Why NGOs working for education and Government Partnership is crucial for Quality Education

Sighstavers India, October 2018
School children sit in a row, smiling.

Every NGO working for education tries its best to ensure that every child around the world has the right to build a better future and a better life.

Many NGOs in Delhi and beyond work at the grass-root level to strengthen the education system and bring awareness about the role and importance of education in a child’s life.

NGOs working for education exist to balance the see-saw in the education system. Non-governmental organisations have been acknowledged to play a vital part in the development of the inclusive education of children with disabilities all across the globe. However, access to basic education is still a major challenge for many around the globe.

Every poor child’s education in India requires access to quality of study material, inclusive format and training techniques which are imperative for the economic and social development of India.  Provision of infrastructure for education alone is not enough unless certain issues are identified and addressed in a systematic way. An NGO bridges the gap between the government and the people. They play a very important role in bringing education to the masses.

The present day scenario favours a more inclusive education format involving participatory and community based approach where Government recognises NGOs as the source of innovators and professional resource centres. This helps build a partnership to acquire a macro outcome.

According to UNESCO, “Education for sustainable development is a broad task that calls for the full involvement of multiple educational organisations and groups in bureaucracies and civil societies.” These also include Non-Governmental Organisations. The goal of such collaborations is to achieve a universal provision. Various surveys show that such collaborations are quite successful where NGOs do not depend on limited sources of funding.

NGOs have played a major role in bringing development of inclusive education in the country. In India, government programmes like Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan led to universalising of education which has brought several non-governmental organisations to work towards the cause by partnering with them. Sightsavers in India has partnered with state governments in Bihar, Jharkhand, Rajasthan and Odisha to work towards quality education for children with visual impairment. Sightsavers provided assistive devices to around 4,000 children with visual impairment in the year, 2017 and gave human resource training to 58,002 teachers.  India has come a long way in enabling opportunities for the visually impaired. Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) is the Central government’s flagship programme on universal elementary education with a special unit focused on Children with Visual Impairment and other disabilities. As a result of their highly creditable efforts along with those of NGOs, disabled and poor children education in India is gaining ground. It is leading to more registerations of the poor and physically disabled children in mainstream schools.

The aim of the Public- Private partnership is to enquire how NGOs working for education could support and enrich education programs of a national dimension and cooperate with the Government in a broader macro setting. The underlying premise is that the goal of universalising elementary education cannot be achieved in the short term by efforts from the Government alone. Sustainable and enduring links with the NGOs working for education must also contribute to achieving these goals.

Over the recent years, the availability of primary education in India has improved considerably. 99% of the rural population now has a primary school within 1 km radius. Enrolment has increased by 18 percentage points since 2001 and 96.5% of all rural children between the ages of 6-14 were enrolled in school. There has been improvement in school infrastructure and number of schools since 2001.

Hence, we can say that a well-structured Public Private Partnership can be a way to achieve sustainable development in the long run.

99 per cent
of rural population has a primary school within 1km radius

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