CCS Working Paper No. 201 Summer Research Internship Programme 2008 Centre for Civil Society
TABLE OF CONTENTS I. II. Introduction Overview of Primary Education in Kolkata
III. A Brief Overview of Slums in Kolkata IV. Sample Survey Research Objectives and Methodology Slum Profile Supply of Education Demand for Education Conclusion Recommendations
VII. References VIII. Annexure
The social, economic and cultural development of a nation is an achievement which rests largely on the educational attainment of its masses. Development theory in recent years has taken note of the importance of education as an index of development of a nation, and with its myriad positive effects on the functioning of a society, the outreach of education to every stratum of society is a subject of great concern. It is in this context that we examined the state of primary education in a slum in the city of Kolkata, which is upheld not only as an exemplary centre of learning and culture, but also as a city where unchecked urbanisation has forced great numbers of people to live in extremely squalid conditions, not having access to the basic amenities of life. Thus, although West Bengal has made considerable progress in the field of literacy and education with the literacy rate rising from 48.6% in 1981 to 68.2% in 2001 (as per census data), the situation which interested us was whether conditions in slums had undergone a change so remarkable. To study the dynamics of demand and supply we conducted a survey in a slum to understand comprehensively the state of education in the slum and diagnose problems if any. It is hoped that our findings shed light on the prevailing conditions and create awareness about the need for policy reforms in the education sector.
OVERVIEW OF PRIMARY EDUCATION IN KOLKATA
The Minister-in-Charge of School Education along with the Secretary and Secretariat is responsible for planning and policy-making in all matters pertaining to School Education, while the Directorate of School Education implements the policies of the government through Inspectorates located at various tiers- districts, sub-divisions and circles. │ Principal Secretary │ _________________________________________________ │ Secretariat Directorate of School Education
Minister-in-Charge of School Education
Primary education in Kolkata is administered by 3 important stakeholders, namely, the State Government, the Kolkata Municipal Corporation, and Private (Individual/Institutional) Stakeholders. The primary schools can thus be classified on the basis of management and/or funding into those: (a) Managed and funded by the State or Union Government (Government schools); (b) Funded and managed by the KMC (KMCP schools); and, (c) Funded and managed by private stakeholders (Private Unaided). Contrary to secondary/higher secondary schools, there is no difference between schools funded and managed by the government and schools funded by the government but managed privately (private unaided), at the level of primary schools – all primary schools funded by the state government, KMC, or privately, are managed by the same. The Department of School Education of the State Government is in charge of all matters relating to education in West Bengal. The responsibility for the provision of primary education in Kolkata and academic policy formulation lays with the West Bengal Board of Primary Education, which is the nodal body for the same, as per the powers vested in it by the West Bengal Primary Education Act, 1973. The State Government, through its District Primary School Councils, runs 12971 primary schools in Kolkata, with an average of 7 primary schools per square kilometre 2 , catering to 317017 students. The Ministry has a dual management system for primary schools – the WBBPE handles all academic and...