Distress Seasonal Migration and its Impact on Children’s Education

Smita, Smita (2008) Distress Seasonal Migration and its Impact on Children’s Education. Project Report. Consortium for Research on Educational Access, Transitions and Equity (CREATE), Falmer, UK.

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There are still many categories of children in India for whom adequate and appropriate strategies are not in place for their effective education. One such substantive category is children of seasonal migrants – a group which has not been on the radar screen of the government or development agencies. Distress seasonal migration is a growing phenomenon in almost all arid parts of India. Drought and lack of work in villages forces entire families to migrate for several months every year in search of work merely to survive. Children accompany their parents, and as a result drop-out rates go up. Migrants comprise the most vulnerable sections of society, and especially those that also belong to Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe groups. There is no official data available on the scale of distress seasonal migration, but estimates put the numbers of migrants between 1 and 3 crore (10 to 30 million). The number of children involved in these migrations may range between 40 and 60 lakhs (4 to 6 million). Migration takes place to a range of industrial and agro-industrial sectors such as brick manufacture, salt making, sugar cane harvesting, stone quarrying, construction, plantations and fishing. This paper identifies major sectors and geographies with a high incidence of seasonal migration, and gives broad estimates of the numbers involved, especially the number of children between 0-14 years. It also outlines the nature and patterns of seasonal migration in different sectors, and how these annual migration cycles overlap with the annual school calendar. The discussion focuses on the difficulties that children face with schooling both in villages and at migration sites, and the conditions under which children drop out of schools, as well as the response or lack of response of local school systems to the education of migrant children in some areas. The paper also outlines the efforts made so far by government and NGOs to address these problems through alternative schooling, and provides recommendations for state and central governments in terms of policy and program interventions.

Item Type: Reports and working papers (Project Report)
Additional Information: Pathways to Access, Research Monograph No 28
Keywords: international education, migration, dropout, migrant children, alternative schooling, India, educational access, inclusion, exclusion
Schools and Departments: School of Education and Social Work > Education
Subjects: L Education > LG Individual institutions (Asia. Africa. Oceania)
L Education > L Education (General)
Depositing User: Elena Dennison
Date Deposited: 30 Sep 2008
Last Modified: 30 Nov 2012 16:52
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/1869
Google Scholar:1 Citations

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