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The Foundation Post Q1, 2016

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For a country where a majority of people live in villages, the health of rural education is in a critical condition. Recently a report published by the NGO Pratham, called ASER (The Annual Status of Education Report) put out interesting and alarming statistics about rural education in India – a staggering 70% of standard III students cannot solve 2-digit subtraction problems and almost 50% of standard V students cannot read a standard II level text! Lack of quality learning environment, teacher training, motivation, teaching infrastructure, etc. are just some of the issues that continue to plague education in rural schools. We all realize that demographics should not define a child's intrinsic emotion of curiosity – to know why, what and how. Curiosity as a behaviour is the driving force behind not only human development, but also developments in science, language, and industry. Unfortunately our villages are not fully equipped to satiate this curiosity. More often than not, kids in rural areas have tremendous raw potential – what we call 'street smartness' in our urban parlance. Imagine how they can evolve if provided with the right education and guidance to build their talents. The most intelligent children in a rural setup don't end up getting even a fraction of the exposure that an urban child of the same calibre might, because our rural schools are not equipped to provide a conducive environment for holistic learning. So the question remains, how can we encourage the rural students who are hungry to be educated and enable them to realize their potential? This is a theme we explore in this issue of The Foundation Post. At the end of the day, the thirst for knowledge itself drives us to learn and grow. And this is the thirst we want to awaken across our rural schools as well, by inculcating the joy of learning and passion for teaching. Letter from the Editorial Desk 1

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