Promotion of mass education and gender equality has profound implications for political mobilization and levels of child labour
Jasleen Kaur | May 10, 2010
Kerala is a model state for the rest of India to follow, in promoting social development. The state, which was founded in 1956, was one of the poorest states, but in the last few decades it has shown remarkable improvement after universalizing education. It has achieved universal literacy today.
These are the findings of the report “Accelerating Action Against Child Labour', prepared by the International Labour Organization (ILO), which was released on last Friday.
ILO in its report says that Kerala’s performance in promoting mass education and gender equality has had profound implications for political mobilization and levels of child labour.
Dr. George Mathew, director of Institute of Social Science (ISS), a research based organization agrees. He says, “What the central government plans to do now (implementing Right to Free and Compulsory Education Act), we have achieved it decades back. You will not find a single child labour in the state.”
He added that this achievement is because of the people's will and it was not imposed from the top.
The report also says, that the state has consistently spent a higher proportion of government expenditure on primary education than most of other states. In the early 1960s, Kerala was spending 35 per cent of state revenues on education, considerably more than richer states. And today, unlike in other states, most primary school-age children go to state-run or state-supported schools in Kerala.
Also, the work participation rate of children here, in the early 1970s, was 1.9 per cent, compared to the all-India figure of 7.1 per cent.
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