Summary of Case Studies Conducted in INDIA: EFA Year 2000 Assessment
1.The study on decentralization of education (by Vinod Raina) concludes that there is little doubt that during the past decade, a noticeable desire to decentralize primary education has been evident in the country. However, the limited attempts to involve communities have not really translated in diminishing the role of the state in controlling and regulating education.
2. The study on participatory micro planning for universal primary education (by Abhimanyu Singh) observes that during the previous decade a new hierarchy of micro planning has evolved. Further, the study on role and contribution of NGOs to basic education (by Disha Nawani) concludes that NGOs’ existed in India for over a long period and has contributed immensely towards its various developmental programmes. However, the study notices tremendous diversity among the NGOs.
3. Over time, the concept of continuing education has undergone several evolutionary changes and reincarnations. The study on changing concepts and shifting goals (by C. J. Daswani) advocates that for a post literacy programme to succeed, it is necessary to ensure that the non-literate is equipped with stable literacy skills before the basic literacy programme is terminated. Dr. A. Mathew in his study on Indian engagement with adult education and literacy also mentions that the methodology adopted for implementation of the mass literacy campaigns during 1990s’ had brought in a breath of fresh air.
4. The study on early childhood care and education (by Venita Kaul) concludes that there has been a quantum leap in services and programmes related to ECCE during the last decade. The private sector is making rapid expansion in this area but hardly there is any system of regulation. The study emphasis the need to strengthen the linkages of ECCE programmes with primary education so that it caters to overall development of the child and not be limited to the academic learning aspect.
5. The study on role of private schools in basic education (by Anuradha De, Manabi Majumadar, Meera Samson and Claire Noronha) observes that private schools have been expanding rapidly in recent years. It cautions that increasing privatization will only increase the already strong gender bias in schooling. The number of private institutions is expected to increase, if government system is allowed to deteriorate further.
6. The study on out-of-school children (by Sharada Jain) presents various estimates of out-of-school children of age group 6-14 years that ranges between 63 to 75 million. The children engaged in full-time work as child labourers is estimated to be 60 million.
7. Though significant progress has been made in the provision of education for all girls, the task is not yet complete (by Usha Nayar). Provision of post primary education to girls in rural areas, continued thrust on gender sensitive and gender inclusive curriculum etc. are the major issues that are yet to be tackled with regards to education of girls.
8. The study on status of elementary teachers (by A. S. Seetharamu) mentions that teachers are rarely aware of the values of their work with the overall goals and values of EFA. EFA is not integral to their thinking process. It further mentions that for similar levels of ualifications, certification and performance teachers are paid different salaries. Another study on primary teacher training in the EFA decade (by C. Seshadri) observes that primary teacher education has made remarkable progress in terms of increase in enrolments, variety of training and support institutions. The creation of National council of Teacher Education has, by and large, succeeded in creating a conducive climate for the pursuit of quality in primary teacher education.
9. The study on education of children with special needs (by Sudesh Mukhopadhyay and M. N. G. Mani) observes that the last decade of the century recognized that children with disabilities and special education needs to constitute a significant group in the monitoring of EFA targets. However, there are still serious challenges, which would require increased effort and decisions for ensuring expansion of educational facilities in different parts of the country. The study on education among tribals (by K. Sujatha) concludes that during the past few years, tribal education has witnessed a rapid transformation particularly in the arena of access, pedagogic reform and community participation. However, the study cautions that improvement of educational scenario in tribal areas should not be left out as an intermediate strategy rather efforts should be undertaken to make it sustainable.
10. The study on financing of elementary education in India (by J. B. G. Tilak) reveals that government expenditure on elementary education as proportion of national income declined from 1.6 per cent in 1990-91 to 1.4 per cent in 1996-97. It cautions that unless sufficient resources are devoted to elementary education, the goal might remain unaccomplished. The additional requirements of Rs. 137,000 crores in next ten years for universalisation according to study is neither unachievable nor un-affordable. The study suggests that a strong political commitment to finance liberally the education sector from domestic resources seems to be the only alternative.
11. The study on texts in context (by Anita Rampal) concludes that there have been some major developments in the last decade, though much still remains to be done. There has been a perceptible shift from a monolithic mechanism of curriculum design, through an apex-centralized body, to many more agencies involved in the exercise.
12. The study on role of media in EFA (by Avik Ghosh) observes that considerable investments are made in using communication technologies in education and the coverage of basic education in the media is more than it was 10-15 years ago. The access to information resource centres online, downloading information etc. are a reality to only a few teachers and students in the privileged private schools which should be extended to more teachers and students through a well planned public investment programme in basic education.
Summarized by Dr. Arun C. Mehta based on different EFA Year 2000 Assessment Studies Conducted in India, MHRD & NIEPA, 2000