Magazine 2015
International Peer-Reviewed Journal  
Shashi Mishra  
Due to rapid population growth, poverty and politico-economic reasons, the number of illiterates is  
increasing continuously in the world. In most society’s women have lower status, no access to education,  
less food and no health care but work longer hours, have lowered incomes and little or no access to  
ownerships of property. Normally in developing countries, the proportion of women literates is less than  
that of literate men.  
Girls receive less health care and food than boys thus girls are malnourished. Due to illiteracy they also  
mostly work in informal sectors’ where pay levels tend to be lower. Gender specific inequalities are  
reinforced by unequal access to education. Girls often are simply not sent to school or drop out later,  
thus increasing the level of illiteracy among women.  
Key Words : Population growth, access to education, gender specific inequalities, drop-outs, cultural  
Education is one of the key factors to solving the problem of gender inequality and for creating better  
employment avenues for women. This paper will look into the gender inequality against women and  
will also explore how the development scenario can improve if education is made available to all.  
Investing in human capital is one of the most effective ways of reducing poverty and achieving  
sustainable development. Yet, women in developing countries still receiving less education than their  
men counterparts.  
Education is the only means by which a person can overcome poverty. Thus a country must improve  
the education scenario if it wants to remove poverty. However for this, education must be provided to  
all and not just a part of the society. Thus women must also be given equal chances to education.  
Hence gender equality plays an important role in the development of the society. In the last few decades,  
the society has taken great strides in the development of basic rights and opportunities which has led  
to increase in life expectancy and enrolment ratios among women. However still, there exist large  
gender disparities in basic human rights, resources, economic opportunities and political rights all  
over the world.  
Objectives of the study:  
) Education has been a central place in human development.  
) It has been recognized as essential agent of social change and development.  
) To find out various reasons for drop-out of girl child from school.  
) The role of government for upliftment of women’s education.  
Methodology of the Study :  
Research objectives stated above for the study are descriptive and exploratory in nature in the present  
study. Looking at the nature of research objectives and research questions , mixed method is used  
present study mixed method is used which is combination of quantitative and qualitative methods in  
International Peer-Reviewed Journal  
the present study. Quality assessment is based upon obversation of the area , interview of the sample,  
research conducted in - BMC School in Rafiq Nagar between the Govandi Dump and the Thane  
Literature Review For the Study  
Ramesh Malhotra, 2011,Right to Education : Free and compulsory Education for All, DPS Publishing  
House New Delhi, . The book has brought to the focus the important and identifying the concept on  
issues and policy of Rights to education , which stresses that education is both a human right in itself  
and an indispensable means of realizing other human rights. Education is means which can help  
adults and children to lift themselves out of poverty and safeguard themselves. It also focuses that the  
main reason for a large proportion of the children remaining out of school and the poor quality of  
education in school is the underfunding of school education  
Deshpande V and Patil W., 2011, Primary education :Current Situation , Problems and Solutions ,  
Nirali Prakashan , Pune. This book has given brief description of the quantitative expansion of primary  
education from decade of 1950-2001. The book highlights the co-relationship between quantitative  
and qualitative development. It has lead emphasis on the facts that the education which develops the  
expected capabilities of children is called quality education. The writer has highlighted that to achieve  
Universalization of primary education , we have to observe the three aspects , registration , present  
number of students in class room and quality. Qualitative development programme can be successful  
when the students happily come to school and should not get the eeling of leaving the school. The  
school atmosphere should attract the students to continue their education.  
Aggarwal J C , 2010, Landmark in the History of Modern Indian Education , Vikas Publication , New  
Delhi , 7th Ed. Is the landmark book in the history of modern Indiaian education , contains those vital  
documents which have shaped the development of the education in India. The author has given deep  
preview about the committee who worked to bring change in education and laid down guidelines for  
the future educational programmes and plan of action . The writr has[portrayed educational policies in  
chronological order which gives a clear scenario of the growth of a public system of education in the  
Gender bias in education :  
Education is widely recognized as the gateway to economic security and opportunity- particularly for  
girls and women. Poverty is one of the most important factors limiting the level of education among  
women. Direct costs such as tuition fees, cost of textbooks, uniforms, transportation and other expenses  
cannot be borne by the family, especially in large families with less income. Thus girls are denied  
education due to economic problems. Poverty will continue to exist until nations address the issue of  
gender inequality and resolve it. This is a vicious cycle as poverty leads to gender discrimination.  
Gender inequality and discriminations are more evident in the poorer sections of the society. In such  
scenarios, women gets get even lesser opportunities for education as well as to improve their economic  
status and have less command over family resources such as land, property etc. They have no decision  
making powers in such cases and hence cannot bring about any development whatsoever in the  
family and society. However, what one does not realize is that educating girls is the best investment  
that a society can make, an educated woman has the skills and self-confidence she needs in order to  
become a better mother, worker and a citizen.  
The Indian experience: Case Study  
Cultural, social and economic factors are still responsible for girls getting less education opportunities  
in not only rural but also urban areas. Thus gender equality is still a mirage in our country .In the rural  
International Peer-Reviewed Journal  
areas the girl child is made to perform household and agricultural chores. This is one of the many  
factors limiting girls’ education. Cleaning the house, preparing the food, looking after their siblings, the  
elderly and the sick, grazing the cattle and collecting firewood are some of the key tasks they have to  
perform. Households are therefore reluctant to spare them for schooling. Physical safety of the girls,  
especially when they have to travel a long distance to school and fear of sexual harassment are other  
reasons that impede girls education. In the urban areas, however, there is a discernible difference in  
the opportunities that girls get for education and employment. Though the figures for girls would still  
be low as compared to boys, what is heartening to see is that whenever given the opportunity, girls  
have excelled more than boys. Among the most crucial lack of opportunity for women is that of literacy.  
Area of study - BMC School in Rafiq Nagar between the Govandi Dump and the Thane Khadi.  
While school records shows that 850 students have enrolled for morning had afternoon sessions, a  
teacher on the conditions of amity said that not more than 350 children attend. According to BMC  
officer, ward 132, infrastructural facilities in the Rafiq Nagar School and the nearby Chikalwadi BMC  
school have been a deplorable conditions for years.  
The differential motivation of parents with respect to education of the girl child has an influence in the  
decision related to admission in schools. While parents may send boys to private schools to ensure  
better education, girls are enrolled in government schools’ this is evidenced by the fact that proportion  
of girls are higher in government schools than private schools. Once, enrolled a number of factors  
affect the successful completion of the primary schooling. Studies have revealed that girls from poor  
household have a high burden of domestic chores on them. Similarly responsibility of sibling care acts  
as major impediments in the continuation of their schooling. Gender bases of parents is meeting with  
the hidden cost of schooling , such as requirements of uniforms , private tuitions – also plays a  
determining factor. Though primary education is free technically, yet books and other materials needed  
to be bought, there may not be any prescribed uniforms but children have to be well dressed.  
The poor infrastructure of schools often limits access of girls to education. Absence of toilet facilities is  
a major concern. With shrinking of open spaces and absence of toilet facilities becomes a major factor  
in the continued schooling of girls as well as functioning of female teachers. Parents are reluctant to  
send their daughters to school when they have to relieve themselves in the open for lack of proper  
toilet facilities., ‘water timing in the slum locality’ In slum area girl dropout of school is also related with  
timing of water supply. Morning schools are for boys while girls study in the evening shift as per school  
regulation. As the water supply timing was changed to early evening, a large proportion of teenage  
girls had to stay at home to collect water- this activity is very often perceived as women’s work. Another  
reason is ‘migration ‘, migration which is primarily of a temporary nature, ranging from one month to  
six months. Study reveals that a large proportion of families are forced to migrate in search of jobs.  
With the boys often being left back in the village either to continue their education or attend to whatever  
little land or the live stock the household may own. The girl children either move with their families or  
join the numerous small scale industries located in the shanty towns, where they are exposed not only  
to inhuman conditions of work but also sexual harassment. For girls in village and in slum schools  
leads to a large number forgoing their opportunity to study. The dropout rate of almost one third is  
generally more applicable to the girl child.  
It is observed that the cultural, religious and traditional barriers still acts as a hurdle especially where  
girl’s education is concerned. It was observed that the Muslim families due to purdah system had a  
preferential choice of enrolling their daughters in school which were separately for girls and not in a  
coeducational school. Parents desiring to enroll their girls in a non co educational school were also  
reflected by the opinions that it leads to eve teasing and other indisiplinary act of behavior. This reflects  
International Peer-Reviewed Journal  
there is a very conservative outlook to co-education system by the parents for urdu medium. The study  
also indicates that as compared to boys girls are more marginalized and vulnerable in almost all  
context and the socio-cultural beliefs and practices have a major role in perpetuating this phenomenon.  
This can be revealed from the enrollment data of BMC school 72.33% girl student’s dropout from  
standard 5th to 8th onwards. The education of girls is an important sector has not been precluded from  
the main stream of thoughts. The general poverty of the family prevents many parents from sending  
the girls to school.  
Education plays a pivotal role in any intervention to increase women’s participation in development. In  
India , National policy of education and its accompanying plan of action devotes particular attention to  
the education of girls and empowerment of the women But hat is required is not only to increase  
female enrollment but to keeps girls in school. Along with the need for more flexible arrangements,  
incentives and more relevant curricula, there is a accompanied need for a profound changes in the  
attitude of society towards gender stereotypes , traditions and customs that have denied women access  
to educate .There is a paramount needs to overcome the age old barriers of silence, isolation and  
discrimination by making serious efforts ,at all levels to create conducive condition for the participation  
of women and girls in the education on an equal footing with men. A more positive political, social and  
cultural environment must be fostered to promote changed attitudes towards women.  
The key factors in spreading and sustaining quality education are the parents and mother in particular.  
Women are the first and most important promoters of children education. Their expectations and attitude  
towards their children‘s schooling are an important factor in learning achievement. The research shows  
that municipal school will attain a high level of quality if there is a strong degree of parental support.  
Parents must feel that there are clear social and economic benefits in schooling of their children,  
especially their girls. “Mother’s rally “should be organized to obtain substantial improvements in school  
enrollments, attendance and retention. Such efforts are indispensible to foster motivation at the  
community level and raise awareness towards the importance of basic education. . High quality and  
relevance cannot be achieved without the linkage between the highest level academy and professional  
knowledge and skill with interest, preoccupation and commitment of the ordinary community. The  
educational programs to be successful should be linked to poverty alleviations schemes, and included  
health services and improved nutrition.  
Gender inequality is still present in the society. Ensuring basic education to every girl child in India is  
one of the most important factor where Government has to have more focus in implementing the  
various scheme and policies . As observed in the case study it is very clear that improving the literacy  
level among girls, will help to improve the economy. Equity and justice towards equality will also be  
adhered through education to girl.  
Bibliography :  
Agarwal C.J. , (2008) Education in the Emerging Indian Society, Shipra Publication.  
Indra R. (2012), Studies in Indian Sociology, 5th Vol Sage Publication.  
Mathur S S ( 2011), Sociological Approach to Indian Education, Agrawal Publication.  
Taj Haseen, (2005), Current Challenges in Education, Neelkamal Publication.  
Dr. Shashi A. Mishra, Associate Professor, Dept. of Sociology, R. J. College, Mumbai.