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National Education Day: How mobile schools are educating migrant children

On National Education Day, Apeejay Stya University organised a webinar on ‘International Labour Market: Imperatives for Indian Education System’



On the occasion of National Education Day 2021, Apeejay Stya University (ASU) hosted a webinar titled ‘International Labour Market: Imperatives for Indian Education System’. It was conducted by School of Education, in association with National Service Scheme (NSS) and Rotaract Club of ASU. 

The session began with a documentary on India’s first education minister Maulana Abul Kalam Azad from Doordarshan Archives. Talking about Azad’s achievements, the documentary shed light on his thoughts on Hindu-Muslim unity, socio-economic justice, Indian independence and contributions as an education minister. 

Following the documentary, Harsh Sah, Director of Community Services, Rotaract Club of Apeejay Stya University Gurugram, welcomed the attendees with a speech. 

Highlighting the importance of education, Dr Ananda Pradhan, Head, School of Education, said, “Education is clearly related to development. Maulana Azad realised this very early. It gives me immense pleasure to be part of this webinar.”

Talking about education in India, Pramod Kumar Singh, co-founder, All India Citizens’ Alliance for Progress & Development (AICAPD), said, “It is certainly a great day. When we look back, we see so much hard work that went into building our nation. Education is one area where the nation has come a long way. Indian educational institutions have gained recognition worldwide. It tells us that there is huge scope in this area. The Indian education system has been accepted across the world.”

Furthering the mission of educating the young generation, Singh spoke of the initiative undertaken by his organisation to educate the children of migrant workers, who are otherwise deprived of any form of education–formal or informal.

Singh elaborated, “There was a lot of confusion in the initial phases of the pandemic. As per government data, we have around 40 crore internal migrants, who move from one state to another. Our organisation wanted to do something to improve the lives of migrant workers. The best thing we could think of was education.

“As per government data, there are around two crore children who are out of school even today, of which 50% belong to migrant families. In most of the cases, the children are left with no opportunity for education and they become hereditary labourers. It is important to break that chain.”

To promote education among the underprivileged migrant children, Singh has started mobile classrooms in buses, equipped with all digital educational amenities, which move from one site to another to teach children. 

Sandeep Rajput, Director, AICAPD, talked about how older siblings in migrant households stay back at home to take care of younger kids. Lack of ID proof or adequate transportation facilities are also crucial challenges that limit their access to schools. “In our system, we can conduct examinations and certify them. So, when the children move to their native towns, they will be able to use these certificates for further education. We have taught around 5,000 students till now; 700 are enrolled at present,” he shared. 

Dr Vijay Kumar, Teacher Educator, School of Education, ASU, mentioned that before the pandemic, students at Apeejay also took up initiatives to teach underprivileged children.

The webinar concluded with a formal vote of thanks by Piyush Dagar, Director of Media Growth, Rotaract club of Apeejay Stya University Gurugram.

“Maulana Azad was a great Indian freedom fighter and founder of the modern education system in the country. UGC, IIT-Kharagpur, IISc, Sangeet Natak Akademi, Lalit Kala Akademi etc were his brainchild. He was a true example of a great visionary leader. We feel proud remembering him on his birthday and recalling his great work and sharing it with NextGen.”

– Dr Vijay Kumar, Teacher Educator, School of Education, Apeejay Stya University

Disha Roy Choudhury is a Principal Correspondent at Apeejay Newsroom. She has worked as a journalist at different media organisations. She is also passionate about music and has participated in reality shows.