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Onderstaand artikel is gepubliceerd in / This article was published in: Newstime, October 28, 1999      

Need to strenghten primary education set-up stressed

Secretary and trustee of MV foundation Shanta Sinha (third from left) speaking at a conference on 'Child labour and education' held in Hyderabad on Wednesday. Ranga Reddy district collector Rani Kumudini, Marten Kircz and Gerard Oonk are also seen
- A Newstime picture.
Hyderabad: There is a distinct link between child labour and illiteracy. Strengthening primary education set-up is the only way in which child labour can be tackled, according to a delegation of the Netherlands teachers' union, who are on a visit to the state. At a conference on 'Child labour and education' organised here on Wednesday by the 'Baala karmika vimochana vedika' (BKVV) of the Mamidipudi Venkatarangayya Foundation, Marten Kircz, leader of the teachers' union lauded the efforts made in the direction by goverment and non-governmental organisations in Ranga Reddy district. The results achieved in Ranga Reddy should be replicated at other places, he said. Marten appreciated the government's support to formation of self-help groups (SHGs) as also the voluntary work taken up by certain NGOs to ensure that children were kept away from taking to farm labour or other avocation. The efforts being made to convice parents to join their children in schools was impressive, Marten said.
The 17-member Netherlands delegation went around several areas in Ranga Reddy, The members shared their experiences in children's camps being run by BKVV.
"Providing education in the Netherlands now appears to be a relatively easy task," observed a young primary school teacher. She continued: "You need not have to convince parents there to send their children to schools. The volunteer teachers do tremendous service." Another young teacher said: "Since our visit here, my perspective of looking at life has changed. We have a lot to learn from little anxious children and the efforts being made to bring dignity to their lives," he added.
Gerard Oonk, member of the India Committee of the Netherlands, said the team would impress upon the Netherlands government to grant more funds for primary education programmes undertaken in Gujarat and Andhra Pradesh.
The visiting teachers, however, belong to a non-funding group.
Gerard said that the members who formed part of the delegation had come here voluntarily. They had to foot their own travel bill and expenses.
Ranga Reddy district collector Rani Kumudini said that the problem of child labour and school drop-outs was rampant in the state. The district administration had opened eight education camps for adolescent girls and planned to open two such camps for boys. Praising BKVV for its pioneering work among rural children, Rani Kumudini said that the government had structured its courses, depending on feedback from NGOs working among children.
Secretary and trustee of MV Foundation Shanta Sinha said that it was the responsibility of society to see that children entered the portals of school. Non-government organisations working towards a common goal should share their experiences tor effective implementation of educational programmes, she said.


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India Committee of the Netherlands / Landelijke India Werkgroep - 24 juni 2003