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

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Learning and Money-Children as Pawns in Dependency Game

Learning and Money Children as Pawns in Dependency Game Krishna Kumar DEPENDENCE on foreign resources for expansion and improvement of primary education, and privatisation of higher education are two salient features of the emerging educational policy. Considering that neither has systemic precedence, together they can be said to form the real and 'new' educational policy replacing the much- publicised National Policy document of 1986. It is not as if 1986 was too early to foreshadow the impending. On the contrary, plans for large-scale induction of foreign resources - both funds and expertise were already afloat and international consultants knew what was cooking in the oven of development business. In retrospect it looks as if it was all a coincidence, but such a view can only be superficial though it has the merit of being consolatory. As far as India is concerned, it is clear that in the years during which the Jomtien conference (March 1990) on 'Education for All' (EFA) was being planned, details of the social safety network were also being worked out to be revealed to the innocent after the announcement of the structural adjustment programme (SAP). Jomtien is now referred to as a turning point at which the attention of the wealthy nation- states was forced upon the plight of the poor, especially the latter's children. No one now needs to be told that Jomtien was merely the venue of a public ceremony at which the poor were introduced into the nasty new world of post-cold war capitalism. For India, Jomtien was the beginning of a structurally adjusted political economy of education. It is hardly surprising that policy documents of the 90s mention Jomtien rather than the Indian Constitution as the origin of the concept of universal schooling. To expect that Gokhale or Tagore might have formed relevant references is to be too arcane and hopelessly 'swadeshi' which only the RSS can afford to be.

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