Basic education or skill development - what should be the focus of girl child education in rural areas?

There are many reasons why a girl child’s education in rural India is extremely important. No wonder why the topic has been a matter of discussion for many years, and why the Indian government, and some NGOs are taking steps to uplift and promote girls’ basic right to education.

Let’s start with the most recent data by IBEF (India Brand Equity Foundation) in the year 2021, which states that nearly 900 million people form the rural population of India, with a literacy rate of 74%. While the literacy rate of men is close to 82%, the same in women is only 65%. Another interesting finding by the same agency was that around 25-30% of GDP is contributed by the rural economy – which makes it all the more necessary to give more emphasis on the importance of education for girls in India. Better education would mean better job opportunities for girls, which in turn will contribute to the economic growth of the country as a whole. Since there is so much riding on education of young and promising girls in our rural areas, Educate India strives constantly to educate, empower and encourage them. Through a small contribution, you can also be a part of the revolution these little girls can bring in the country!

But can providing basic education to a girl be enough? Now that’s a question that needs our attention, as well as contribution.

If girls’ basic education is not enough, what is that other thing which is needed? The answer is “skill development”!  

The next most valuable question would be, whether developing specific skills in girls is sufficient, if we are talking about big contributions to society and the country’s economy? 

While Educate Girls is always advocating educating the girls, we also emphasize on the fact that education and skills go hand in hand, when it comes to creating job opportunities for girls.  Both basic education and skill development are important for girls, and both should be a priority for any country that wants to invest in the future of its female population. 

Here is why girls’ basic education and girl’s skill development must be done simultaneously – 

  • While basic education provides girls with a strong foundation of knowledge and skills that they can build on throughout their lives, skill development provides them with the tool with which they can carve their own path of success. 
  • Basic education provides them the literacy and numeracy skills, along with the basic knowledge of social and economic concepts that can help them better understand the world around them, but skill development will enable them to overcome the barriers to employment contributing to the creation of a “better world” around them.
  • Basic education can help girls develop critical thinking and problem-solving skills, which are essential for success in any field. By acquiring the necessary skills required in a particular sector, they can assume the roles of higher positions, leadership roles and even create a great fortune in self-employment. 

Hence, combination is the key! 

Rather than having an “either/or” proposition for skill development and basic education, the two can be combined to create a more holistic approach to education that addresses the needs of girls at all levels. By incorporating skill development training into basic education programs, or vice versa, girls can gain both a strong foundation of language and arithmetic, as well as specific skills that are relevant to their chosen careers. This will help girls become more seasoned and versatile, and it can also help them pursue careers that are both fulfilling and financially rewarding.

Why Is It Important To Focus On a Girl’s Skill Development in Tandem with Education?

By promoting girl child education in rural areas, and offering them various educational opportunities, countries can help them develop the knowledge and skills they need to become the superheroes of change inside their homes and beyond. Not only the traditional school based education, but also real-world skills like leadership, teamwork, and communication need to be imparted to these girls. 

There are various reasons why education of girls in rural areas needs to be coupled with skill development.

Healthier self, healthier community!

Girl children’s education is vital for improving the health and well-being of families and communities as a whole. Educated, and stably employed girls make informed decisions about their health, hygiene, and nutrition, leading to better health of themselves and the people around them. Also, educated working girls do not prefer early marriages and pregnancies, which is also crucial for their own health, as well as that of their babies.

Breaking the cycle of poverty.

Girl child education in rural areas, coupled with hands-on skills, is an essential factor to break the cycle of poverty. It will enable them to find job opportunities, and earn better, which can help them lift their families out of poverty. Such women are also better at making investments, educating their children, and thus uplift the entire community.

Gender equity, not just equality!

The basic requirement for women’s empowerment is women’s education. And when education is supplemented with practical skills, it empowers women to have better access to data, resources, and opportunities that can again help them achieve their goals and aspirations. Such passionate and successful women are beyond the basic gender norms and stereotypes, leading to increased gender equality in society. 

The larger picture!

Girl’s skill development, amalgamated with girl child education in rural India is vital to the development of the overall economy of the country. Well-equipped women can become successful entrepreneurs, innovators, and leaders, driving economic growth and development. 

By empowering girls with education and skills, countries can unleash their full potential and ensure that they have equal opportunities to succeed and contribute to society. 

The takeaway – 

Both, basic education and skill development are an absolute must for girls, and both should be given due consideration and resources. By equipping young girls with a strong foundation of knowledge and skills, as well as specific skills that are pertinent to their chosen occupations, countries can help them become more well-rounded and versatile, and they can also help them pursue careers that are both fulfilling and financially rewarding.

The primary reason for you to donate to Educate Girls is that you will be investing in the education of girls, which can promote gender equality and social inclusion in our country, which can help to reduce poverty, improve health conditions, and promote sustainable development. By empowering girls with education and skills, countries can unlock their full potential and transform the world around! 


  1. Ankit Adhikari

    Worth reading

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