Aug 2012 – Incomplete Education

Women dominate the Indian school education – no one can deny this fact. The ladies in the teaching and school education space easily outnumber their male counterparts. Yet, there seems to be no solution to the epidemic of atrocities against women that plagues our society.

For the past few days, all our mainline news channels and newspapers have been reporting the growing atrocities against women across India. Over 20 young men in Guwahati molested a teenage girl and the entire act was caught on camera. Two young men kicked another young lady off a running train near Bangalore for resisting harassment. The Khap leaders of Haryana passed a resolution suppressing the rights of women like going to markets alone or using a cell phone as a solution to the growing atrocities against them.

Our national capital, Delhi never fails to live up to its reputation of being considered the most unsafe city for women in India. The ever-existing issues of low sex ratio, female infanticide, denial of education to girls, dowry and the likes haunt us every day. Suppression, exploitation, harassment are a few words that continue to be associated very closely with Indian women. The National Crime Records Bureau statistics of reported crimes against women are increasing at an alarming rate.

Does it come as a surprise that ‘educated’ young men commit a lot of these crimes?

I often wonder why on earth did all the lady teachers in our country not make enough effort to instil a sense of self belief in the young girls or a sense of gender parity among the boys?

Who is going to teach the future generation to respect women and the concept of gender equality? Is it because it is not a part of the curriculum? Or is it because we have many more important things to teach our children?

A couple of years ago, an EduMedia research across India for a School Cinema film revealed that around the age of 13, an average girl in our country starts believing that boys are superior to her and boys around the same age start believing that girls are not their equals.

If we look closely, our societal customs, traditions, families, media and other such factors ensure that they sow this thought in the young minds and this bias only grows with age. Before a thought like this gets entrenched into the young minds, we still have an opportunity to impress upon them the value of equality and co-existence.

Education is incomplete if we cannot teach our children to respect one another and more so to respect the women in our society. It is the schools’ duty to educate children on such important life issues. If schools can’t teach, no one will.