Grade 5 Students Answer Questions About Girl Child Education

Canadian High CommissionEditor’s Note: This post is a part of #EveryGirlInSchool, a campaign by the High Commission of Canada, Nutrition International and Youth Ki Awaaz to advocate for equal opportunities for girls in India. Join the conversation by publishing a story here.

Several Grade 5 students of the TFI classroom in Shri Ram Vidya Mandir, Mumbai, answer different questions on girl child education for #EveryGirlInSchool. 

1. What is your understanding of equal opportunities for girls and how do you think we all are working towards achieving it?

In my opinion, girls and boys should get equal opportunities. Teach For India is a good example of gender equality since, in Teach For India, all girls and boys are given equal opportunities, always. Other examples are Just For Kicks and The Right Pitch where both boys and girls are given the right to play sports such as Football and Cricket which are otherwise rare for girls. What the government does right now is still not enough. The government should focus on sending girls to bigger and better schools. If girls get this opportunity, they can do amazing things in their life. They will be successful and will be able to do what they really have interest in. In my class, the girls played cricket very well and became champions. Even in football they played and reached the finals. If girls get opportunities like this they will surely become successful and do good to society.
-Mitesh Ramachal Prajapati, Grade 5, Shri Ram Vidya Mandir

2. What do you think are the barriers to access education for girls in India and how can we overcome these challenges?

There are a lot of problems for girls in India. The began in olden days when things like Sati, Dowry death, selling girls for money, kidnapping for marriage, and rapes were so common. India has 49% female population but only 65% are educated. In my opinion, girls and boys are equal and must get equal right to good education. With every opportunity, it is important to involve both boys and girls because only then will the opportunity be complete. We have good examples of girls who have achieved many things like Poorna Malavath, Gita, Babita, Malala Yousufzai, Shakuntala Devi, etc. But why do we still see husband beating up wives especially when they give birth to a girl child? They torture them and call them a burden to the family. The government has started many programmes to solve this problem but it is not enough. People don’t have money to afford education for all members in the family and so they choose to only send their boys to school. Government must make education compulsory for all girls and should help them with the money problems. We need more schools for this big population of India. If we compare China and India, 82% females get educated which is a big number. We deserve this right for equal opportunities for all girls and boys in this country. We should all stand up for this together as good citizens of this country.
-Navin Baudh, Grade 5, Shri Ram Vidya Mandir

3. What according to you is the best solution to ensure that every girl goes to school?

Every girl must get equal opportunity for education. If we see parents or other members of our community trying to stop girls from going to school, we should first try to talk to them and make them understand about the importance of educating girls. We need to explain to them how even the government is working hard to make sure that girls get educated. Government has many good programmes for parents who have money problems in sending girls to school by giving free education and good facilities like free meals, books, etc. We have all heard of ‘Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao’ programme launched by the government. We need to make sure that in every community all parents are made aware of importance of girl child, education, health and hygiene and not to believe things like girls are a burden to the family. We need to support and motivate girls to join sports, defense, business and all other jobs. We should stop making fun of girls by saying mean words like ‘item’ that can hurt their feelings. We must understand that our mother is also a woman and she has taken great pain to give birth to us and take care of us. So we must make sure to give equal opportunities for girls and boys and give them good quality education.
-Anmol Tiwari, Grade 5, Shri Ram Vidya Mandir, Kandivali East

4. If you have a personal story of lack of opportunities for girls, please share it.

In my community, many girls don’t go to school. Even in my class, there are very few girls compared to boys. I have a story to share about the lack of opportunities for girls in my community. This story is about a girl called ‘Bomthi’. She lives in my neighborhood with two brothers and parents. Till 4th standard, all three kids went to a nearby government school. Her parents always scream at her and tell her to only do housework and not to go to school. She always had to work extra but her brothers never had to do the same. One day, her parents removed her from school. At that time she did not understand why they did that. So she only sat at home and did housework. Then she realized that her parents didn’t have money to send all the children to school. So her parents decided to only send her brothers to school. There are so many girls like Bomthi who don’t go to school in my chawl. I felt really awful about this situation. So I talked to my parents about it and asked them to talk to Bomthi’s parents. My parents were finally successful in telling Bomthi’s parents to send her to a government school where they wouldn’t have to spend so much money but still give some education to Bomthi. There are so many stories like this in India. So many girls don’t have the basic right to basic education and health facilities. Even though the government is doing many programmes like Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao it is still difficult for poor people especially to give opportunities like quality education and sports to their girls’ children. It is my dream to one day stop all this and make sure that every girl in India will be able to have good education and a bright future.
-Nandini Santosh Sonkamble, Grade 5, Shri Ram Vidya Mandir, Kandivali East

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