A night school is an adult learning school that provides formal education in the evening or night to people who are working or otherwise occupied in the morning. The first night school in India was established in Mumbai in the year 1885 by the social reformer Jyotiba Phule.
The main purpose of the night schools was to provide free education to the kids belonging to the poorer section of the society, who are busy working in the morning hours to support their family.
Even almost 2 centuries later, the purpose of the night schools remains the same – they aim to provide formal education to adults and young adults who miss out on morning schools due to their work life.
The first night school opened in 1885, and Mumbai city now dwells more than 120 night school spread across the city. Mumbai is a hot favourite region for the immigrants and most of the people who move to the city are not able to earn their bread on single or double income, and hence their children are left with no choice but to drop out from middle or high school and be the helping hand to their family.
Most of the night schools in the city start teaching from 5:30 pm onwards up to 10:30 pm. People from the age group of 15 to 30 years take formal and certified education. The main focus of the night school is to provide education that enhances the skills of the people enrolled.
Even though throughout the years, the number of night schools in the city has increased, it is disheartening to see that the government is making bare minimum efforts in the functioning of these schools. While most of the night schools in the city are set up by private trusts and run by the educationalists, NGOs and few business persons, the government only pays the salary of the teachers.
What more shocking to see is that the teaching staff are all-rounders – they not only teach the enrolled members but do all the odd jobs of cleaning and maintaining the hygiene of the schools. Instead of the government providing stationery and teaching material to the schools, teachers are making efforts from their side to meet the teaching ends of the school.
On one hand, the Indian government hand is talking about educating the youth and making primary education compulsory, at the same time, on the other hand, night schools are facing negligence from the government.