After seventy years of independence, the tragic reality is that the schools we attend and the quality of education we receive are influenced by our identity; who we are, where we live, how much we earn and our gender.
In Inside Indian Schools: The Enigma of Equity and Quality, Vimala Ramachandran explores the contours of a school system that is facing a crisis of legitimacy. While India aspires to march towards a knowledge driven society and economy, millions of young people are left behind. Those who can afford march out of government schools only to realize that the private schools (barring the elite schools) are no better. The schools they attend leaves them with little knowledge or skill, a very low self-esteem and a bleak future.
The inequalities in the larger society are reflected in the school system, and the elite schools to which the majority of the children have no access, stand apart from the rest. The book argues that the struggle for equality in education, in all schools, is ultimately a struggle for quality, both being two sides of the same coin.
PART I - THE BIG PICTURE
2. Equity and Quality: Two Sides of the Same Coin
3. The Narrative Emerging from Different Data Sources
4. Cumulative Burden of Exclusion of Tribal Communities
5. The Intermeshing of Gender and Equity in Education
PART II - BEHIND THE SMOKESCREEN OF DATA
6. Segregated Schools in an Unequal Society
7. What Facilitates Successful Primary School Completion?
8. What it Means to be a Dalit or Tribal Child in Our Schools
9. The Teacher Conundrum
Vimala Ramachandran is an educationist who lives in Delhi. She was involved in the conceptualization of Mahila Samakhya (Education for Women’s Equality) and established the Educational Resource Unit (now known as ERU Consultants Private Limited) in 1998. Vimala Ramachandran has published widely. Her books include, with Rashmi Sharma, The Elementary Education System in India: Exploring Institutional Structures, Processes and Dynamics. New Delhi. Routledge. 2009; Hierarchies of Access: Gender and Equity in Primary Education (ed.). New Delhi. Sage Publications. 2004.