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

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Elementary Education in India

Disadvantages and Segregation through School Choice

The manner in which privatisation in elementary education in India changes student composition, which then creates segregation across school types, is analysed. A unique situation where reproduction of the already existing advantage–disadvantage continuum across social groups gets reinforced, children from the historically deprived socio-economic groups are largely confined to public-funded schools.

The socio-economic diversity among students in a school has a critical role in developing an effective school system. The composition of students in school by ethnicity and social class may influence students’ academic performance, emotional development, attitude towards others, as well as the effective preparing of people for democratic citizenship (Croxford and Paterson 2006). Efforts at developing a singular public education system with participation from every corner of society has been systematically undermined due to the growth of multi-modal and plural management systems, particularly in the school education sector. In India, besides the binary of the public—state/local bodies—and private, there are several grades of public institutions, each drawing its clientele from specific classes of households and occupational categories. At the bottom of the school system are schools those run by the village panchayats, municipalities and other local bodies; education departments of the respective states; Kendriya Vidyalayas; schools by various wings of the defence forces and police departments, railways, and social welfare departments; tribal councils; and various private but government-aided schools. It is also true that the private sector is equally diverse and therefore cannot be considered as a monolith. In all such institutions, the representation of socio-economically deprived groups tends to vary significantly.

Stratification and Segregation

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Updated On : 26th Mar, 2021

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