Education as a challenge for the whole of India
The Right to Education Act (2009) makes school attendance for all children in India aged between six and 14 years compulsory. Nevertheless, 50 to 70 million Indian children do not go to school. Instead, most of them work.
Particularly precarious is the situation for children in Rajasthan, as most of the population is dependent on agriculture and farming, the state is one of the poorest in India.
In the remote villages of Rajasthan very few children attend school regularly Many – especially the girls – herd goats, take care of their younger siblings or help their parents.
Poverty is a cause, but also cultural and social barriers as well as the poor quality of public education keep many parents from getting their girls to go to school.
This has serious consequences:
- 40% of girls leave school before they reach grade 5
- For every 100 girls, only 1 reaches class 12
- 68 % of girls are married under legal age
For most of them it is impossible to lead an independent life. They rely wholly on their husband’s family or on their siblings. This is where Barefoot College comes in: the College offers education for girls so that they can grow up to become independent and manage their own lives.