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Vajresh Balaji

Student ,

TEDCRED 500+

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Will imparting education to children in slums enrich their lives without the basic atmosphere, basic needs ?

People agree on the quote that education changes a man's fate and brings him out of poverty or from rags to riches. So when we decide to bring up the economy and the literacy rate, what we do is educate the uneducated children in the slums. I work with children of an orphanage and what we do is teach English to them every weekend. They don't have basic infrastructure, health care, the atmosphere which instead of motivating them to study, demotivates them.

We all do educate the children in slums but will they study in a condition in which they cannot even find food to eat.
Will they be forced to work as a child laborer* in order to earn money for their daily bread, or will they choose to continue to study ?

* Child labor still exists in some places in India. Although the government is taking steps to resolve this issue, they are unable to curb the menace since there is no clear data. Even if they find out, the employers claim to take care of the children.

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    Apr 26 2013: Child labor doesn't just exist in some places in India. Its is widely prevalent, even in major cities.
    Imparting education to children will not enrich their lives immediately, it simply prepares them for the future.
    But in order to ensure that the education that we provide them reaches them, a good atmosphere is necessary.
    The government has taken measures to address these issues, but like all other government measures, corruption and indifference has made them inefficient.
  • Apr 25 2013: Do the best you can!!!!
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    Apr 24 2013: I think education enriches the present, even if other things are absent. And there is empirical evidence from India that every year of education through twelfth grade has a significant impact on the person's future earnings.

    Further, being in school may offer an opportunity to get the advantage of other sorts of services offered at school. I don't know how this works in India, but in the US students from poor families can get breakfast and lunch at school and often take advantage of health services.

    You may take great interest in the book Poor Economics by Banarjee and Duflo, both professors at MIT. They have looked specifically at questions related to the benefits of education for the poor in India as well as health care and food issues.
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        Apr 25 2013: I am not sure this is true, based on current scholarly research in this area.

        One issue with education for the poor in India is that schools are organized to teach to the top of the class. This means that the majority of the class in schools in poor areas are learning very little, because it is well over their heads. This decreases their interest in going to school and probably their families' commitments to their good attendance.

        Another issue scholars have uncovered is that parents' perception tends to be that education has little benefit for kids unless they will manage to graduate from high school and so focus on getting their most promising child (in their opinion) through high school, while not worrying so much about the children they consider less bright.

        In fact, research shows that among the poor in India each additional year of schooling adds the same value. There is no such big and unusual leap for having finished high school there.
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        Apr 25 2013: The US also focuses on the low end of the distribution, which often has a negative effect on the learning of the students who could learn more and faster. India is, I understand, exactly the opposite.

        The answer is not to target education to one type of student as if they are all the same. The answer, rather, is differentiated instruction, which addresses the different needs of different students, either within the same classroom or more easily by separating students into groups of children with similar levels of attainment and pace of learning.

        Neither extreme makes sense.
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    Apr 27 2013: I suggest, all else being equal, gaining an education is better than no education.
  • Apr 25 2013: It is a good question to discuss about,the question reminds me:what does our education do for?For those children in slums we should offer basic needs at first,then children should have opportunity to learn what they are interested in..as long as there are children in slums been hungry,been deprived opportunity to learn,it is the whole world,as well as everyone's resposibility to concern.