The incomplete education in India

18 Nov
The recent research development in neuroscience has provided convincing evidence and proof that experience based brain development happens in the early ages of a child’s upbringing. In India this truly seems to have been forgotten, as the recently envisaged right to education under Article 21A of the constitution of India does not take that into account. This strikingly positive step would be as good as walking on the bog as there remains no solid base and substance that can hold it upright and straight. The Right to Free and Compulsory Education Act 2009 and also the amended article of the constitution talks about children between the ages of six and fourteen years, ignoring the fact that crucial learning takes place in the child’s first six years. These early years also ask for identifying critical periods towards the development of cognitive, social and psychomotor competencies which contribute to the success during the later part of life.
Without ensuring early childhood care and education in the initial years of a child’s development, the government assumes that every child will jump into an age appropriate class at the age of six and will benefit the maximum till he/she attains the age of fourteen. Probably these eight years of education is the best that can happen to a child from the government’s point of view. If these critical early years are not supported by, or embedded in a stimulating and enriching physical and psycho-social environment, the chances of the child’s brain developing to its full potential are considerably and irreversibly bleak.
Childhood development needs attention on a social, physical, intellectual, creative and emotional front. Every aspect plays a pre-determined role in the formative years. A handy tool that came our way in 2008 was the “Child Development Index” (CDI) by Save the Children UK through the contributions of Terry McKinley, Director of the Centre for Development Policy and Research at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London. This indexing style also took note of the education as a basic parameter for analyzing results.
The law and the statutes also have a similar story to say, as Article 26 of the Universal Declaration of the Human Rights treats education of a child as a basic right. The constitution of India treats it as good as the right to life under article 21A. Analogy comprehends to the extent that if all of these are brought back in the structured sphere, every child will have the freedom and a decent life, which is a must, both for today and tomorrow. But what makes the government, law and statues shy away from early childhood education, is the sixty-four dollar question.

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