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

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Investment Gaps in Primary Education

Investment Gaps in Primary Education Jandhyala B G Tilak WHILE making an estimate of investment gaps in primary education in India, Ramachandran et al (1997) have commented on my study [Tilak and Kar 1994] that estimated requirement of resources for education by levels of education, including specifically elementary education (classes I-VIII/age-group 6-14), and by major states in India up to 2000 AD.1 Applying the unit costs of education (for a select few major items) provided by the government of West Bengal (GOWB) to all states in India and using National Sample Survey Organisation's (NSSO) data on enrolments and non-enrolments, Ramachandran et al (1997) estimated investment gaps in primary education in 1995. They seem to argue that this is the best method and that the method l had adopted has serious flaws. Their main criticism of my study refers to (a) my use of official enrolment figures instead of actual attendance rates by age- group, (b) use of 'expenditure per student' instead of 'costs of education', and (c) specification of the cost function. They also argue that ours was not a 'normative' method. I find these comments irrelevant and misleading, as I discuss them in Section 1. Research in this area is not abundant.2 Hence at the very outset I welcome the attempt by Ramachandran et al. But Ramachandran et at's approach and analysis have serious pitfalls, which are described in Section 2.

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