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

Rahul MukhopadhyaySubscribe to Rahul Mukhopadhyay

School Choice in Rural India

Indian parents are faced with more choices of schools, but with less information on schools and schooling. The study across four states in rural India suggests that perceptions of teaching–learning, discipline, and safety of children in schools determine school choice among parents. Expenses are a critical consideration for parents who send children to public schools, while the English medium is important for parents of children going to private schools. However, parental choices of low-fee private schools are often not based on accurate information, and parents emphasise many educationally unimportant but aspirational factors. The marketing efforts of schools and cultural aspirations of parents reinforce each other, allowing for a situation in which actual educational outcomes can be subordinated, or worse, undermined.

Right to Education and Inclusion in Private Unaided Schools

Section 12(1)(c) of the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009 provides for inclusion of children from disadvantaged and weaker sections in private unaided schools. Although meant to foster inclusion and achieve social justice objectives, this legal provision has been highly contested and its implications for the expanding private sector in school education are not fully understood. This article is based on an exploratory study, conducted in Bengaluru and Delhi, which examines the status of implementation of this provision with a view to delineate key issues at the level of state administration, schools and parents. Using qualitative data collected from the two sites, the study compares and comments on the extent to which the provision has been able to deliver on its purported goal of inclusion. It concludes by identifying gaps and challenges that require an urgent policy response.

Research Programmes for Engaged Social Sciences

A report on a national consultation on the state of social sciences and future directions that was held recently at the National Institute of Advanced Studies, Bangalore.

In the Margins of the State

Anthropology in the Margins of the State edited by Veena Das and Deborah Poole; Oxford University Press, New Delhi; pp i to vii + 330, Rs 595 (hardbound).
Back to Top