Choose
an international agency or an NGO involved in education in a developing country
and critically examine its policies, practice and performance

Introduction

NGO’s are Non Government
Organisations that work around the globe to help provide struggling and
developing countries. Through this essay I will be looking at what NGO’s are,
what their goals are in regards to education in a specific developing country.
This will allow me to critically evaluate its policies and performance in my
chosen country of India.

India as a developing country

India is the world’s 6th largest
country and boasts a population of 1.2 billion people, however a shocking 1 in
5 of the Indian population is below the poverty line with 80% of those living
in rural areas. Equally important in the lack of the lack of regard for the
importance of education or the accessibility to make use of it with India home
to 46% of the worlds illiterate and 24% of families having no literate adult
over 25.

India from 1858 and 1947 was a colony in the British empire where to begin with British
government showed very little interest in educating the population of the
subcontinent with Christian missionaries starting the processes. When the
British government did begin educating the population they used traditional
British methods of education with a teacher in front of a class room with
strict discipline and memorising information. After they gained independence in
august  1947 the Indian government was
left with the responsibility of educating its own population.

UNICEF

UNICEF stands for United Nations International
Children’s Emergency Fund and was set up after the second world war to provide
for the needs of children in the aftermath of the conflict by the United
Nations. Subsequently, UNICEF has worked for children and young people around
the globe in 190 counties suffering with poverty, poor sanitation and living
conditions, lack of education and the surrounding armed conflicts in their
country of residence whatever issues may prevent children making the most of
their chances.

They are needed because of issues
with the right to education allowing officials in countries like India to take
advantage and the resulting levels of corruption and bribery has resulted in
closers of schools and facilities resulting in more children out of school in India
after the induction of the act then before.  

UNICEF
Policies

UNICEF’s policies on education
are according to Unicef UK. 2018. Education – Unicef UK . ONLINE are
‘Every child has the right to an education – whatever their background, gender
or ethnicity’. As a NGO related to the UN they believe in article 26 of the
human rights act that every child has the right to education and that’s one of
the main missions they set out to complete when they set up in a country to
help provide for the suffering children in developing countries and western
nations alike.

Additionally, they work to
provide equipment to schools and help ensure that children are safe and have
all the tools needed to learn and excel in schools. Unicef UK.
2018. Education – Unicef UK . ONLINE states that ‘ In 2016 alone,
Unicef provided school books and other learning materials to 15.7 million
children around the world’ as part of their task to provide all children in
India and globally with the means to learn.

Moreover, they will work to help
eliminate child labour so that children can instead of working to help support
families can instead focus on bettering themselves through education. An
example of this in India would be when UNICEF. 2005. India: Project helps
child labourers return to school | India | UNICEF. ONLINE states ‘ the
UNICEF-supported National Child Labour Project (NCLP) has helped over 3,600
children out of child labour and into school’ as they work to help even more
children out of work and into schools as its illegal to hire a child (under 14
years old) in any type of hazardous employment.

Another aim of UNICEF is to
increase accessibility to schools to help encourage more children to attend
school. Such as UNICEF. 2018. Realizing limitless possibilities:
Technology empowers people with disabilities. ONLINE in which it discuses a
UNICEF programme that brought computers into schools in the early 2000s that
have allowed children with disabilities to take part in the same level of
education as non-disabled children and empower them to make the most of their
potential. UNICEF also works to help the estimated 8.1 million children get
into school and to combat the increasing parentage of children in school
dropping out.

All of these policies seem to be
long term goals and are not in my opinion possible in a short period of time.
However they are noble goals that should be strived towards and NGO’s can help
where the governments of developing countries like India struggle to help
educate the population with around 90.3% of all donations to UNICEF used in
programmes. In addition, these policies also allow UNICEF to provide a
structure and recourses to developing countries and keeps the NGO focused on
its goals and targets so it doesn’t deviate from its aim to help provide the
children of nations like India with their best chance in life and give them
opportunities children in other nations take advantage of and waste because
they have never experienced life without it as they are privileged enough to be
born with these chances.

UNICEF’s
affect on India’s education

In India the government works
with NGO’s like UNICEF to empower girls to pursue a better life via education,
there are a number of reasons that girls are not given the same right to
education as the boys are with cultural norms and traditions pressuring them
into family life instead. However, UNICEF has a number of programmes to help
educate the girls of India such as promoting gender equality to help modernise
the country and bring it in line with the rest of the world in terms of
discrimination; And the work they take part in to reduce the levels of child
poverty so that daughters not have to work to provide for their family as their
brothers educations are prioritised which is an attitude they are hoping to
prevent with education.

Personally, I agree with this
policy being given priority in India as Olmos, G, 2011. The benefits of
educating girls in developing countries with a case study in Livingstone,
Zimbabwe. The benefits of educating girls in developing countries with a
case study in Livingstone, Zimbabwe, Online states ‘ investment in the
education of girls may be the highest return investment available in the
developing world” writes Larry Summers, former chief economist of the World
Bank’ and ‘ Key in the current discussion on the benefits of female education
is the idea of a ripple effect. A finding that greatly supports the
intergenerational benefits of educating girls is that that women reinvest 90
percent of their income into their family’. And so this illustrates the need
for developing countries to educate the girls as it will have a marginal affect
on other issues in the country such as the levels of families in low income and
the levels of illiteracy in families.

Modernising education to make it
more accessible and effective is another aim of UNICEF and other NGO’s with
their production of alternative learning centres to where children can make use
of computers and are assessed on their ability to learn and can earn
certificates from the NGO that are recognised by some universities. Reaching
out … taking education to the unreached! | UNICEF. 2008. Reaching out …
taking education to the unreached! | UNICEF. ONLINE states that ‘ In less
than three years, about 70% of Delhi’s out-of-school children were persuaded to
join Alternative Learning Centres run by NGOs. Over 25,000 children underwent
bridge courses and qualified to join formal schools’. This conveys the
effectiveness of modernisation as a method to reach out of school children of
India and help them work their way into established mainstream schools.

This is another affective policy
that UNICEF works towards as modernisation of education in India will keep
students competitive in the international job market with computers part of
daily life and ensure that they have the skills needed to join in the levels of
globalisation where the world is becoming more and more connected via the
internet allowing easy international communication.

In summary, the impact that
UNICEF has had on education in India is a positive motion that does a lot of
good in order to help children have access to education that didn’t previously
and improve the recourses available and the pool of knowledge available to
those already attending schools. This will allow these children to make the
most of their childhood and keep them out of dangerous employment and allow
them to flourish instead of having to work to help support a family below the
poverty line.

UNICEF
Performance in India

UNICEF has taken on a nearly
impossible task of trying to fix all the problems in the world in order to help
provide children of the earth what they need in order to safely reach their
potential. So it’s important that the progress and impact they have on
developing countries is measured, India today is a magazine in India that has
taken a look at the impact of UNICEF in India and so India Today. 2015. UNICEF
in India: Tomorrow will be too late. ONLINE states ‘ Far too many grandoise
plans aimed at benefiting the rural population have failed because of the
inability of urban-oriented workers and policy-makers to understand, absorb and
evaluate the rural situation and the rural mind’ which depicts a lack of focus
on UNICEFs part to promote better health, infrastructure and quality and
accessible education to the growing urban areas of India where the population
of children is denser. Furthermore, the article goes on to talk about failed
projects about family planning and agriculture that resulted in huge amounts of
wasted recourses that could have been better spend on alternative learning
centres in urban areas or on improving roads and paths to make schools more
accessible.

However there are a number of
success stories in India where UNICEF have managed to help a number of children
into education such as helping to increase primary school participation to
‘94.6%’ and primary school female participation to ‘81.4%’. This depicts a
larger increase in enrolment and attendance of schools or educational facility
which will mean a more educated population which should help to reduce the
overall poverty level and improve the country as a whole.

And so I believe that overall the
impact that UNICEF has had on the Indian subcontinent has been a positive one
allowing more children access to education and the recourses and teachers
needed to make the most out the opportunities they are given.

Conclusion

In conclusion, I feel that NGO’s
like UNICEF may struggle with certain developing countries but overall the
work, recourses and effort they put into countries like India where they work
to improve and modernise schools and educational facilities or to reduce levels
of discrimination to encourage more girls to enrol into schools is a necessary
for the impact it has on the developing country.

 Furthermore, The work that UNICEF has done in
India to improve the quality of education is a success in achieving what their
policies set out for them to achieve and to help with globalisation and bring developing
countries into the 21st century and in line with the rest of the world to
improve their life chances as I have mentioned in previous points.

Thus, UNICEF has a positive
performance on the country working with the UN and the local and national government
it allows a number of children to enjoy a what is a triviality to other
children but a luxury to them and reach their full potential and be whatever
they want to be.