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Getting Children Back to School

Vimala Ramachandran (Editor)
Synopsis Despite the widespread acceptance of the vital importance of elementary education, there is still a great deal that remains to be done to actualize the goal of universal elementary education in India. A significant proportion of children, especially girls and those from underprivileged backgrounds, either drop out at an early stage or learn very little. The quality of education in government schools also leaves a great deal to be desired. Firmly rooted in the belief that every child has a right to basic education, this volume explores strategies and alternatives to keep children in school, reach out to those outside the schooling system, and improve the quality of elementary education. To this end, it brings together case studies of innovative educational programmes from the voluntary sector which influence, support and strengthen basic education, particularly forward and backward links. The case studies variously deal with: Pre-school education, School preparedness camps and bridge courses, Self-esteem and confidence-building programmes for children and youth from disadvantaged communities, In-school remedial courses which enhance learning and reduce dropout rates, Social mobilization specifically targeted towards child workers, Accelerated educational programmes for out-of-school children which provide older children an opportunity to complete primary education and help them acquire livelihood skills. The volume concludes that government and non-governmental initiatives are neither competing nor mutually hostile when it comes to delivering primary education to target populations – they, in fact, are the most effective when working together. Hence, a triangular and synergistic partnership between the government, NGOs and the local community is what is needed to make universal elementary education a meaningful reality. An important feature of the programmes included is that they can be replicated, while the contributors have also discussed the problem areas. With its wide canvas encompassing girls, disadvantaged communities, tribal populations, labouring children and both urban and rural settings, this immensely practical and exciting volume will be of interest to educationists, NGOs, policy makers, donor agencies, and all those involved in primary education and child labour issues. It can also be used as supplementary reading in education programmes in universities.
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About the author

Vimala Ramachandran

Vimala Ramachandran is Director, Educational Resource Unit, Jaipur and Delhi, a research and consulting group which she established in 1998. She is also a co-founder and Managing Trustee of Health Watch Trust – a network of NGOs, researchers and institutions working on issues related to women’s health, gender, population and development. She began her career teaching Indian politics and political philosophy at a women’s college in Delhi University. Leaving the groves of academe, Vimala Ramachandran worked with the Department of Education, Government of India, from 1987 to 1993 to design an education programme for adult women called Mahila Samakhya – Education for Women’s Equality. She established this programme in Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh and Gujarat. Thereafter, Ms Ramachandran has been an independent development consultant and researcher. Besides writing reports and contributing chapters to edited volumes, she has previously edited Bridging the Gap between Intention and Action: Girls’s and Women’s Education in South Asia (1999) and Getting Children Back to School – Case Studies in Primary Education (Sage, 2003). She writes regularly on education in The Hindu and Economic and Political Weekly.

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Bibliographic information

Title Getting Children Back to School
Format Hardcover
Date published: 01.01.2003
Edition 1st ed.
Language: English
isbn 8178291827
length xviii+423p., Figs.; Tables.