Renu Singh has over 25 years’ experience in teaching, teacher education, education policy analysis and research, both in India and abroad. Trained as a Montessorian and special educator, her doctoral study was on the inclusion of marginalised children. Her special interests remain early childhood development, teacher education, inclusion and gender. She has held a number of prestigious positions at NGOs, including Save the Children, and in university departments. She has also advised the Indian Government by serving on a variety of working groups, committees and boards. Currently she is the Country Director at Young Lives India and Visiting Professor at Jamia Millia Islamia University, New Delhi.
Based on their research in Andhra Pradesh, Young Lives, a longitudinal study on childhood poverty, has some interesting insights to offer in terms of children and work. While 98% percent of the children were enrolled in schools at age eight, this decreased to 90% at age 12, 77% by age 15 and 49% by the time the children turned 19. A critical finding from the research is that the majority of children (58%) continuing their education at the age of 15 were in reality combining school with paid and unpaid work.