In a remote village in Rajasthan, the sun shines down on children who spend their days as goat herders and farmers. Their work is necessary for the well-being of their families, yet, by the time it is done, the local school has dismissed and the sun has gone down. Resignation to an illiterate, agrarian life is normative for these children. Often, their lives mirror that of their parents, traveling to and from the city as migrant workers struggling to earn a meager wage.
Instead, a solar powered lamp contrasts the darkened skyline, illuminating an unconventional gathering in a local school courtyard. The children have gathered for night school. Three hours a day, six days a week, frequently with younger siblings in tow, they learn how to read and write words like “goat” in both English and Hindi. Their curriculum addresses needs pertinent to rural life, unlike the national workbooks that are more relevant to a young boy from London in the 1950s than these children. They are well-behaved, listening attentively to their young, friendly teacher.
The nation of India ranked fourth in the world with the number of children ages 6-11 out of school, 1.4 million in 2014. Here, however, villagers are excited about the measures taken to get their kids back in school. Education for these children allows them to improve their environment and techniques, protecting them from the dangers of migrating to the city. As our team prepares to operate an effective primary school in India, we value exposure to ideas and practices that help children go to school, motivate them to learn, and mature them into competent adults able to improve their community.
Teacher at The Academy for G.O.D.
On the Field Correspondent in India