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Education Policy and Practice: Case Studies from Delhi and Mumbai

The policy goals of the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (education for all) programme focus on access and quality education. Using indicators like access and overcrowding, achievement, mainstreaming, fund utilisation and retention of children, this field survey of municipal schools in Mumbai and Delhi provides a comparative analysis of each city's progress towards the stated goal.

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Education Policy and Practice: Case Studies from Delhi and Mumbai

Radhika Iyengar, sharmi surianarain

The policy goals of the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (education for all) programme focus on access and quality education. Using indicators like access and overcrowding, achievement, mainstreaming, fund utilisation and retention of children, this field survey of municipal schools in Mumbai and Delhi provides a comparative analysis of each city’s progress towards the stated goal.

Radhika Iyengar (ri2123@columbia.edu) is with Teacher’s College, Columbia University, New York. Sharmi Surianarain (s-surianarain@kellogg.northwestern.edu) is with the Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University, Illinois, USA.

I
ndia adopted a democratic Constitution on January 26, 1950 and declared itself a republic. Article 45 of this Constitution states, “The state shall endeavour to provide free and compulsory education to all children up to the age of 14 years within 10 years of adoption of this Constitution”. Over the last 50 years, the education scenario has changed considerably and the literacy rate has risen to about 60 per cent. However, free and compulsory education has remained a distant dream. Government statistics indicate that nearly 30 per cent of India’s children are out of school and deprived of their fundamental right.

Although the problems of primary education in India are plenty, and efforts are being made to address the situation, civil society – including the academic community and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) – remains involved in mostly peripheral, localised ways. Only a few studies exist that simultaneously link the macroperspective with local situations, and the general issues with the more specific education issues that every child in school faces. The People’s Report for Basic Education (PROBE) of 1999 is perhaps the only comprehensive documentation of the status of basic education in the country by a non-governmental group. If nothing else, the report points to the need for ongoing reviews of the status of education in the country at various levels and in different parts of the country.

The poor delivery of basic services (education, health, water, etc) is a major problem in India, indeed in much of the developing world. This creates a huge gap between word and action, intent and result, policy and practice. The poor delivery mechanism is also related to the principalagent problem, exemplified by the gap between government and citizen, school and parents/children, policymakers and implementers. It is therefore critical to evolve concrete mechanisms of involvement of civil society: of social audit and interaction between policymakers and implementers, implementers and service providers, service providers and “beneficiaries”, who will help to translate policy into practice to the maximum benefit of the child. This article attempts to apprise the above-mentioned stakeholders of some of the ground level responses on basic questions on primary education such as access, learning achievement, mainstreaming, transition between classes, and funds flow. The study forms part of a larger effort of the NGO, Pratham, to compare the status of primary education in Mumbai and Delhi. Pratham works under the mission “every child in school and learning well”, and has so far established a presence in 13 states, reaching hundreds of thousands of children in direct and indirect programmes across the country.

Methods

The study specifically examines the “knowledge, attitudes and practices of the implementers”, i e, the municipal corporations of Delhi and Mumbai respectively. The teams in Delhi and Mumbai conducted interviews with the headmasters (HMs) and teachers of 21 schools of Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) and 13 schools of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) between August and December 2004. The schools were selected randomly and were evenly distributed in zones in which Pratham has a presence in both Delhi and Mumbai. In Delhi, the areas covered were south Shahdara, central Shahdara, north Shahdara, city zone, and west Delhi. Representative s amples of schools in evening/morning shifts were selected.

In Mumbai, schools were selected from a cross section of wards across the six administrative zones: F, F-S, M-E, M-W, E, L, and P-S. The aim was to get an equal distribution of schools from a broad range of areas in which Pratham had a presence, to avoid intra-regional bias. A representative

NOTES

sample of Marathi, Urdu, and Hindi medium schools was selected.

The teams in Delhi and Mumbai decided on five questions based on issues of major concern drawn from our experiences in primary education with parents and community members. HMs and teachers within the school system were asked a series of simple questions about access and overcrowding, completion/retention, learning, mainstreaming and use of money. Through their responses, we were able to get glimpses of the structure of decision-making and governance within the two school systems. The set of “layman’s questions” about the school system enabled us to uncover and understand ground-level roadblocks and constraints to universalisation of primary education.

By observing trends that emerge from the interviews, responses were coded into broad categories representing the level of exposure to the problem area (know ledge/ attitude); and the strategies used to resolve the respective problems (practice). Specifically: a “routine response” represents action taken to the extent of reporting the problem to the local authorities but not taking individual initiative or thinking creatively to resolve the issue. A “local basic response” represents the school official trying to solve the problem by working on some basic solutions that can be applied locally, for example, in an over-crowded school, the HM makes children sit in the verandahs instead of refusing children admission. However, many of these represented temporary solutions to a larger problem. If the school personnel demonstrated unusual initiative in finding a solution in addition to those stipulated by the system, that represents the “innovative response” category. If there was no solution provided to address the problem it was represented as a “no response” category. Note that we have coded the responses based on verbal reports from interview notes supplemen ted by field observations of practices. The level of exposure to the problem is classified as “high” if the school has encountered the problem and gives due importance to the issue; “medium” if the school had faced the problem but cannot relate to the problem and the bigger picture; and “low” if the issue is not posed as a problem at all. In the end, for the purpose of quantitative analysis we have used codes for various responses. For purposes of confidentiality, the names of the schools in which interviews were conducted have not been disclosed, nor have names of headmasters and teachers been revealed.

Access and Overcrowding

Context: Overcrowding in schools in many locations in Mumbai and Delhi is a reality. In Mumbai there is a shift in population from south Mumbai to suburban locations on the eastern and western railway lines leaving schools in south Mumbai with extra space and schools in suburban locations bursting at the seams. In Delhi, densely populated areas form a ring around the city: resettlement colonies in the southern, and western districts and slum localities across the Jamuna are coping with large enrolments whereas school buildings in the old city or in newer and more up-market locations generally have extra space. Inevitably, teacher-student ratios in these overcrowded schools are abysmally low, affecting the amount of interaction teachers can have with their students individually. It is often the students who are most at risk of dropping out that get shortchanged in this process.

We wanted to understand what schools, headmasters, and teachers can do to cope with the problems of overcrowding prevalent in most urban schools in disadvantaged areas. So we asked the following question to teachers and HMs in schools in Mumbai and Delhi: “The m unicipal primary school in our locality is very overcrowded. Children are sitting in the verandahs and outside. More space is needed urgently. What can be done about this?”

Response of average school in Delhi: “We have a rotation system. (The school had 16 classes but only 13 rooms.) Classes IV, V and nursery had their own rooms. Classes I, II and III shared a room.” Response of average school in Mumbai: “If there is no space then we divide some classes into two groups and put the groups into other classrooms along with other classes.”

Fourty-six per cent of the schools interviewed in Delhi and 56 per cent of schools in Mumbai reported that they had a high degree of exposure of the problem of access. From Table 1, the majority of schools interviewed in Delhi (41 per cent) reported local basic solutions (sitting in the corridors, splitting up classes) for problems of overcrowding. In Mumbai, an even number of schools – 46 per cent of schools interviewed respectively – reported using local basic solutions and innovative solutions to address the problem of access.

Table 1: School Strategies to Address Overcrowding

Delhi Mumbai Response Number Percentage Number Percentage

No solution 4 18.20 1 7.70

Systemic/routine solution 7 31.80 0 0.00

Local basic solution 9 40.90 6 46.20

Innovative solution 2 9.10 6 46.20

Total 22 100.00 13 100.00

The local basic solutions in Delhi and Mumbai were similar and included using corridors and verandahs to accommodate classes; splitting up classes and dividing students among other classrooms; using other school and staff rooms, school compounds. The systemic solutions in the two cities differed greatly. There was no Mumbai equivalent of Delhi’s “porta-cabins” and tent schools, but there was a system of satellite schools set up in remote areas without access to municipal schools. Many schools in both cities reported using the standard channels to request additional space-making written requests to the respective authorities to build additional rooms, etc. Innovative solutions in Mumbai included partnering with other schools to share space, using a bus service to satellite “Bhagshala” schools, and partnering with NGOs to free up community space. Further, in Mumbai, some teachers made the observation that children learning in corridors were more likely to learn less and eventually drop out. In Delhi, innovative approaches to addressing the problem included using open community spaces such as colony parks and conducting p rotests to demand a school building.

From the interviews, it seems that the schools that have a high degree of exposure to the problem of space and overcrowding in schools respond by adopting innovative solutions. These schools realise that overcrowding is a long-term problem in the area and hence adopt innovative mechanisms to cope. However, areas with relatively few space problems seem to resort to routine solutions – and can afford

september 20, 2008

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to wait until administrative requests are processed. This finding suggests that better-equipped schools with no space shortages do not seem as innovative as some of the worse-off schools that have acute space shortage.

Achievement

Context: What do children learn in school? What is the expected level of achievement in the class? How do you know if a teacher is teaching well? The issues of achievement in municipal primary schools need school everyday, but still is weak in studies. How do you identify weak children? What can you do for my child?”. Most schools in both cities report a high exposure to the issues of poor learning in the classroom – 64 per cent of schools interviewed in Delhi and 84 per cent of schools interviewed in Mumbai reported that they had children who were not learning well.

Table 2: School Strategies to Address Achievement
Delhi Mumbai
Response Number Percentage Number Percentage
No solution 8 36.40 0 0.00

system wide response to children who need academic support. There are schools and teachers who have organised remedial education efforts in their own schools and classes, but these mechanisms represent more of a local response or an individual initiative. The data indicates that in Mumbai, a larger percentage of headmasters and teachers have engaged with individual initiatives and local basic responses to address the problem of poor learning. The interviews suggest that teachers and headmasters often resort to

serious attention, especially in large urban Systemic routine solution – – – – stopgap solutions to the problems of

areas where primary education is provided Local basic solution 13 54.50 6 46.20 achievement – including pull-out instruc

on a massive scale.

The policy of automatic promotion till standard V allows for progress through primary school without ensuring that children are actually learning at the expected level – most children are promoted on the basis of attendance alone. Further, there are no formal remedial education programmes to help weak children catch up with the rest, nor are there institutions that monitor progress in primary schools besides the internal examination system. Evaluation and assessment of municipal primary schools in mega-cities is difficult, despite the involvement of the many a uthorities such as school inspectors and beat officers. The headmasters and teachers interviewed indicated that the function of supervision was reduced to an administrative routine, which evaluated the school for infrastructure, teacher attendance, salary allocations, and transfers. While local government in both cities have emphasised parent-teacher associations (PTAs) to deliver children’s progress reports, illiterate parents sometimes are not in a position to understand their child’s progress levels. Parents, too, believe that their responsibility ends with sending their child to school and not looking at what children are learning in school.

The question on achievement was framed as follows: “My child goes to

Response of average school in Delhi: We have many children who cannot read properly. We identify the children and give them special attention. However, the parents do not give them help – which is the main problem. Response of average school in Mumbai: The weak children are given extra time, but it is difficult as we have few teachers. So we use more teaching aids. But the parents do not bother.

Innovative solution 1 9.10 7 53.90

Total 22 10.00 13 100.00

From Table 2, it seems that a large percentage of teachers and headmasters resorted to local basic solutions to address the problems of learning levels – 55 per cent of schools interviewed in Delhi and 46 per cent of schools in Mumbai indicated that the weak children were identified and given special attention. In Mumbai, 54 per cent schools interviewed indicated that they employed innovative strategies to address the problem of poor learning levels, compared to only 9 per cent (two schools) in Delhi. No schools in either city adopted routine mechanisms to deal with weak students, underscoring the lack of institutionalised academic support.

The local basic solutions in both cities were roughly similar – most headmasters and teachers emphasised identifying those weak children, pulling them out, and giving them extra time and teaching. Some of the innovative solutions reported in Mumbai included partnering with local NGOs to make use of additional classroom support and help in teaching techniques; motivating parents to monitor children’s p rogress at home; frequently evaluating c hildren’s progress through randomised assessment tools. In Delhi, innovative strategies included partnering with NGOs and teacher training institutes and a weekly calibration of children’s progress.

Interestingly, the routine (systemic) response in this situation is teachers/ heamasters referring to parents and to PTAs. The school system’s response to low levels of learning is to involve parents. The system itself does not offer an in-school tion and specialised help. While some schools have demonstrated ability to partner with other organisations to receive technical and resource support – there seems to be a lack of institutionalised support mechanisms to address weak children.

Mainstreaming

Context: The considerable migration of job-seeking populations in and out of mega-cities implies that the population within these large urban agglomerations is constantly shifting. This trend specifically affects low-income neighbourhoods in big cities – a vast majority of migrant work is in the form of low-paid informal labour, obliging those that do migrate to take up makeshift residences in lowincome neighbourhoods. Many migrant families move into the cities in incremental shifts – often a few family members remaining in the native village while the breadwinners come into the city first. Consequently, many families live across state borders, necessitating frequent visits back and forth.

Children in this situation face a number of difficulties in their educational career – if they attend school at all. Some are r egistered in both the village and city school – however, frequent visits home i mply prolonged absences from either school. Further, entering school midstream requires transfer certificates that parents and families sometimes just are not able to acquire. To better understand the capacity of schools to deal with the problem, we posed the following q uestion: “We have just come to the city from the village. My daughter is 10 years

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september 20, 2008

NOTES
Table 3: Strategies to Address Mainstreaming

old. She dropped out of the village In Mumbai, municipal schools are up to

Delhi Mumbai

school two years ago. We do not have standard VII. Children then move into sec-

Response Number Percentage Number Percentage

any t ransfer certificate. We really want ondary schools. In order to find out how

No solution – – – –

her to go to school here in the city. What municipal primary schools cope with

Systemic/routine solution 19 86.40 9 61.50

can be done?” issues of transition from primary to

Local basic solution 2 9.10 3 23.10

Response of average school in Delhi: A mandatory form must be filled out by the student, then the child is tested and based on the results, placed into the appropriate standard. The school admits overage children but only till age nine. Response of average school in Mumbai: If a child is over-age, she is tested then admitted. Her progress is monitored, and reported to the beat officer. The parents fill out a declaration form and the child is then admitted.

Ninety per cent of schools in Delhi reported low exposure to the problem of mainstreaming, as compared to 54 per cent of schools in Mumbai. The majority of schools in Delhi (87 per cent) and M umbai (69 per cent) resorted to systemic and routine mechanisms for addressing problems of mainstreaming. Only one school in each city reported using innovative mechanisms to address the issue. The routine mechanisms used by schools to deal with children entering the system mid-stream in both cities are similar – the child or his/her parents fill out the r equisite form, then the child takes a test and is admitted in the appropriate class. Waiving the affidavit form requirement during enrolment drives was another s ystemic solution. At a local basic level, some schools allowed for more flexible means of admission, stating that complete paperwork was not an issue. The i nnovative strategies included fol-

Innovative solution 1 4.60 1 15.38

Total 22 100.00 13 100.00

seems to fall under the purview of administrative officers in both Mumbai and Delhi. However, there are still relatively few systems to admit children whose parents cannot get TCs, overage children, and dropouts more than a year or so after dropping out. Further, none of the schools discussed the possibility of linking up with neighbourhood non-formal education centres (learning centres, Employment Guarantee Scheme (EGS) schools, etc) to enrol children who were formerly out of school into the mainstream education system. In cases of overage children, children who failed the entrance test, or children whose parents cannot pay the required admission fee, etc, are admitted at the HM’s discretion. This illustrates that, while policy regulations have changed, there remain discretionary practices at the local level that could equally facilitate or thwart a child’s chances of being admitted into school.

Transition

Context: From our experience, large numbers of children seem to dropout from

Table 4: School Strategies to Address Transition

secondary school, we asked the following question: “My child has completed (standard V in Delhi and standard VII in Mumbai). There is no municipal or government school beyond this stage near our house. We do not have money to send our child to private school. What shall we do?”

Response of average school in Delhi: The senior schools send back forms for children that matriculate from our schools and we give them TCs. Although there is 10 per cent dropout due to financial constraints. Response of average school in Mumbai: Parents should talk to the BMC to provide more senior schools.

Twenty-two per cent of schools interviewed in Delhi had had high exposure to the problems associated with transition, as opposed to only 8 per cent of Mumbai schools. From Table 4, a majority of schools in both Delhi (55 per cent) and Mumbai (46 per cent) adopt routine or systematic strategies to cope with transition. The routine mechanisms to address the problems facing children transitioning out of primary into the secondary system were that parents should talk to the municipal corporations to build more secondary schools, and sending the TC or school leaving certificate with the child to the secondary school after matriculation. The few schools that were innovative indicated that they provided advice on night schools and educational opportunities for working children, tried to ensure that deserving children received scholarships, and assisted children during the admissions process.

A disaggregated look at the responses of Delhi schools revealed differences a ccording to the zones that the schools were in. All the schools interviewed in the west zone followed a policy by which the school authorities help the child get admitted into secondary school up to three times. Schools in north Shahdara simply sent the local secondary school a list of graduating standard V children together with the TCs. The schools in central Delhi and central/south Shahdara did not follow such an institutionalised policy. This lowing up with the children’s parents a fter the test to ensure that the child’s learning l evel was properly assessed and support made available at home (Delhi); allowing c hildren to sit inside classrooms until parents procure a transfer certificate (TC), and helping parents p rocure the TC (Mumbai).

No school in Delhi reported going out of the way to ensure that all children in their jurisdiction area are enrolled in school, while in Mumbai, one school conducted community surveys to enrol all out-ofschoolchildren into school, and admitted dropouts even after a year of having dropped out. From the interviews, it seems that there are some basic systems in place to ensure that children can get admitted into school even after official admission dates. Admitting children after enrolment

Delhi Mumbai Response Number Percentage Number Percentage

No solution 7 31.80 3 23.10

Systemic/routine solution 12 54.60 6 46.20

Local basic solution 2 9.10 1 7.70

Innovative solution 1 4.60 3 23.10

Total 22 100.00 13 100.00

school during critical transitions from p rimary to secondary school – the point of transition being standard V-VI in Delhi and standard VII-VIII in Mumbai. Municipal primary schools in Delhi cater to children up to standard V, after which children move to a secondary school for standard VI and beyond. Each area secondary school has a set of feeder municipal primary schools. In Delhi, primary schools are under the jurisdiction of the municipal corporation and secondary schools are run by the Delhi government.

NOTES

intra-zone variation indicates that the differentiated policy implementation may depend on the school inspectors and the zonal in charge, who refashion district and city policy-based on their perceptions of the problem.1

Context: As part of Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA), each primary and upper primary school gets an annual grant of Rs 2,000 for “replacement of nonfunctional school equipment”. This money can be spent only by village education committees or school management committees. In addition, every primary schoolteacher and upper primary schoolteacher receives Rs 500 per year to be spent on teaching-learning material (TLM). We were keen to understand how funds that schools and teachers receive under SSA were used, and whether there were problems in receiving the funds, etc. Were teachers aware of this resource? Did they receive the amount in time? Was how they spent the money dependent on the records they needed to keep to show how they spent the money? Towards this end, we asked the following question: “I have heard that under SSA each teacher is getting Rs 500 for

spending on teaching-learning. Have the teachers in our school got it? What will they spend it on”?

Response of average school in Delhi: We spent the money on charts, maps, globes, and teaching aids. The money was useful but not enough to meet our more pressing needs like lights, water, etc. Response of average school in Mumbai: We spent the money on stationery, maps, and TLM. We had no problems receiving the money.

All the teachers and headmasters interviewed unanimously reported little to no problems in receiving the funds. Most schools used the money to purchase TLM. All respondents described routine mechanisms of using the funds – no headmaster or teacher had attempted to either pool the money together to buy larger items or had invested the money in any nonconventional items. Items purchased were, typically, charts, maps, globes, etc. The responses indicate that there were few innovative mechanisms employed in the use of the allocated SSA funds. Many respondents indicated that they had tried to use the SSA funds as stipulated by SSA norms for TLM, but that their l arger concern was with more basic issues – such as space and electricity shortages, water problems, etc. This indicates that, while there was no problem in the funds’ disbursement, the funds seemed to a ddress a small fraction of the schools’ real needs.

Discussion and Conclusion

From the analysis of school personnel responses in Mumbai and Delhi, it is clear that we need to bridge the gap between planning and implementation. Any atte mpt at large-scale policy revision is beyond the scope and objectives of this paper. The MCD and the BMC are both large organisations responsible for the education of millions of children – and, as can be expected from any large organisation, there are bound to be difficulties in translating policy into practice.

Taking these simple indicators as our benchmark to measure the effectiveness of the education policy enabled us to c onduct a micro-level analysis of the implications of macro-level education policy. The questions that were formulated, k eeping in mind the policy indicators, touched upon routine problems that the schools faced every day. The idea was to

september 20, 2008

NOTES

bring out local variation in implementation of higher level policies. This supports the claim that the individual’s reaction to policy changes the form of policy i mplementation [McLaughlin 1991]. Therefore, to enable better evaluation of the e ffectiveness of a policy, an assessment of individual perceptions is critical. The variation in responses to policy d ilemmas

– ranging from adopting innovative, r outine, or systemic solutions imply that actors at the ground level make suitable appropriation of the policy and change the outcome of the policy itself [Sutton 2001].

Exposure

Exposure to the problems may indicate the acuteness of the problem itself. For example, exposure to the problem of overcrowding and access was much higher (Delhi 46 per cent, Mumbai 56 per cent) than exposure to problems of transition (Delhi 22 per cent, Mumbai 8 per cent). In order of degree of exposure to the problem in both cities, mainstreaming would rank highest, followed by achievement, access and overcrowding, and finally transition. This may indicate that the greatest problems are still of getting children into school – encompassing the first goal of the official SSA policy (all children age six to 14 in school). This suggests that more schools may be needed to address the problem of mainstreaming, access and limited space.

High degrees of exposure to the problem of achievement (Delhi 64 per cent, Mumbai 84 per cent) indicates that schools are also concerned with poor learning in the schools. The fact that roughly half the schools in Delhi and Mumbai (46 per cent and 56 per cent respectively) are exposed to overcrowding suggests that the problem may be spread out – acute in some areas but not a problem in some others. A more creative and efficient use of available space may be a solution to address this problem of space shortage. The schools that did complain about the space shortage made it clear that they had few systemic solutions to address the problem of inadequate space.

The exposure to problems of transition was relatively low (Delhi 22 per cent, Bombay 8 per cent). This may have two implications: one is that primary schools do not feel responsible for the education of children upon graduation from their schools; or that children who are capable should move on to middle schools with ease. The fact that many children drop out during the year of transition from primary to middle school suggests that the policy of automatic promotion (operational until the last year of primary school) may do a disservice to those children who are farthest behind – provi ding teachers with few signs early on to detect that they are not learning at the expected level.

By city, Delhi’s most significant problem is that of mainstreaming, and Mumbai’s is achievement. This may imply that there are quite a few children still out of school in Delhi as compared to Mumbai. This may suggest that the two cities are at different stages in their focus on improvement of elementary education.

Solutions

Across all indicators, teachers and HMs in Delhi seem less innovative towards problem solving than in Mumbai. On issues regarding access and mainstreaming, at least half the Mumbai schools interviewed offered innovative solutions to the problems described compared to only 9 per cent of Delhi schools. Delhi teachers and HMs often did not outline a solution for a problem at all. Except for 7 per cent of responses to the access question, all Mumbai schools offered some solution to the questions asked.

In general, Delhi seems to rely on systemic solutions to resolve the problems that the schools face. In trying to find local solutions, Mumbai schools are ahead of Delhi, except for the transition problem, where Delhi scores marginally higher. Mumbai scores well above Delhi in suggesting innovative solutions to problems. This may be partly due to the fact that Delhi is still struggling with basic issues of access and overcrowding, whereas M umbai schools are more concerned with achievement – suggesting that once access is taken care of, a focus on learning and adopting innovative solutions to addressing remaining problems may follow.

Finally, comparing indicators, mainstreaming seemed to have the highest percentage of systemic solutions in both cities (86 per cent in Delhi and 62 per cent in Mumbai), indicating that this problem area seemed, on average, to be welladdressed by the education system in both cities. Transition seemed to be the next systemically well addressed problem in both cities. However, it was disconcerting to note that problems with student achievement could not avail of any systemic solutions – indicating that the education system of both cities seemed relatively ill-equipped to handle problems of low achievement in the classroom. It was encouraging that the schools employed local basic and innovative solutions to the problem, but the responses also point towards a clear failing in the education system.

The above results then beg the following policy level questions:

  • Can these innovative and local basic solutions be somehow integrated into the system as routine responses?
  • What measures can be taken to provide schools with solutions that are easily implementable?
  • While responses to these questions lie beyond the scope of this paper, we believe that giving school administration greater flexibility in integrating some of their local solutions may partly resolve these issues. However, further research is necessary to fully explore the mechanisms by which policy gaps in implementation can be effectively transformed to practicable, every day solutions.

    Note

    1 A zone wise desegregation of Delhi in this section highlights the contrast in the policy implementation with respect to transition between schools. There was uniformity in responses across zones in Delhi, with all other indicators.

    References

    Banerji, R, S Surianarain (2005): City Children, City Schools: Challenges of Universalising Elementary Education in Urban India, UNESCO, New Delhi.

    McLaughlin, M W (1991): ‘Learning from Experience: Lessons from Policy Implementation’ in A R Odden (ed), Education Policy Implementation, SUNY Press, Albany.

    Pratham Resource Centre (2005): Education for All in India’s Mega-Cities: Issues from Mumbai and Delhi, UNESCO, New Delhi.

    Sutton, M and B Levinson (2001): Policy as Practice: Towards a Sociocultural Analysis of Educational Policy, Ablexc Press, Westport, CT.

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