Wednesday, December 5

Educating Girls makes casteism go away

May this scrouge of casteism disappear! Educate the girls, get them creating wealth and setting up their own businesses, make them mobile and work all over India and the world and all this rotten groupism and casteism will go.

I am very happy with these results.

But of more concern is the issue with the language schools. Perhaps one should considere multi-lingualism as the standard rather than starting from a one language presumption!! In other words, start with say 3 languages from childhood schooling.

Read and Applaud and hope more girls are educated!

A study suggests that girls are proving to be quicker learners than

NEW DELHI: As the processes of globalisation strikes deeper roots in
India, girls are proving to be quicker learners than boys. And,
these are not girls who have benefited from a privileged upbringing,
but those from more modest, urban working-class homes where
traditional caste identities are still quite strong.

These young girls, authoritative studies reveal, have been breaking
several social retardants and surging ahead in education and,
empowered by their skills, are making job and marriage choices which
are helping shake off their dependence on caste rules and the weight
of family tradition.

An extensive study published in The American Economic Review ,
conducted by economists Kaivan Munshi of Brown University and his
Yale University counterpart Mark Rosenzweig, shows that a
traditional institution like caste (jati) has been impacted by
schooling, career and marriage choices of boys and girls in
the "new" economy.

Its study areas are the dynamic urban context of Mumbai's Dadar for
1980-2001, and families of the metro's 'labour market'. These form
its fairly large sample size of 4,945, with upper-castes accounting
for 17.5%. The response to the inquiries reveals that the premium on
an English language education has gone up steeply. For boys it went
up from 15% in 1980-90 to 24% in 1990-2000. But it really shot up
for girls from near zero to 27% in the same period.

The study also found that English schooling contributed to increase
in inter-caste marriages as 31.6% of such respondents married
outside jati, several of whom were girls, as against only 9.7% of
those who studied in the Marathi medium. Among siblings, who were
subject of the study and who are currently employed, 13.9% of those
educated in English work outside Maharashtra. For those who studied
in Marathi, the percentage is just 2.1.

With marriage outside jati and out-migration seen to weaken caste
ties and networks, an exposure to the modern economy can produce
uneven results. Those with English education get better jobs and
this can result in differences between boys and girls of the same
jati and also challenge social networks. As the economists
conclude, "The forces of modernisation could ultimately lead to the
disintegration of a system that has remained firmly in place for
thousands of years."

The findings reveal that whether families put their children in
English or Marathi-medium schools may well be a deciding factor in
the trends uncovered by the study. These could form the basis of
similar inquiries in larger Indian cities. English school passouts
are placed well for the expanding white-collar job market, while
those from Marathi schools are more likely to be headed for the blue-
collar labour market.

The study showed that while a majority of boys from working-class
families still attend Marathi schools, more and more girls from the
same background are headed for English schools, increasingly making
a difference in their attitudes to social and personal matters.

The reason is not far to seek. Historically, women did not form part
of Mumbai's labour market — the mills, factories, dockyards or
construction sites. "Historical occupation patterns kept in place by
caste-based networks continue to shape occupational choice, and
hence schooling choice, for boys in the new economy," says the
study. "In contrast, lower-caste girls, who historically kept away
from labour market and so, have no network ties to constrain them,
take full advantage of opportunities that become available in the
new economy."

According to the study, growing disparities in school choices within
the traditional jatis not only point to a new gender equation in
boys and girls availing of emerging economic opportunities, but also
threatens the stability of the caste system, based on marriages
within the same sub-castes. Significantly, the change in favour of
girls took place despite English school fees being significantly
higher than those in Marathi schools (Rs 480 versus Rs 200 at 1980
prices) and other expenses at Rs 1,100 versus Rs 710, respectively.
This also suggests that parents of these girls were prepared to pay
more for their education. The area, moreover, had only 10 English
schools, performing better in terms of pass percentages, against 18
of the Marathi medium.

All this to be taken with a grain of piquant salt!!!

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