No Google for Village Girls

In Uttarakhand, lack of teachers in technical institutes leaves students helpless.

In today’s video, our young Community Correspondent Laxmi Nautiyal highlights the issue of gender discrimination in the field of computers education in Gairsen, Uttarakhand.

Laxmi’s village of Gairsen has various institutes that claim to teach computers. They have the equipment and infrastructure to adequately suit the needs of students. What they don’t have, however, are teachers.

“The lack of well-trained teachers in technical institutes is a major hurdle for budding students of rural areas, especially for girls. People of Gairsen village are very open to having their daughters educated, but they are uncomfortable sending them away for their studies. Thus, the boys can easily pursue technical education in other towns and cities, but girls do not have that option.” says Laxmi.

As more and more boys are leaving Gairsen to study in engineering and other technical institutes, not only is this creating a large gender gap in their areas of study and future careers, but it is also perpetuating gender stereotypes that boys are more inclined towards fields like engineering and computers whereas girls are inclined to the arts.

When asked why there aren’t enough teachers to teach computers to students of Gairsen, Laxmi replied, “Tutors aren’t given enough training for teaching large numbers of students. Issues like low salaries and corruption have also led to promising teachers finding positions elsewhere, outside the village.”

The number of internet users in India reached 100 million in 2010, and the number continues to grow at 98% per year. People in rural areas are slowly but steadily gaining access to computers, and this enables them to be in constant touch with everything from mainstream media to new and improved technologies in farming. This information is extremely beneficial to villagers, as other forms of communication between urban and rural areas are much slower and relatively ineffective. However, there is still a large disparity between these two sections of society, with the number of internet users in villages being considerably less than those in cities. This has led to lopsided development of technical knowledge within the country, leaving those in remote areas in a disadvantaged position.

“I hope my video will make people aware of the problems youth and particularly girls face as a result of living in rural areas. It is unfair that large cities are provided with world-class amenities for technical education, but small towns and villages don’t even have access to qualified teachers. Moreover, even in modern fields of technology, women are still facing age-old problems of gender discrimination.”


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