Every year, 11th November is observed as the National Education Day in India. It is celebrated to commemorate the birth anniversary of India’s first Education Minister Maulana Abul Kalam Azad. The Ministry of Human Resource Development announced on 11 September 2008, "The Ministry has decided to commemorate the birthday of this great son of India by recalling his contribution to the cause of education in India. November 11 every year, from 2008 onwards, will be celebrated as the National Education Day, with declaring it as a holiday."
All educational institutions in the country mark the day with seminars, symposia, essay-writing, elocution competitions, workshops, and rallies with banner cards and slogans on the significance of literacy and the nation's pledge to all characters of education.
Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, a freedom fighter, served India in the capacity of minister of education from 1947 to 1958. He is known for making several meaningful contributions in the sphere of education.
After its independence in 1947, India struggled to completely revamp and stabilize its institutions and sectors. Recognizing that education would be crucial for nation-building, the leaders of the country shifted their focus towards education. Abul Kalam, in particular, served as the flag bearer for this cause. Speaking in 1948 at the All India Education Commission, he highlighted the importance of this birthright of every person to receive basic education necessary for their well-being, without foregoing their duties as a citizen.
Azad also contributed to the establishment of educational institutes like Jamia Millia Islamia and IIT Kharagpur. He strongly advocated education for women and free and compulsory primary education for children up to the age of 14.
He strongly advocated for the education of women. In 1949, in the Central Assembly, he emphasized the importance of imparting instruction in modern sciences and knowledge. He also said that no program of national education can be appropriate if it does not give full consideration to the education and advancement of one-half of the society – that is the women.
Literacy is a vital skill that enhances dignity, improves health outcomes, empowers people to access their rights, and bolsters educational and employment opportunities (UNESCO 2015). India is still fighting against illiteracy, one of the greater social injustices, that needs to be tackled efficiently to bring about development. The literacy rate is a vital socio-economic factor, especially for a developing nation like India. In the 75th round, the National Survey of India published a report on ‘Household Social Consumption: Education in India.’ The report ranks various states on the basis of their literate population. Even though India fell short of achieving 100 percent, it still stood at an aggregate of 77.7 percent. The highest literacy rate was achieved by Kerala, while the lowest rate went to Andhra Pradesh.
The United Nations (UNs) Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) include ensuring that all girls and boys complete free, equitable, and quality primary and secondary education leading to relevant and effective learning outcomes, by 2030.
Child Help Foundation(CHF) aligns its various programs with the UN's SDGs. Our Education Program follows UN's SDG-4 and we aim to provide inclusive and quality primary education to children. We believe that children are the country's future, and with our efforts, we guide them to become informed, compassionate and good citizens.
CHF has actively taken efforts in promoting inclusive quality education for children from rural and tribal communities through the Scholarship and Advocacy Program, which has benefitted 4,64,216 children across the country.
Some of our other programs include The Back to School initiative, which was a great success and CHF was able to reach 1225 students in 2020-21. CHF has been supporting ashram shalas in the tribal belt under our Centre for Excellence program. We have distributed 10 Tablet PCs to facilitate digital learning and technological understanding among the students of Sakhare Ashram Shala.
Under the Inclusive Education program, CHF has been promoting primary education among disadvantaged children. Over the years, we have supported students from economically weaker families with scholarships to complete their education. The parents of these kids usually work as daily wage laborers or are domestic workers. Many of them approach CHF seeking help for their child's educational future. The CHF team ensures a proper background check, by visiting their houses, before granting aid, so that our initiative reaches the grassroots level. In the year 2020-21, CHF has provided support to 17 children from various schools in the country. We aim to make better citizens out of children, by providing them with proper educational facilities.
Child Help Foundation, in partnership with Self Reliant India (SRI), has been involved since 2018, in the Nanhe Kalam Program to prepare the underprivileged students of the Nuh district of Haryana. The pandemic has left these children with minimum or no opportunities to prepare for the entrance tests of Jawahar Navodyay Vidyalayas (JNVs). This year with the online schooling model, we used the mixed approach of Micro-Learning Centers and Online Video-Based Learning to effectively impart quality education. The main objective of this year's intervention was not only to reach students but also to increase the conversion ratio and get access to quality education. In FY 2020-21, we established 7 learning centers, across Haryana, wherein a total of 80 students were trained. Out of the 7 centers, 2 centers were supported through educational materials and curriculum. Apart from this, 5 Capacity Building Workshops for training teachers were initiated. Through these, 6 youngsters were fully trained to teach these students further.
To carve good, responsible citizens out of our country's children and youth, Child Help Foundation is reaching out to multiple underprivileged sections of society to expand its reach. As an individual, one can help us achieve our goals by volunteering and donating. Be a part of this significant cause today!