World’s Future: Children

As the world is getting technologically advanced, more Robo babies are getting created. But one should not forget the fact that our future is still with our children and we cannot give it in the hands of digitally controlled mind. Children, who are born every second even when there aren’t enough resources to provide them their basic rights – education; forget about the good toys which is very important for the upcoming creative minds.
Education Graph
If you are aware, UNESCO’s report (2007) on Global monitoring says:

India ranks a lowly 99 on a scale of 125 on the education development index.
Worldwide 77 million children are out of school in which the ratio of girl child is 53%. In India itself 4.5 million children are deprived of basic education. Though the literacy rate has improved by 70%; there were 25 million children out of school in 2002.

Sarva Sikhsha Abhiyan scheme by Indian government tried to help children but there are many other factors associated with it like the health that needs to be addressed. It is pretty understandable that when parents can’t afford a one day meal for child, how can they send them to school. Even the schools hardly have teachers and infrastructure to retain the student for long. Situation is still better in urban areas but a big population lives in rural and backward areas of India – and that is where the problem is amplified.

Then there comes UNDP’s Human development report for 2006, which cleary says how important sanitation is. Good sanitation can decrease the death ratio of kids and help the government to work more on education. An interesting fact is that Dharavi, Mumbai – biggest slum in Asia – has one toilet for 1,440 people.
Diseaases like Dengue and Chickungunia has made Indians a little more aware about the importance of clean water and sanitation. On the other end, Diarrhoea is the second biggest killer among children – and the rate beats all other countries.

Is there no solution to prevent a child who, when born, opened his eyes and thought that he will see a clean & green world? It’s our duty to think about such innocent’s future which is, in a way, connected to our prosperous growth. Would you not like to be in a place where there is no mess in the surrounding environment? Would you not like to no longer see children lying in dust as you walk down?

Today I read a very interesting article on Business week on Acumen’s New model which says – By joining designers’ innovative solutions with finance from capital markets, the Acumen Fund aims to effect permanent change.
“Lack of money is no longer the major hindrance to solving many of the world’s most intractable social problems.… Charitable giving overall has jumped 23% in the past four years. And there’s growing interest among investors eager to fund for-profit businesses that have both social and economic impact…
Acumen uses classic consumer-focused design methods to solve the problems of poverty.
Rather than beginning with the structures at hand and making assumptions about what is possible, Acumen begins with the needs of the truly poor.”

The facts for this article are taken from Times of India (10th Nov, 2006) And Hindustan Times (9th Nov, 2006) Newspaper.

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Children’s major fear.

Exam, exam time & exam pressure. Remember the time when you were appearing for board exam. Let me start with ‘Board exam’ word. Its might sound boring but actually its very important to know if you don’t know about Indian educational system. There are basically 2 types of exams at end of standard 10th & 12th, which is also called high school & higher secondary respectively. There are many education boards here that administer them. Different schools are affiliated to different boards. But main are two national boards: C.B.S.E. and I.C.S.E., in addition to those, there are different state boards too like UP board. These board exams are basically public examinations where the question papers are same throughout the state (or country, depending on the board). So, students compete at a state or national level when they take them. Off course grades acquired in these exams do matter.
Anyway, I am little anxious in knowing about the educational systems in other countries.

In USA, there is High school exit exam and its very important for students in order to apply for many jobs, entrance into the military, and it is a key part of the qualifications for acceptance at most four-year colleges and universities. One option for some students is to pass the General Educational Development (GED) test. The requirements to pass that exam are less stringent than what is required for a high school diploma
Even in Germany at the end of the 10th year, an exit examination happens, and depending upon the results, a student could choose to end their education or choose to undertake an apprenticeship for an additional two years. There is 6 –point grading scale is used. BTW to check the grading system in most countries visit Wikipedia link.
Well, I was talking about exam & students and it’s not difficult to identify any suffering 10th or 12th standard student. The student who constantly grumbles against the study pressure and talks about dreadful upcoming exams, while estimating his/her syllabi still left to be revised is the one. Like I read in a student’s blog – ‘Time is running out! The boards start in exactly 16 days, 11 hours, 48 minutes, 33 seconds. I can’t help but feel nervous; the most important exams that I will ever have to write begin in 16 days. Its so not going to be easy this year; the syllabus has been changed, the board is going to set difficult question papers…’
But what surprises me when I find similar situation with other standards kids too. Especially the primary classes children. Third class kid crying over the math’s homework or a 4th class girl tense about the Monday’s science test. Take the case of 8th class girl or a 11th class boy; every child is tense about studies including their parents who think in broader way, that’s why they force their child like anything. It’s exam time and students and their parents can think of nothing but marks. But apart from getting their child into the best colleges, do marks have a significant influence on life? Do school marks really determine a person’s career?
Think from the point of Student’ stress (That’s in most cases in unexplained by children), it is pressure to perform well in exams, an anxiety whether one will be accepted by peers. All these lead to stress in susceptible youngsters. The most common form of student stress is exam anxiety. Started by a feeling of panic, the general symptoms of exam anxiety are- increased perspiration, upset stomach, headache etc that lead to inability to focus and understand the questions and that’s how they face difficulty in organizing the thoughts and in retrieving key words. Just a blank feeling when child tries to remember the answers. And in the long run all this affects the child.
What could be done by educational system or anything else is a different issue first parents have to change their thinking to help their child to not to suffer from education stress.