03/03/08

a cry of despair

The continued dismal literacy rate among Adivasis and Dalits is a matter of embarrassment for the leaders [who think themselves as rulers] of India. The overwhelmingly Upper-caste bureaucracy, responsible for taking education and other development measures to the marginalised, see little sense in doing so. They perceive the spread of education as akin to the erosion of their privileges. There are micro-level studies available that hint at the systematic evolution of a culture that denies development to the poor and “lower castes”.
that's from an article (emphasis mine) by arun kumar, general manager, youth, child rights & you, that i found at pritam p.hans' blog. the article goes on to say:

In the field of education, even stronger observations can be made. According to the Seventh All India Education Survey (2002), 47 per cent habitations do not have a primary school. Who might be staying in these areas? Only 20 per cent of habitations have a secondary school. Who might be staying in these areas? Right from the start, the Indian state policies have had a special predilection for Higher education at the cost of primary and elementary education.

The Budgetary allocation for education has never gone past 4.27 per cent of the GDP mark (2000-01). However, the best outlay for elementary education till date has been at 1.19 per cent of the GDP. What it means is that the priority of taking education to those who were historically beyond its periphery has always been lower than catering to those who were already in its fold.

read the article for more plainspeak on sarva shiksha abhiyaan etc. reflect on the attitude of the ruling classes who think high school graduates or worse make good enough teachers for the dalits and other marginalized sections of indian society. doesn't that remind you of the attitude of those who promote 'different schools for different classes'?

i searched for the original article (this seems to be an edited version) but couldn't find it. and neither, unfortunately,.could i find any other article by mr.arun kumar.

4 comments:

praveen said...

> The Budgetary allocation for
> education has never gone past 4.27
> per cent of the GDP mark (2000-01)

But isn't 4% sufficient? Is there any theory which can explain that having more funds will yield results in this area?

kuffir said...

praveen,

'But isn't 4% sufficient? Is there any theory which can explain that having more funds will yield results in this area?'

good point/s. the 6% target can be easily explained- the kothari commission, which had made wideranging recommendations in the formulation of a suitable education policy for india, in 1968, had suggested an education which equals at least 6% of the gdp to achieve such targets as universal literacy levels etc., this was endorsed again by later education policies in 1986 and sometime in the 90s.

will more funds yield better results? more funds might not fund better results- more attention by governments at various levels- centre, state and local level might.. this is what i've suggested in my earlier posts on education, including my recent post: 'more socialist than the swedes'.

kuffir said...

'..had suggested an education which equals at least 6% of the gdp'

please read that as 'education budget that equals...'

praveen said...

thanks for the reply.

 
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