Education with a difference

PTI | ByBidisha Fouzdar
May 11, 2004 10:13 PM IST

What's Right, What's Wrong is a collection of short stories about children in difficult circumstances, who battle adversity.

Getting to school in a country that has an enrollment rate of 56 per cent only is no mean feat. Changing the very way we approach education, in order to make it more inclusive of issues of marginalisation, is understandably even more difficult.

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The term 'inclusive education', used most often in the context of education for people with disabilities, can actually be interpreted in a wider meaning. Inclusive education, in this sense, talks about education for all people who face any kind of barrier to learning.

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When we are talking of countries like India, the first such 'barrier' that crops up in learning is often poverty. Not being able to afford an education, or not being able to afford the loss of pay as a result of hours spent in school, the end result is the same.

Children in poverty are often working: whether in hazardous jobs or outside, as domestic workers, children are still denied access to an education. Various initiatives, formal and non-formal, have come up to include working children, or child labourers, into education.

Schools and textbooks are not the only answer. What required is information that is easily available, affordable, and talk about issues that are important to the children themselves.

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