Can children change the world? And do they really need to be bothered by the daunting task of changing the world? Join us as we share stories of children leading change in their families and communities!
India is a young country where around 40% of the population is below the age of 18. Children are the biggest stakeholders of our future. But the education system which is supposed to set them up for future, is failing them miserably. As per the ASER report, published by Pratham – one of the most reputed NGOs in India analyzing the education status in rural India- the enrollment rate in schools is at 96.7% but only 10% of these children go on to attend college. This percentage for urban India is around 20%. Just imagine the amount of potential that is being wasted!
Working in the education sector for the past 3 years, I’ve brushed against many issues that need urgent fixing. However, there were many promising stories of change as well. My experiences have taught me that if children deeply understand issues and decide to take charge, they can influence their own lives and also make positive impact in their communities.
One such story is about Ishita, a student from my class. She was a carefree, 8 year old girl from an urban slum in Delhi. When her mother joined a stitching class to be able to contribute to the family income, Ishita wasn’t much bothered. But as her mother started becoming more independent, she started understanding the importance of her mother’s experience. When, due to some miscommunication, her father refused to let her mother work Ishita is the one who took matters into her own hand. She continued with her protests till the father came to the discussion table and her mother was back to her learning and work.
Ishita’s story shows the influence children can have on their families and in-turn the society. If only they understand the social issues in depth, children can be a collective force to lead change. What we need to do as educators, is to create experiences for our students where they are exposed to various problems the society is facing and give them the space and encouragement to explore the issues in depth.
Sustainable change can happen only when children are aware of social issues and want to get involved. When children deeply understand social issues, they carry tremendous influencing power to change the society starting with themselves and their families and eventually their communities at large. Children can be the strongest change-makers.