A Research Proposal
Education and Socio-economic Mobility
in the Long-term Transformation of Rural India
Subject: Research Methodology
Education: Expectation and Reality
The increasing expectation toward education (and getting ‘qualifications’ and ‘English’ ability) is visible almost all over India, even among those who have not been able to access to education. New schools, especially so-called ‘public’ schools, recognized and un-recognized, are being set up, and the enrolment ratio at the primary level have reached almost 100% (in some states, over 100%), though the drop-put ratio at primary level is still alarmingly high in some states. But do we have enough data to think the results and reality of this enthusiasm and expectations? For example, Are those who have some years (5ys, 10ys, 12ys…) of schooling actually getting good (better) jobs in the labour market where most of jobs are still in ‘informal sector’ and do not require strict educational qualification? Is there any actual difference of job opportunity and income according to the different type of schooling? Although it is widely recognized that the indicators relating to education, such as literacy and schooling years, are closely connected with regional development (such as income level, diversification of economic activities, family planning and welfare, so on), and macro level statistics of these indicators are available, it does not mean that we have accurate understanding about how it happens and who are the winners/losers in this process. The available statistics still are not enough to understand the reality between education and socio-economic mobility in rural India. Aims:-
What we are trying in this project is to create a kind of data set, focusing on:- 1. From abstract ‘education’ to concrete ‘schools’, 2. Connecting schooling to income and economic activities at household level, 3. Mapping of various data so that we could understand regional patterns and disparities. Point 1: Systems
Colonial background of Indian education with relatively well organized higher (English medium) level and scanty condition of primary to middle level with big regional disparities have made the system plural, if not fragmented. This trend has been further accelerated by the educational policies after independence. The need to develop human resources tended to put priorities in higher education, especially that of science, besides the policy focus on primary to middle level was ‘to spread’, stressing quantity than quality, inclining to welfare programs rather than integrated educational systems.
Point 1: Systems 2
After the introduction of ‘Education for All’ in the mid-80s, especially from 90s onwards, the various ‘reforms’ have been promoted in primary to middle level schools. But most of the reforms are to ‘add’ new types of ‘reformed’ school, to make the system more complicated, rather than to reshape the system itself. Educational system has ‘inertia’ everywhere in the world and Indian government, both of central and state, are not ‘strong’ enough to regulate various vested interests. One of the best examples might be the recent arguments on ‘unrecognized schools’ in Delhi. Point 1: Systems 3
Privatization of various levels and forms has been accelerated since the 90s to meet people’s educational demands. It includes huge investment of foreign and domestic capitals to a tiny ‘public’ schools set up at backyard of private houses. Government has also introduced new approaches, including tie-up with NGOs. Thus, the actors in educational systems have been considerably widened. Point 1: Systems Point 1: Systems 4
It is no doubt that these changes have mobilized aspirations of people, but at the same time, 1. ‘School choice’, largely depending on resources and information the parents can utilize, become more important. There is a good...
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