulted in saving millions of lives each year. Studies show that there has been an improvement in health and nutrition among educated women, resulting in reduction in child and maternity mortalities, improvement in health, lower birth rates and reduction in not only HIV infection rates, but also abuse and exploitation. The resultant improvement of 50 percent can be observed among girls who have completed their primary education, which is indeed remarkable. Since education is one of the best investments to end poverty in the country, I recommend that education be made compulsory for all children, regardless of their gender. Focus should be on enhancing the quality of education by selecting teachers on the basis of creativity and teaching performance and encouraging reputed corporate companies to sponsor text books and school supplies to children who cannot afford it. Another aspect which is highly imperative is to introduce internet to the community schools and colleges in rural villages, which would open up their learning one hundred fold. This would give the teachers and students access to virtually anything online, thereby saving time and energy.
We, at Frontier Mediville, are contributing to this cause by promoting education among the rural girl children of single mothers, living in the villages. This is achieved by giving them the irreplaceable gift of education through the Dr. K.M. Cherian Educational Trust. All academic needs like tuition fees, transport, books, uniforms and all other necessities are taken care of by the trust. The most appreciable aspect of this noble program is the smooth transition of the girls with the rest of the students, erasing their tag of being deprived, with little girls empowering their mothers, which gives us a great sense of satisfaction. I truly believe that we all have a historic opportunity to join this multilateral effort and if each one of us can do our modest part to promote education in children, many million children can be put into schools which would give the new generation a fresh start to a better life.
Aside from completing her Bachelors in Electronics Engineering from Anna University and Masters in Bio-Medical Engineering from Texas, USA, she also holds a certification in Business Analysis & Computer Applications from Virginia, USA. With prior experience from working in the IT Industry, she manages the Administration at Frontier Lifeline Hospital and Frontier Mediville.