The current educational policy discourse in India has largely focused on the issues of access to basic education. While increasing access is clearly important, the issue of significantly to sustained access is more important in the present context when the fifty per cent of child population in India in the age group of 6-14 years leave the school before completing the elementary education (GoI, 2009). Despite many attempts and improvements have been made by the several states and central governments, a major chunk of our school students in the elementary grades are silently excluded and putting in the category of ‘potential dropouts’. The magnitude of the problem is very acute in government schools in rural parts of India. By taking a cluster of 11 villages comprising of 23 government schools were randomly selected in the present study, this paper attempts to provide an in-depth understanding about the magnitude and process of the silent exclusion in the sample schools of Madhya Pradesh in India, and also poses a big challenge to Right to Education (RTE) Act which guarantees the completion of elementary education to all children in the age group of 6-14 years. A survey method was done with the tools of structured questionnaire, informal discussions and school roster data. Major findings point out that silent exclusion was very high in all the existing primary and upper primary government schools irrespective of caste, class and gender. Moreover, children in primary schools and belong to socially backward communities exhibited with low self-esteem were more vulnerable. The implications of the study suggest the introduction of attractive programmes which are more joyful and child-friendly at the institutional level.
Pankaj Das, University of Delhi, India
Stream: Education: social justice and social change
This paper is part of the ACEID2017 Conference Proceedings (View)
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