Gender segregation in the education system

Gender segregation in the education system
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Gender segregation in the education system

There is still a significant gender gap in school enrollment in our country and it persists at the primary, middle, secondary and higher secondary levels.

Despite the promise of Article 25A (Right to Education) added to the Constitution by the 18th Amendment in April 2010, we are yet to achieve universal enrolment. More than 26 million children of school-age and school-going age are out of school.

More tragically, we have not even reached universal enrollment or completion at the primary level, more than five centuries after being an independent country. Being in school is a significant opportunity cost, but the numbers tell other stories.

Our dropout rate is very high as children go through the stages of schooling, if we want to ensure that all children have 10 to 12 years of education, we have to reduce the dropout rate.

Another fact is that although more boys than girls enroll in primary schools (82 percent and 71 percent, respectively), by the time they reach the higher secondary level (22 percent of boys and 21 percent of girls), schools are nearly equal. The percentage remains. Which means that, over the years, a higher percentage of boys (60 percent) drop out than girls (50 percent). This is an important policy issue for debate. Why do so many children drop out and why is the dropout percentage of boys higher than that of girls?

A friend, who has worked for the past two decades at a large non-profit for educational services, told me that his organization is very concerned about this issue. Their information from teachers, principals, and coordinators who work with children in schools, was that as boys grow, and this is especially true for low-income families, expectations change rapidly. are and peer and social pressure increases.

The pressure from low-income families is to withdraw them from education either into vocational training programs that move children into fast-paced income-generating activities or sometimes only at the primary level. Enter the job market with education.

Of course, there is pressure on girls too. Puberty, early marriage, safety and distance from school are all reasons for dropping out of school. The pressure for boys is different, and mostly comes from work opportunities and the need to earn.

As we have educated more children, the returns on education have also increased and are now only available after grade 12 or graduation. A few decades ago, when we had less educated people, sometimes even after matriculation a person would get a decent salary job.

Now this is what usually happens post graduation. But for many low-income households, keeping a male child in school or college for that long is a significant opportunity cost, and some households cannot afford to lose household income long after the child reaches adolescence. Don’t contribute, if parents feel that it is difficult to get good paying jobs even after 12 or 14 years of education, they will drop the children from schools much earlier. For boys, such pressures are very real.

We also do a poor job of supporting our children as they go through adolescence. Boys go through many changes during adolescence but we don’t have any educational or counseling programs to help them. Nor do many schools have academic counseling programs, so kids really have to fend for themselves. Children from low-income families are also at a disadvantage here, they don’t get much support from their families and if they don’t even get support from schools, they find themselves at the mercy of misinformation and misinformation. .

The teaching profession is also increasingly involving women. Some provincial governments also have policies to hire only female teachers at the primary level. Most women are teachers in the private sector. For example, TCF and SEF hire only female teachers. Teachers may need specific training and gender sensitivity to understand boys and address their concerns. Thus, keeping boys out of employment would be unfair to their families.

In our society, boys interact more with society than girls. For many girls, the daily routine revolves around school and home. For boys, peer groups are more important because after school hours they usually have more freedom to go out and interact with friends. This interaction can be positive but can also set up peer pressure dynamics. In many societies, these are linked to crime, drug abuse and even violence. It emphasizes the need for counseling programs for boys.

The gender gap, although narrowing, still exists and needs attention. Given the social returns of educating girls, their education should be a central focus, but we are also seeing trends where too many boys are leaving school, and too early. In our society, boys face different dynamics and pressures than girls.

We need to consider some policy and programming to support boys through our education system, because it is the son who bears the responsibility of the household and supports the old age of the parents.

Gender segregation in the education system