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Status of elementary education of children of SC, ST and other marginalized groups in Rajasthan
Rajasthan – the largest state of India area-wise and seventh most populated state – is spread over an area of 42239 square kilometres constituting 10.41 per cent of the total area of the country.

According to some reports, the population of the state is around 68.5 per cent with 24 per cent of it being between the age group of 6 to 14 years which is provided with elementary education by the government sector, private sector, NGOs and PPP-mode projects.

Despite all the efforts, even official data admits that about 5 per cent of children continue to be out of school marked by a sex ratio of 922 and around one-fourth of the population consists of deprived groups like SC, ST, OBCs and religious minorities.

The rural habitations are small and dispersed; consequently, the population density is low at 165 per square kilometre as per census data. Besides the vast arid and semi-arid regions and dispersed pattern of settlement, Rajasthan is characterized by frequent droughts. Despite this, Rajasthan has seen a few meaningful efforts to improve literacy rates and universalization of elementary education in last three decades.

The Rajasthan state is characterized by diversity in terms of terrain, livelihood and dispersed patterns of settlements in its rural areas, making universal elementary education accessible to all the children in the age group of 6 to 14 years a formidable task, especially for the hard-to-get groups.

The main issues at present are the equity and quality in elementary education, girls' education in SC/ST populace, religious minority groups, migrant groups which have many non-starter and out-of-school girls.

In spite of the government's commitment to universal general education, by providing accessibility and participation, the quality of education continues to remain a key problem due to lack of adequate number of schools, long distances between schools and homes, low participation, lack of contextual interventions and low learning achievements.

In many pockets of the state poor infrastructure, inadequate teaching-learning materials, low-performing teachers continue to affect quality of education. The socio-cultural geographical profile of the area also demands use of culturally sensitive teaching curricula and methodologies, which is currently lacking.

Editorial NOTE: This article is categorized under Opinion Section. The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of In case you have a opposing view, please click here to share the same in the comments section.
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