Despite being a fundamental right, millions of rural students are deprived of education. Read this blog to learn the major causes of the learning gap and how we can change it.
It may be surprising, but often where you are born determines your lifestyle, showing an immediate effect on your upbringing, social life, education facilities, and career opportunities.
Even today, an extensive education gap is observed in rural and urban areas across most countries. If you look at assessment reports, teenage students from urban schools outperform students from rural schools in 37 countries even after full-year schooling and controlled socioeconomic conditions.
While most countries have shown significant growth in the literacy rate, many rural areas in developing and underdeveloped counties still cannot provide students with modern educational facilities.
Primary Reasons Behind Education Gap Between Rural and Urban Areas
Despite many accomplishments in the academic sector, the widening gap between the rural and urban education systems is alarming. Survey reports show:
- 43% of students aged between 14-18 years lack basic knowledge of math
- 40% of them cannot differentiate hours from minutes
- 46% don’t even know the capital of their countries
- 50% of students are incapable of reading their textbooks
So what are the biggest setbacks in the rural education system?
- A limited number of schools:
The lack of schools and educated faculty is one of the primary reasons rural areas are lagging. The existing government-run schools are under poor conditions with no proper academic facilities and hygiene. Another massive threat is transportation. Students have to walk for miles from the interior parts of rural areas to attend schools, compelling parents not to send their wards to school.
- Lack of academic interest:
Unlike the residents of urban areas, 90% of rural people are not educated. They usually earn a nominal amount to survive and prefer their children to work and bring in some money for survival than sending them to schools for learning. Besides, the shortage of schools in the vicinity discourages parents from understanding the benefits of education, resulting in many school dropouts.
- No suitable infrastructure:
In a report by The World Bank, students failing to read a word or solve elementary math problems are higher in the Indian subcontinent than in African countries. The lack of resources, well-trained, dedicated teachers and poor infrastructure lead to inferior quality of education. With no qualified teachers to teach, the student-teacher ratio is quite shocking. Primitive teaching methods, lack of teachers and flawed curriculum refrain students from gaining interest to learn.
- Zero access to ed-tech solutions:
Urban students are academically advanced because of the easy availability of the learn tech solutions. Learning through smartphones or computers is still a dream for millions of rural residents. They have no access to advance solutions that customise learning and make studies a fun activity. With no access to tech-driven education solutions, young adults from rural areas have limited access to suitable job opportunities.
- Gender biasness in rural communities:
Even in 2021, gender biasness is prevalent in most rural areas. Girls are restricted from attending schools after a certain age or are frowned upon. Although urban schools are committed to bridging the education gap and providing quality education to both genders, rural communities lag, mainly due to limited knowledge and exposure.
Bridging The Education Gap Between The Rural and Urban Learners
The massive education gap between the rural and urban students is not because of the former’s lack of intellect. It’s because they don’t have a learning environment and opportunities like the latter. To bring rural education facilities on par with the urban, the governments need to take the initiative to make some considerable changes.
- Increase the number of schools:
Parents of rural students would send their children to schools only if schools are nearby. Each school should have modern learning amenities, so students get the encouragement to learn. Since most rural learners’ parents earn enough to meet the basic needs, governments should provide students with essential learning kits like books, stationery, library, and other facilities. This way, students and their parents don’t have to worry about the pocket pinch.
- Educate the parents:
Unless rural parents don’t understand the significance of learning and gender equality, the government’s effort to promote “education for all” will never succeed. For instance, an educational organisation like BRAC in Bangladesh has introduced different education programs to ensure every girl child is educated. Similarly, more and more governments, startups, and NGOs should organise free awareness programs to teach parents why education is necessary in the first place.
- Improved infrastructure with advanced tech solutions:
One of the ways urban students are far ahead of rural students is for technological advancements. Technology is a forerunner in education, and most students are making optimum use of the available resources.
Let’s say a student needs to proofread his or her essay but lacks the required skills. They can search online for the best professional essay checker and request “please check my essay.” In case s/he doesn’t want to hire an online essay checker or revisor, they can use free proofreading tools like an essay corrector to complete the task.
Such facilities are only possible because of technology, so governments should merge technology in learning, so no students are left behind. They, too, can learn about computers and gain exposure to the outside world.
- Increase the number of well-trained, qualified teachers:
Today, education primarily focuses on conceptual learning. Urban schools have brilliant teachers who are aware of different learning methods and can create a suitable curriculum for students’ best interests. Rural students need additional support and guidance because they aren’t aware of the learning methods.
Only teachers with proper training and exceptional subject knowledge can help them come out of the dark and gain genuine interest in studies. More and more urban teachers should come forward to support ‘smart classrooms’ and create student-centred programs to improve the learning experience of rural students just like the affluent urban learners.
As per a UNICEF report, with good education, an individual’s income increases by 10%, increasing a country’s GDP by 18%. Experts predict that if every child receives at least primary and secondary education, there will be around 170 million fewer people in poverty.
Sure, there is a massive learning gap between urban and rural schools, but it can be filled if different public and private organisations come together to help the underprivileged.
With the increase in the number of schools, customised curriculum, ed-tech solutions, and attention from qualified teachers, we can positively impact rural learners, lower the dropout rates, and increase the number of graduates pursuing good career options. #KhabarLive #hydnews
(Author Bio: Robert Smith is a digital educator, and academic counsellor working on behalf of a reputable firm in New York, United States. Apart from humanitarian work, Robert enjoys teaching and helps students via MyAssignmenthelp.com, an online academic platform popular for quality study support and free literary tools such as plagiarism checkers, essay writers, and essay checkers.)