ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

Articles by Vimala RamachandranSubscribe to Vimala Ramachandran

Government School Teachers in India

Ordinary People, Extraordinary Teachers: The Heroes of Real India by S Giridhar, Chennai: Westland Publications, 2019; 389.

Contract Teachers in India

The political economy of managing the contract teacher cadre has proved difficult, with protests, strikes, anger and court cases consuming teacher as well as administrative time and resources, while doing little to build stability and effectiveness inside classrooms. Indeed, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh--two of the earliest adopters of contract teachers--have either reversed or significantly modified their policy of hiring teachers on contract. A study conducted in nine states --Jharkhand, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Mizoram, Odisha, Punjab, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu and Uttar Pradesh--examines how widespread is the practice of hiring contract teachers across states; to what extent does the profile of the average contract teacher differ from that of regular teachers; what have been the challenges faced by states in meeting their enrolment goals using contract teachers from a political-economy perspective; and how sustainable is the practice of hiring contract teachers.

Women's Struggles

Interrogating Women's Leadership and Empowerment edited by Omita Goyal,New Delhi: SagePublications, first published in 2015; pp 265, hardback Rs 895.

Why Women Teachers Matter in Secondary Education

There have been plenty of policy recommendations and interventions to increase the pool of women teachers in India, especially at the school level. Despite this, research in three districts of Rajasthan shows that any such attempt would need an integrated and organic approach that builds bridges across the secondary, collegiate, and teacher-training levels. The paper points out that what is needed is a definite break from past practice to creatively re-conceptualise the education continuum, while putting forward some recommendations to lower barriers in the way of secondary education for girls in the state.

What It Means To Be a Dalit or Tribal Child in Our Schools

The findings of a qualitative study commissioned by the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan in six states - Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Bihar, Odisha, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan - during 2011-12 to look at inclusion and exclusion in schools may not be original. But they make it possible for policymakers to officially acknowledge the prevalence of exclusionary practices in schools and the urgent need to address them. One of the overarching insights from this study is the need to view inclusion and exclusion from different vantage points: from the outside (who goes to what kind of school); from the inside (what happens inside the school); and in society (who is visible and who is not visible; for example, seasonal or new migrants are often invisible in data on out-of-school children). Equally significant is the influence of the larger society and social norms on what happens inside a school, the attitude and behaviour of teachers and the involvement or lack of involvement of parents and community leaders. Political and social assertion of the rights of dalits and adivasis also influences practices and attitudes.

Attend to Primary Schoolteachers!

Primary schoolteachers in India have no source of academic support whatsoever. In order to enhance efficiency what they require is assistance to cope with classroom situations involving everyday problems or needs. This article examines the drawbacks of primary education system in five Indian states and highlights the problems faced by teachers, administrators and teacher educators, and puts forth ideas for good practices that emerged during the course of the investigation.

Right to Education Act: A Comment

To argue that alternative schools or private schooling can take care of the needs of primary school-going children ("Feasibility of Implementation of Right to Education Act", EPW, 20 June 2009) is to effectively condemn the poor and the marginalised to a second-rate education since they can never afford private and expensive schooling. The need of the hour is higher public investment in school education.

Energising Government Schools for Meaningful Access

When we speak of access to education it means that children are going to school and learning. It may be more appropriate to use the term "meaningful access" encompassing enrolment, regular attendance of children and teachers, availability of books and other learning materials, a learning environment in a functioning school. This paper attempts to synthesise the experience of small and larger projects of the government and non-governmental organisations to address the issue of learning in the government school system.

The Great Number Race and Challenge of Education

The emphasis on enrolment of children into schools in order to meet global norms has led to total neglect of the kind of education that is available to India's poor. While education must be the great equaliser it must be reconstructed to accommodate the varying needs and aspirations of different strata of society.

Re-imagining Education

The analysis of the implications foreducation of the Union Budget2007-08 by Anit Mukherjee (April 7)is extremely timely and important.There is an urgent need to re-imaginethe educational spectrum.

Literacy and Education

Literacy rates are taken to be one of the key indicators of a country's development. In the pursuit and acquisition of the basic criteria that constitute literacy, however, it is education, that vital ingredient necessary for survival and coping in one's world, that is given the go-by.


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