DR. JOSHI PRAISES CIVIL SOCIETY
EFFORTS FOR EDUCATION FOR ALL IN INDIA
In his intervention
in the first business session of the High Level Group Meeting
on education for all being held here the Minister for HRD, Dr.
Murli Manohar Joshi, today praised the efforts of civil society
organisations and NGOs working in India in the area of education
The Minister’s intervention
came soon after the presentation to the Group, of a declaration
formulated at a ‘Children Parliament’ at Delhi under the aegis
of the Global Campaign for Education. Two children from the Parliament
had read out the declaration at the meeting of the High level
the points contained in the declaration, the Minister said that
its biggest omission was the right of every child to have a family
– more particularly, a loving and caring family. He said that
once this is ensured, most of the needs of every child would be
automatically fulfilled. He stressed the need for children being
able to enjoy their childhood rather than having to organize marches
and parliaments in their early years. He said that they would
have all the time in the world for such activities on attaining
As regards notable
work done by NGOs in India for education for all, the Minister
specially mentioned three viz the Amar Jyoti Charitable Trust,
PRATHAM and friends of Tribal Society.
Amar Jyoti Charitable
Trust has a holistic approach of integrating disabled children
in the educational mainstream by organising vocational training,
sports and acultural activities, along with education, from nursery
to class VIII. They have trained and integrated more than 15,000
children and have trained nearly 1250 teachers from regular schools.
PRATHAM has provided
direct education services to over one million children over the
last ten year. In the four year period from 1999 to 2003, it has
brought 55,000 dropout children back to school in partnership
with various governments. It is also working in 26 districts to
improve reading and writing skills of over three million children,
most of whom are first generation learners.
The Minister said
that the Friend of Tribal Society has done remarkable work in
tribal pockets of the country-especially in Orissa, MP, Chattisgarh,
Jharkhand, Maharashtra and Gujarat. The Society identifies a local
youth and trains him in pedagogy. The schools have a need based
learning approach linked to the local environment. Dr. Joshi stressed
the need for more and more NGOs like the above three to become
partners in the education for all endeavour.
The Minister, in his intervention
also reiterated his disagreement with UNESCO’s Global Monitoring
Report, which admittedly took account of statistic only till 2000.
As he had mentioned in his opening remarks at the inaugural session
the previous day, he expressed disappointment at the Report failing
to take cognizance of India’s recent significant advances in education
for all, and containing inaccuracies like increase in absolute
number of illiterates in the country in the previous decade.