Transforming rural primary schools: case for community centred approach

Siddiqui, Javed (2018) Transforming rural primary schools: case for community centred approach. Learning Curve (30). pp. 56-59.

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India has the exceptional achievement of having a primary school (class I-V) within one kilometer in 98 percent of its habitations. Access to physical infrastructure is matched in official records with enrolment in excess of 96 percent. But the good progress on getting rural children to schools is, however, substantially lost with low retention and insufficient learning levels, restricting opportunities for their future lives as citizens, parents and contributing members of the economy. ASER 1 2016 shows that 27 percent of all children in Std. VIII were unable to read a Std II level text, almost 57 percent were unable to solve a 3-digit by 1-digit division sum. The proportion of children in Class III who are able to read at least Class I level is barely 42.5 percent. Transforming Rural India (TRI) baselines focused on rural primary schools across 17 districts in east-central India showed even poorer results. Further, it found rural schools are rarely open for full school hours, on an average we have 25 percent regular teachers and 25 percent untrained ‘guest’ teachers and almost 50 percent vacancy. It is not a surprise that parents are pulling their children out of government schools: these are truly worrying statistics. Our schools are failing to equip children with basic skills and setting stagnation in inter- generational mobility. In rural schools, the majority of children are first time learners and, with over half of the parents never having been to school, their aspirations from schooling includes support in furthering family advancement. Thus, the social cost of this systematic neglect of rural schools includes the family and the community.

Item Type: Articles in APF Magazines
Authors: Siddiqui, Javed
Document Language:
Uncontrolled Keywords: Education, Elementary education, Early childhood education
Subjects: Social sciences > Education
Divisions: Azim Premji University > University Publications > Learning Curve
Full Text Status: Public
Publisher URL:

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