Monday, September 28, 2015

INDIA - Girls in Schools

"Why it’s hard for girls in rural India to stay in school" PBS NewsHour 9/22/2015


SUMMARY:  Fifteen years ago, the UN set a goal that by 2015 there would be universal free primary education.  Although the number of children out of school has been cut almost in half, getting them to stay in school has proved more challenging.  The WNET series “Time for School” travels to India to see whether education has improved for young girls in the country.

JUDY WOODRUFF (NewsHour):  Fifteen years ago, the United Nations set a goal:  By this year, every child in every nation should be able to obtain free basic education.

While the number of children out of school has been cut almost in half, there are still 57 million worldwide who have never set foot in a classroom.  Hundreds of millions more have dropped out.

PBS has been reporting on the global education crisis by following six children from different countries over 12 years, part of WNET’s documentary series “Time for School.”

Tonight, we travel to India, where nearly 100 percent of children start primary school.  But especially for girls in rural areas, staying in school remains a challenge, and literacy rates have not improved.

NARRATOR:  Neeraj Gujar is 9 years old and lives with her tightly knit family of herders in a small village in Rajasthan, a desert region in the northwest of India.  It’s a deeply traditional community, where women rarely have the chance to go to school.

NEERAJ GUJAR, India (through interpreter):  My name is Neeraj. I’m about 9 or 10, and I have been studying for the past year, math, multiplication, addition. So I’m learning.

QUESTION (through interpreter):  Did you ever go to school?

WOMAN (through interpreter):  What would I go to school for?  What’s so great about being educated?  Even if you study, these educated people have nothing to do.  Anyway, the everyday chores will take over.

NEERAJ GUJAR (through interpreter):  I work during the day.  I do so much.  I have to sweep.  I have to bring water.  I have to make dung cakes.  I have to graze the cows.

NARRATOR:  Like many girls here, Neeraj can only go to school if she does so at night.  In Rajasthan, 56 percent of the female population is illiterate.  Schools like hers started in India to educate the country’s legions of girls, who must work all day.

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