Enabling Equity in Classrooms in India
– By Farhan Shaikh
Equity as a construct propagates the core value of fairness and inclusion with a strong belief that all individuals deserve the available opportunities for development despite differences in background and personal abilities. Unlike the notion of ‘equality’ in education, where treatment of every child is expected to be the same before the learning process, ‘equity’ promotes redistribution of resources and teaching support for collective development within the classroom. Given the enormous diversity within a country like India, there have been remarkable initiatives like the Right to Education Act of 2009 and flagship schemes like Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan and mid-day meal which emphasises on education for all but does not necessarily solve for equity.
The latest Children in India Report by the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation, Government of India, reveals alarming statistics on the dropout rates of girls and students belonging to other socially disadvantaged groups. There is a 30% reduction in enrolment of girls from grade 5 to grade 9.For public schools in rural and semi-urban areas, enrolment up to grade 8 remains high mainly due to the mid-day meal scheme and other government incentives for parents to send their children to school. With its high tribal population, Jharkhand has the highest dropout rate of close to 70% for school children.
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Farhan Shaikh works with the Program Advisory and Management team at Sattva that largely engages with large scale non-profit Foundations. His work so far has primarily focused on organisational development of non-profits, data driven research studies and strategic philanthropy. Farhan has been associated with the Education circle of Sattva to develop content that can provide key actionable insights on specific problem areas. He completed his Bachelors in Statistics and followed it up with a Young India Fellowship at Ashoka University (Post graduate diploma in Liberal Arts).
Sattva has been working with various non-profits and social organisations as well as corporate clients to help them define their social impact goals. Our focus is to solve critical problems and find scalable solutions. We assist organisations in formulating their long-term social impact strategy by strategically aligning with business to provide meaningful solutions to social issues.
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