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UNIVERSALISING SECONDARY EDUCATION IN INDIA: SEEKING EFFICIENCY, EFFECTIVENESS AND EQUITY IN PLANNING ENHANCED ACCESS AND IMPROVED QUALITY

S. Jha1, D.M. Nongrum2, D.P. Wahlang3

1IPE Global (INDIA)
2DERT (INDIA)
3Department of Education, Govt. of Meghalaya (INDIA)
This research study seeks to throw light on existing patterns of access and participation in secondary schools nationally and, using three case study states, highlights key issues and offers analytic insight highly relevant for sector planning. The research explores patterns of growth in access to secondary schools and identifies a range of key issues that require consideration in managing the transition towards universal participation up to grade 10. These issues are concerned with the implications for sustainable growth of small secondary schools with enrolments below 150 pupils, and the impact on equity, effectiveness and efficiency of policy and practice on resource allocation.

The Government of India launched Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan (RMSA) to achieve universal secondary education by 2017 through providing good quality secondary schools within 5 kilometres of every habitation, irrespective of particular patterns of demand for secondary education. This form of expansion driven by a rigid compliance to resourcing norms has been found to have led to a growth of large number of small schools across the country. These small schools are highly under resourced, ineffective in delivery learning results, highly cost inefficient and inefficient in converting resources into learning outputs. As the country is going through demographic transition there is a high chance that the current secondary education policy may result in creating large number of such schools with high under-utilised capacities.