ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Para-Teachers in India: Status and Impact

Para-teachers, sometimes called "contract teachers", are being hired in increasing numbers in many Indian states. While hiring conditions, tenure, remuneration, and qualifications vary considerably across states, the use of para-teachers has generated debate about their impact on the quality of elementary education. Based on a critical literature review of available studies and new evidence from the SchoolTELLS survey conducted by the authors and their collaborators, this paper summarises the proof regarding the functioning and impact of para-teachers in elementary schools in India. None of the studies reviewed evaluates the causal impact of para-teachers, but they do suggest that despite poorer training, para-teachers may be more cost-effective than regular teachers. The questions of career progression and equity for teachers, nonetheless, also need to be addressed.

A Political Economy of Education in India - II

The paper explores the political economy factors that influenced the evolution of educational institutions and shaped the legislation that now governs the education sector in UP. The study focuses on the extent of and reasons for teachers' participation in politics, the evolution and activities of their unions, the size of their representation in the state legislature and the link between these and other factors such as the enactment of particular education acts in UP, teacher salaries and appointments, and the extent of centralisation in the management of schools. It attempts to draw out implications for the functioning of schools. The first part of this paper looked at the role of teacher's associations and their evolution as a powerful political pressure group in UP. The second part now analyses the impact the teacher's associations have had on the system of finances in UP, and its impact on general educational levels in the state. Even as strikes, demonstrations, sit-ins in support of more emoluments and benefits have become powerful tools in the hands of these associations, schools see a large degree of absenteeism and apathy towards students, while the state government remains unable to meet non-salary expenditure. [The paper has been published in two parts, this being the second part. The first part appeared last week.]

A Political Economy of Education in India - I

The paper explores the political economy factors that influenced the evolution of educational institutions and shaped the legislation that now governs the education sector in UP. The study focuses on the extent of and reasons for teachers' participation in politics, the evolution and activities of their unions, the size of their representation in the state legislature and the link between these and other factors such as the enactment of particular education acts in UP, teacher salaries and appointments, and the extent of centralisation in the management of schools. It attempts to draw out implications for the functioning of schools. [The paper is published in two parts, this being the first part.]
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