Education among Children of the Migrant Workers


Dr. Josephine Anthony


June 1, 2016


Every child has a right to have access to school and help themselves develop into better human beings and contribute to the society. The Govt. of India of India came up with the Right to Compulsory and Free Education Act in the year 2010, which ensures that children in the age group 6-14 years have universal access to free and compulsory education. However even after the Act was put into force, there were many challenges, which were being faced. The issue was not just about the primary school but from the starting point itself there is a huge challenge. The children who are of the age to attend pre-school are not attending it, which further creates the problem. According to Berlinski et al., 2009[1] 'Access to good quality pre-primary school has an enormous impact on a child's primary education outcomes with effects often lasting into later life.'

According to The National Sample Survey of Out of School children in the age 6-13 years in the year 2014[2], there were 6.041 million which accounts to 2.79% of children in the age group which who are not enrolled in school in which case 3.13% are from rural areas and 2.54% are from urban areas. Furthermore, a higher proportion of girls are out of school than boys, which is 3.23% and 2.77% respectively. The figures show that the vulnerability of the children coming from rural area's especially if it's a girl child are at its peak, not rejecting the fact that the children out of school whether it be urban or rural, male or female are vulnerable. Similarly, the children of Construction workers who have migrated to various states with their parents, who are in search of work are in a very vulnerable situation. They live their native place and in search of work, they migrate to various neighbouring place for their work. It was noted that migration among these construction workers did not just happen interstate but also it was intra state. Migration from one site to another, from one corner of the city to another hampered the education of the child the most because the child was unable to study at any of the nearby government school, as their stay was so uncertain. Furthermore, lack of interest by the parents, lack of intervention by the Govt. and Ngo's, financial issues and also that these children were looked down upon by the peers and the school staff's made it seemingly impossible for them to continue their education.

The paper gives us an understanding and insight about the challenges and concerns related to educating children of construction workers, bring out challenges and concerns related to educating migrating children. It assesses the effectiveness of school, NGOs and other support systems existing in the community in facilitating education among migrant children, determine factors contributing to the promotion of educational status of migrant children and also recommend measures and develop a technology-based model for ensuring education among migrant children.

[1] Berlinski, S Galiani, P Gertler - Journal of Public Economics, 2009


Literature Review

Migration in the Indian Context

According to census of 2011, more than two third of the population stay in rural India i.e. 69% almost 1.21 billion people. With the urbanization and fastest growing cities in the Nation, the movement of the rural-urban population has increased tremendously. Rural population does not find significant economic sources to support their family, to support the family, people always move out of rural areas and migrate to urban areas. According to National Sample Survey (NSS) there is an increased rate of migration in urban areas from rural areas that is approximately 35%. The census of 2001, presented that 19% of total Indian population had moved internally in India. Migration comprises of 70 percent of women and marriage is the primary reason behind the migration of women whereas men migrated mostly for employment related reason.

Emerging trends in migration, particularly in relation to the field of construction/real estate business

Labourers, working in construction site are mostly migrated from rural areas. An agent always brings the migrant. It often happens that the labour does not know under whom they are working or for whom they are working.

Historically, urbanization and migration are pertinent to economic development and transformation of the society. The growing contribution of cities to India's GDP would be impossible, barring the contribution of migrant workers. The contribution of circular migrants constitutes 10 percent of the nation's GDP. Addressing the numerous challenges faced by the migrants requires dealing with various facets such as their citizenship, gender, children, health, voting rights, etc.

Among migrant construction workers, the nature of foot looseness is apparent. Interestingly, a study by Mukherjee, (2013) that explored migration histories of construction workers revealed that most of them, prior to getting into the construction sector because of pull factor such as higher wages, had a brief stint with small enterprises and engaged in activities such as laundry services, garment units, power looms and handloom units.

The migrant construction workers are mostly from places like Bihar, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh, Delhi, Haryana, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Orrisa and West Bengal