January 23, 2013
On the dusty roads of rural northern India, as camels pass carrying loads of bricks and the paved roads give way to dirt paths, many of the same issues that teachers of primary schools in Uganda face are concerns that Indian teachers have, too.
“When we get support, we move forward. When we don’t, we go backwards.”
During a whirlwind visit earlier this month with the Kaivalya Education Foundation – led by fellow Echoing Green fellow Aditya Natraj – I had the chance to visit with headmasters, parents and teachers at several government schools outside of the small towns of Jhunjunu and Churu. To some extent, India has been held up as a model country for the large strides made in providing its youth with access to education. Today, more than 85% of the population attend primary school. Yet another threatâ€”the poor quality of education offeredâ€”has warranted a growing amount of attention being paid to equipping headmasters and teachers with sufficient leadership training.
India is not alone.
In a recent article published by Kevin Watkins of the Brookings Institute, it is estimated that 61 million children in Africa “will reach their adolescence lacking even the most basic literacy and numeracy skills.” And while more than 30 million children on the continent remain out of school, “the gulf in education opportunity separating Africa from the rest of the world is widening,” Watkins says. In other words, access and quality go hand-in-hand. The challenge is addressing both simultaneously.
In 2013, Building Tomorrow is rising to that challenge. We hope you’ll join us.