• Project Saathi

Education versus poverty

-Adisiri Jalan

why people are not getting the education they deserve

“The whole purpose of education is to turn mirrors into windows”

No other piece of proverb better explains as to why education is of great significance in this ruthless world. Over the past decades, the calamitous reality is that the income gap has stretched drastically. Education is one of the key spheres predominated by family incomes.

One of the prime reasons for being uneducated is the disadvantages due to parental lifestyles. The unprosperous families are less in the habit of affording proper nutrition and other basic essentials. Not having a proper diet can reduce the brain’s capacity to learn things, which causes the children to stay behind their compeers. The children who are exposed to violence, drinking culture and depression at home are competent enough to catch up with their studies. The can of worms they face on a personal level can lead to cognitive deficiencies.

On further grounds, many penurious children have matured with the idea of ‘ learned helplessness’. They have presumed true that all the disparities are put up against them and they cannot do anything about it. This hampers their mental capabilities to imbibe values in themselves. They are of the idea that they cannot upgrade their living conditions under any circumstances. They are destined to be impoverished for the generations to come. In the same sense, substandard school conditions also dominate good education. Unfortunately, the government is not able to fix crumbling educational institutions. When schools are in need of repairs or lack funds, they are engrossed in retaining teachers and as a repercussion, the students are neglected.

Reduced verbal and reasoning skills can also dampen a student’s motivation. Due to prolonged work hours, the folk are not able to communicate well with their wards and as a consequence, they are versed with a very curbed terminology. This ultimately results in those students not being able to get into a colloquy with their peers. This makes them surface that they are not well equipped and will never be. By the same token, the students are not illustrated how to tackle situations and are not instilled with the knowledge they should get from home.

One of the said sources of illiteracy is lack of poverty specific learning programs. The schemes and policies set up by the political practices are within a confined purview. They are out of the reach of grassroot level. The people who are on the other side of the digital divide are not cognizant with modern technology. Likewise, the counselling programs are conducted mostly for privileged children. The less fortunate children have to deal with stress themselves which can lead to lower capabilities as well as mental retardedness.  Poor financial conditions can lead to continuity of tension which can trigger stress hormones. These kinds of complications are taken care of at the eleventh hour.

The impoverished people are of the opinion that more people can lead their way out of the cycle of poverty. What they do not grasp is that more people does not mean more hands for work, but merely more mouths to feed. They beget children and give them off to factory owners and contractors or even as househelp in return of resources. These star-crossed children are worthy of education and as a whole a blooming lifestyle.

To put the lid on, poverty remains a bulkheaded fact of life irrespective of how uptown the region is. It handicaps the people from moving ahead in life. Mahatma Gandhi said, “ Poverty is the worst form of violence”.

How do you think we can eradicate this form of violence for the next in line?

*Adisiri is a 12th standard student from Don Bosco School, Guwahati. She is a member of the Mid-Day Meal Research Project of the organisation.

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