Book the Gap

Book the Gap

January 23, 2020 9 By Kailee Schamberger


India is home to one of the world’s
largest populations of 1.2 billion people, nearly 500 million are children.
Barely half of these children making school literacy rates are abysmal in
India at nearly- just 75% meanwhile in countries like China, one of the most
populous countries in the world, the literacy rates are up to 95 percent. Only
10 percent of our population has access to higher education. The value of education
itself has not been understood. In rural India, parents prefer to make their
children work rather than study. The public schooling situation in India has
always been suffering from a variety of problems; Corruption, limited funding, a
poorly designed education system. Schools are understaffed and the government
can’t keep up with India’s rising population. Even where there are schools,
they don’t have students. Children need the right environment to learn. They need
the right facilities, and the right teachers. The sobering truth about our country is that
most children from underprivileged backgrounds do not have access to a
proper learning environment. Even with recent government efforts to change
this, things are progressing slowly. We’ve had a first-hand experience of exactly
what these schools have to go through. We never knew how serious the situation at
a government school was, until we visited one ourselves. There’s a
government school a mere half kilometer away from my very own school. Every day
we passed it by and eventually our curiosity got the better of us. We
visited the school and we saw how serious the situation was, and we knew we
had to do something. While the schools we visited were better off than others, they
still had countless problems. Instead of textbooks, the school was forced to
make do with an assortment of laminated printouts and letter cards. A computer
that is several years old sits in the corner, unused. Mouse and keyboard?
Broken. Forget Internet, it’s doubtful whether the computer itself is in
working condition. Space for children to play is literally non-existent. The
government has given them a complete set of playground equipment. However all of
it sits in the second floor balcony, because there’s no space to put it. Right
behind this government school is a luxurious villa complex,
with each house having more than enough space to fit in all this playground
equipment and more. The children walk long distances everyday, in heavy rain,
through dangerous traffic. Sometimes even the teacher doesn’t show up, and the
children have to look after themselves for the whole day. forget being taught, they have
nothing to do at school. After seeing the school’s lack of books, we decided that
we would provide them with a library. We believe that books can influence a
child’s life in the best way possible. Be it a fairy tale, or a textbook, it can stoke
their creativity, inspire them and let them dare to believe. Books may well be
the first step towards bridging the educational divide. We collected books
from our school and several communities across Sarjapur, and collected nearly
2,000 books in all We decided to sell the books we procured
to fund the purchase of interesting, useful, and better quality ones for the
government school. In the process we raise awareness among the hundreds who
took a few minutes out of their lives to talk to us. We even gave out brochures in
order to explain to them in greater detail the looming issue our country is
facing. At school we conducted a poster campaign in order to get our peers and
classmates to donate books. In addition to this, we addressed the entire school
in several assemblies to let every person in on our plan to help out the
government school. We talked to the teacher of the government school and in
doing so gain a lot of insight into the real problems faced by public schools in
India. It was an experience that left us reeling but one which gave us a fresh
perspective. We also conducted activities with them such as book reading sessions
and drawing sessions. She also gave us an idea of the type of books her students
would benefit from, allowing us to move on to purchasing the necessary books. In
addition, we gained the chance to learn a lot about the kind of education the
children were getting. Sometimes the work may have been difficult but the smiles
on their faces inspired us to keep working. It reminded us, that our efforts
would not be in vain. Just four kids managed to change the lives of
forty-five children. If we can, so can you. Take an initiative. DO SOMETHING. And help
us BOOKTHEGAP. Children: BOOKTHEGAP. If you spare us a couple of minutes, please do our survey, link in the description blow.