Gender discrimination is widespread worldwide & India is no better. Girl Education has been a severe issue in India for the past many years. In this case, inequality can be seen in one way or another across all sectors of society. Girl children have to be the worst victims of this injustice.
In Kishanganj, one of the least educated districts of Bihar, the work aims to improve girl education. Education in this field has been a low priority for many years here, a mostly Muslim minority district. In particular, because of many socio-economic obstacles, girls do not finish their studies. That is notwithstanding the fact that data from the Government of Bihar (Education Dept. 2016-17) show that perhaps the district is good at enrolling girls in school. In this article, we have discussed Kishanganj’s low girl education rate and how it is affecting society.
COVID-19 Pandemic Impact on Kishanganj Girl Education Rate
In specific, toilet and running water are essential strategies for the presence and maintenance of young girls in government schools. The Bihar Department of Education data for 2016-17 showed that 92% of Kishanganj government schools had toilets for girls, and 89.5% had drinking water cleaning facilities. However, the decline in rural and excluded girls continues to be strong and indicates that the reasons lie elsewhere.
In the first place, poverty and the inability to educate girls are significant deterrents compared to boys. Then girls have to travel to school along with the insistence of parents on girls to learn household skills on the matrimonial market. This is among the primary reasons for the low rate of girl education in Kishanganj.
And then, early marriage is there. Girls are seen as being ‘transferred to others,’ and when they reach puberty, most parents begin to search for their daughters’ suitable grooms. In reality, according to the UNFPA Report, in Bihar, 2 in 5 girls will marry before the age of 18. That was the case with the 16-year-old Tamanna from the village of Gangi.
Since losing her mother at an early age, she had already pressured her younger siblings to leave school once. However, persevering, she entered a school run by the Azad India Foundation in her village and obtained access to class VIII school. She was not ready to give up easily, but instead, her father wanted her to marry, which created a lot of stress at home. After its repeated conviction, Tamanna’s dad decided that the marriage will be postponed to Class X for a period of at least two years.
However, he can change his mind once again with her lockout. “I must admit that I have faced great problems reaching my village school. Marriage is going to push me to abandon everything I love. I will benefit and contribute if I can finish my studies.” she said.
The lockdown has adversely affected the finances of her family. “I understand that my father has faced hard times,” she always goes through. I want to help him reach ends, but I do not want my studies to be abandoned.” This problem is troubling for Tamanna at night.
Lucy, a 15-year old from nearby Milik Basti, has had the same problem. His father, a landless worker, earns little to feed his family. At a young age, he married his two eldest girls to avoid the pressure of a hefty dowry. His two sons (both younger than Lucy) go to formal colleges, and another son is a religious scholar from Madraze. In between, the education of Lucy hangs in the balance.
After struggling for a place within the village learning center, her parents and the community consistently opposed her attempt to attend school for different reasons, including the distance from the home of the school.
Nevertheless, Lucy continues to pursue her education. “I worked really hard, she said. My parents know, too, that I take my studies seriously. Before I go to school, I try to help my mother finish household jobs.” Lucy’s younger sisters also began to go to the learning center after her continuous continuation.
But the pandemic closed schools and educational centers indefinitely. The girls worked in and out of their fields. They could not study because most of them have no book access. Most have no access to smartphones and internet connectivity that can make online learning a possibility. This situation is unprecedented and also affects the mental health of both children and adults.
Post Pandemic Situation of Girl Education
The benefits of a girl’s education are many and can lead to a stable and inclusive community. The most successful way to learn the skills required for work and life, particularly in formal secondary education, is to develop them.
The social factors that impede women’s labor market participation will counteract quality education. Education raises the salaries of women by 15-25% later in life. 1% higher education for women increases the GDP average by 0.37%.
We also need to make sure that, as a government and a community, we urge girls to go to schools and learning centers after COVID-19. This unprecedented situation was unfair to all, but girls of the lower strata of society were affected most badly. Government and civil society must continue to advocate for digital inclusion before all children are protected.
The first step towards ensuring post-COVID 19 girl education should be to return to school for girls. Increased funding in the educational sector could encourage parents to enable girls to attend education so that they can find opportunities and a sense of empowerment. This will guarantee a revolution, where each woman will empower a whole town, culture, country, and eventually the world as each woman springs up. Let our girls stand up. Let us help girls such as Tamanna, Kushnuma, and Lucy in the struggle for post-COVID Indian Girl education!