Importance of Educated Mothers: Here’s Why Our Nation Needs Them

By India Today Desktop web: “Give me an educated mother, I promise you the birth of a civilized and educated nation,” said Napoleon Bonaparte in the 18th century. In addition to winning battle and building an empire, Bonaparte laid the foundation for the modern French educational system and created a set of laws, known as the Napoleonic Code, that was based on common sense and equality. Even today, his words ring true, especially in the developing world, where nations still struggle to achieve equality in education. While girls’ education has become a strategic development priority globally, we still struggle with it at home.

It should come as no surprise that better-educated women tend to be healthier, participate more in the formal labor market, earn higher incomes, marry later, have fewer children, and afford better healthcare and education for their children when they are older. . mothers So it’s easy to say that educated mothers lift homes, communities and nations out of poverty.

Importance of educated mothers

Education should and is rightly considered a critical aspect of women’s empowerment, as it becomes a powerful tool in the hands of a mother. She can use this tool to nurture a new generation towards social change, especially in developing countries where quality education is still a long way off for most children. Mothers are a crucial influence in the lives of their children and the love and care they provide, especially in the formative years, makes their children the adults they are destined to become. Therefore, a mother’s own education and knowledge, her own economic position and success, impact the future of the generation she raises.

Importance of education in children’s formative years

In their early years, children who have an educated mother benefit from developing better cognitive skills and gain a head start in life. Several studies have reported that mothers who receive higher education in low-resource settings are more likely to engage in higher-quality interactions with their children, have greater knowledge of child development, provide higher-quality stimulation at home, and are scaffolded for their children.

Furthermore, they are likely to have a greater number of books in their homes (Ertem et al., 2007; McCoy, Zuilkowski, & Fink, 2015; ObradovÃc, Yousafzai, Finch, & Rasheed, 2016).

A New York University study found that educated mothers help their children succeed in school, not only expanding their academic knowledge, but also modeling behaviors and establishing social connections that lead to educational success. Mothers who have attended at least high school have a greater understanding of school structures and are therefore better equipped to model and teach socially valued forms of interaction, such as speaking politely but assertively. In addition, educated mothers also tend to expose children to activities that are valued in schools, such as drama, art, and music.

An educated mother is more likely to be health conscious and knowledgeable and will ensure that her children receive a good diet, receive proper medical care, timely vaccinations, etc. and become strong and healthy adults, which forms the backbone for the socioeconomic advancement of individuals and society.

Healthy kids obviously have a better chance of succeeding academically and entering the productive workforce.

Educated mothers ensure higher education

An educated mother not only ensures that her child goes to school, but also provides a supportive environment at home by reinforcing lessons at home. On the contrary, it is seen that illiterate or uneducated mothers are not so willing to provide higher education to their children. The uneducated mother, in general, can only think within her limited sphere of knowledge and cannot have great dreams or aspirations for herself or her children. The educated mother will have high expectations for the educational success of her children and will continually encourage them to develop high expectations of their own.

Importance of Educated Mothers: Here's Why Our Nation Needs Them Image

It is quite evident that a mother’s education improves the lives of her children and also improves her relationship with them. An educated and empowered mother is more likely to gain the respect of her children and have more control over them in a positive way. Not only this, in today’s changing world, raising future-ready children, who have creativity, thinking ability, knowledge, and problem-solving skills to survive disruptions in education and the job landscape, is a huge challenge. .

An educated mother is likely to encourage and guide her children to make informed decisions to overcome future financial challenges.

Linked to a larger picture, mothers’ education can have a causal impact on children’s growth and outcomes leading to changes in population structures, which can be measured through a three-pronged framework: human capital, cultural capital, and social capital (Jessica F. Harding, Pamela A. Morris, and Diane Hughes in Journal of Marriage and Family).

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Need for stronger government initiatives

The Indian government has long recognized women’s empowerment, gender equality and access to education as central elements of its social policy agenda, which is reflected in a variety of national policy documents, from the Constitution of India to the Right to Education Act 2009, and through its various National Education Policies, including the Draft NEP 2019, which places great emphasis on inclusion in Education. Through its commitment to international frameworks such as the Sustainable Development Goals, India has affirmed that gender equality is the core value of democratic India and a social policy priority for the central government.

These commitments form a strong political mandate that supports the integration of gender equality and empowerment programming in education in schools across India. It is clearly understood that development promises cannot be fulfilled unless girls are guaranteed quality education, which is vital to achieving women’s empowerment and gender equality in the workforce. More girls are now entering higher education streams and India has made progress on the front of gender parity in education. However, there is still a long way to go to bring all girls and women into the educational mainstream and provide them with quality education and gender-based skills, enabling them to raise a future-ready generation.

Article written by Dr. AS Neelam Gupta, Founding Chairman and CEO, AROH Foundation

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