New Login   

Schooling and Financing

Vimala Ramachandran

Edited by Santosh Mehrotra
Sage Publications, New Delhi, 2005, pp. 328, Rs. 640.00


The edited volume is based on the data generated through Cost and Finance Study commissioned by UNICEF Delhi. Unlike a range of other surveys since the PROBE report of 1999, the value of this study is that it covered both provision of schooling (government and private) and financing by the government as well as households. The introduction by Santosh Mehrotra gives a cursory overview of the main findings as well as the key issues debated in recent literature on elementary education. Among the important issues flagged in that while enrolment rates went up through the 1990s appointment of teachers did not keep pace (leading to overcrowding of school and classrooms especially in the northern states); growth of private schools and rural/urban as well as caste specific differences in access to private schools; government expenditure on elementary education; household expenditure and so on. The overview looks at teacher shortages in conjunction with evidence of teacher absenteeism. The introduction also delves on the fiscal crisis in many states and how that has affected allocation of resources by state governments.   The introduction is followed by state specific chapters covering Uttar Pradesh (Ravi Srivastava), Bihar (Anup K. Karan and Pushpendra), Rajasthan (Sunil Ray), Madhya Pradesh (P.R. Panchmukhi), Assam (Raghabendra Chattopadhyay), West Bengal (Tapas Mazumdar) and Tamil Nadu (Jandhyala B. G. Tilak and A.M. Nalla Gounder). The above scholars are eminent economists and bring to this volume a comprehensive analysis of the fiscal situation in the state and have tried to estimate the cost of UEE in each of the states. Another interesting information compiled in this book pertains to rural-urban differences with respect to the spread of private schools. As the government information system does not generate data on private unaided (unregistered included) schools – the finding that the share of private unaided school in urban areas is high – 33.5% in UP 32.4% in Rajasthan, 28% in Bihar, 19.33% in Assam, 17% in AP and only 3% in West Bengal.   The chapter on Bihar is perhaps the most comprehensive and particularly interesting as it reveals the caste-wise situation of enrolment and retention by different kinds of schools. It is indeed noteworthy that while close to 50% of the forward community children study in private (aided and unaided) schools only 19.7% of SC and 25% of ST have opted out of government schools (p. 115). The chapter also reveals the continued practice of untouchability in schools and the prevalence of social discrimination in the ...

Table of Contents >>
Please or to Read Entire Article

Free Access Online 12 Back Issues
with 1 year's subscription
Archive (1976-2011)
under construction.