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Non Formal Education
Education is one of the most important aspect of India's social and economic development. Higher levels of literacy lead to greater economic output, employment and better health. More specifically, the impact of educating girls and women has shown rapid improvements in family planning, nutrition, health, and income and is seen as one of the best tools for promoting social and economic development. The 1986 National Policy on Education (NPE) first emphasized
universalization of elementary education (UEE) as a national priority. Yet, despite a huge expansion in India’s formal education system in the last few decades, there are still roughly 50-60 million children out of school in the age group 6-14 years, or nearly 25 percent of total child population in the elementary age group in rural areas of Indian States.
The key challenges are:
Access: The reasons for children being out-of-school are to do with lack of physical access as well as social access. In several parts of the country, specially in small, remote habitations, children still do not have access to schooling facilities and thus remain out of school. Seasonal migration of families in search of work for several months every year is another reason which deprives children the chance to go to school. In addition, a sizeable proportion of children live in villages and habitations where formal schools exist, but due to social reasons such as caste and gender they are either not allowed to go to school, or not given the proper treatment in school. Retention: This is an issue of serious concern. According to statistics 53% of children drop out of school before completing the elementary level, or grade VIII. This high drop out is due to poor functioning of schools, for example, dilapidated school buildings, overcrowded classrooms, irregular attendance of teachers and children, lack of teaching learning materials, ineffective teaching, unintelligible language used by the teachers and the discriminatory attitude of teachers towards children of the marginalized sections of society.

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