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Reform of the Government School System : Towards Greater Trust

Bringing about equity and quality in education faces serious challenges. The enhanced demand for education especially among the most marginalised sections of the society has gone hand in hand with increasing stratification of education. The “crowding out” of public schools by private schools has led to opportunities for schooling being distributed in an unequal manner depending on income. On the other hand, the low standards of public education with the weak functionality of the government schools offers little alternative to the private sector schools, even if the latter is of largely ramshackle quality. Unless there are reforms in government schooling system, strong market advocates of low cost private schools will make deeper inroads.

One of the main hurdles to proper reform of public schooling is the financial constraint. More and more people in policy circles seem to fall for the argument that proper government schools are simply not affordable from the point of view of the State, hence there is little sense in speaking of equity. Some authors demonstrate that even an allocation of 6% of GDP to the education budget would not be sufficient to fund universal school education if the reliance is to be wholly or even primarily on government school system. This study will attempt to examine the assumptions underlying the resource constraint model.

Researchers

Sukanya Bose

Dr. Bose is faculty at the National Institute of Public Finance and Policy, New Delhi. She has previously worked at Eklavya Foundation, IDEAS, New Delhi and at the Indian Statistical Institute.

In the field of education, she has published papers on Economics as taught in school. She has written chapters for and developed school textbooks on Economics and political Science.

Arvind Sardana

Arvind Sardana is currently the Director of Eklavya. He has spent many years in the field of education in India, particularly in curricular and textbook reforms, and in Social Science teaching.

Satadru Sikdar

Satadru Sikdar is currently pursuing his Ph.D. in Development Economics from JNU. At NIPFP, he is a Research Associate. His research interests include development economics and public finance.



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