International Labour Organization –International Programme on Elimination of Child Labour (ILO-IPEC) is active invarious countries, working in the field of child labor around the world.
Sinceits creation in 1992, it has taken countless different approaches usingeducation as a means of eliminating child labor. ILO-IPEC has acquiredconsiderable range of experience and knowledge through providing non-formaleducation opportunities for child laborers and mainstreaming them into theformal education system. Furthermore, it has done various interventions in theeducation system and “built national alliances to make education policies andsystems more responsive to children at risk.” (ILO-IPEC, 2007) Below are the ILO-IPEC’seffort to providing education to child laborers through intervention on variousactors. 1.
Policy Development and Reinforcement and Education Resources Linking the Elimination of Child Labor tothe Education for All Initiative Education is essential in eradicating andpreventing child labor, to establishing a competent workforce and to promotingdevelopment justice and human rights. Therefore, the international efforts toeradicate child labor and achieving Education for All are strongly linked withone another. On one hand, education is a means in preventing child labor, whilechildren who do not have access to quality education are likely to end upworking on the street. On the other hand, child labor is one of the majorobstacle from achieving EFA because children who are working full time do nothave time to go to school. Furthermore, those children who combine work andschool are affected in terms of their attendance, performance and participation(ILO-IPEC, 2007) as mentioned in the previous section. Therefore, incorporatingmeasures dealing with child labor is important in order to achieve EFA.
Specialmeasures and needs must be taken care of, particularly for the vulnerablechildren, girls, and children with disabilities coming from poor households. The ILO and the IPEC programme support EFAmovement by working closely with the governments, employers, socialorganizations, international and local NGOs and trade unions making it theleaning UN agency in the Global Task Force on Child Labour and Educationestablished in November 2005. (ILO-IPEC, 2007) The founding organizations ofwhich also include the World Bank, UNESCO, UNICEF and the Global March AgainstChild Labour. India was one of the countries involved inthe action programs. “The elimination of child labour through universalization ofelementary education with a focus on girl children in cotton seed farming inthe Kulkacharla Mandal of Ranga Reddy District, India” was implemented by theMamidipudi Venkatarangaiua Foundation (MVF), Andhra Pradesh, India. The MVFaims the “eliminate child labor through universalization of quality formaleducation” and “create awareness and demand for education among the poor.” (ILO-IPEC,2007) MVF contends that children are supposed to be in school and are not meanto work in exploiting environment.
It targeted all children as making childrenphysically attend school deters them from joining the workforce. Furthermore,the program also put emphasis on promoting that education is a part of thefundamental rights of children. Despite of the limited financial support from,MVF has been successfully effective, and the MVF’s bridge course have beenimplemented in over 6000 villages, covering an estimated 45,000 child laborersbenefitting from it. (ILO-IPEC, 2007) MVF also played a significant role incontributing to state-led educational programs by providing technical andstrategic support from its own experience. (Venkateswarlu, 2004) Other strategies under policy developmentand reinternment include working with ministries of education, engaginggovernments to cover the cost of education, establishing education task forceson child labor. 2.
Teacher Training and Mobilizing Teachers’ Organization Teacher Training – Building the Capacityof Institutions to Combat Child Labor Teachers are considered a very importantactor because they are in direct contact with children and as well as thecommunity. They contribute significantly in improving the quality of teaching,monitoring child laborers, increase awareness and provide school-based supportfor children at risk. However, it is crucial for theses teachers to be equippedwith necessary knowledge and training to enable them to be sensitive to theissues and needs of these children and be able to provide them with appropriateteaching style or lesson for them. Furthermore, children who have left theformal education system to work revealed in interviews that the attitude ofteachers towards them is one of the major “push” factor. Relationship withother students and teachers is a significant factor for vulnerable children atschool.
(ILO-IPEC, 2007) It is, therefore, important to pay special attention toteacher training to increase enrollment and participation rate and