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Gender and Social Equity in Primary Education: Hierarchies of Access

Vimala Ramachandran (Editor)
Synopsis In recent years, India has made impressive strides in increasing literacy rates and in enabling access to education. The country now seems well set to provide universal and good quality basic education. Yet, behind this otherwise rosy picture lie serious concerns relating primarily to gender and equity. This volume provides an insightful understanding of the ground realities of primary education programmes, particularly those run by the District Primary Education Programme (DPEP). Combining secondary research with field studies conducted in six states, the contributors explore gender and social equity issues in primary education. They conclude that there is a subtle but nevertheless discernible 'hierarchy of access' to education, which has resulted in new forms of segregation in primary schools. The findings indicate that a child's gender, caste, class and community tend to define the nature of the school he or she attends which, in turn, has implications for the processes of teaching and learning. The field studies also explore the perceptions of parents, teachers, children and the community regarding primary schooling and the impact of the DPEP. The volume additionally elaborates on the institutional mechanisms and strategies required to improve schooling and reduce inequalities, as also assesses the efficacy of various non-formal and alternative education initiatives. Vividly capturing the texture and nuances of primary education through qualitative investigations, this volume is unique in drawing attention to the new segregation in basic education. It will be widely welcomed by educationists and sociologists and will be equally useful to policymakers, administrators, teachers and NGOs engaged in education.
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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 Gender and Social Equity in Primary Education: Hierarchies of Access
Format Hardcover
Date published: 01.01.2004
Edition 1st ed.
Language: English
isbn 817829382X
length 381p., Tables; References; Bibliography; Index; 22cm.