State Control of School Education in Colonial and Post-colonial India (74786)

Session Information: Education & Politics
Session Chair: Warat Karuchit

Thursday, 23 November 2023 11:20
Session: Session 2
Room: Room 603
Presentation Type: Oral Presentation

All presentation times are UTC + 9 (Asia/Tokyo)

Studies have shown that schools are best governed and managed at the local level by local bodies and communities. In the Indian context, it has been argued that educational decentralisation received a significant boost post the constitutional amendments of 1992, which mandated local government school management in rural and urban areas across India. However, drawing from the history of school management in India, we show that in colonial India, government-funded schools were locally managed by district boards and municipal bodies. By studying the education Acts of Indian states post-independence, we show that nearly all states took to a centralised management system with state-controlled appointment and transfer of teachers and funding. Nationally, about 77% of government schools are managed by the state Department of Education, while only 18% of schools are controlled by local bodies. By analysing sections of the Right to Education Act of 2009, we show that while the Act advocates for decentralised management of schools, it fails to devolve funds and functionaries to the local level. We argue that India’s constitutional structure, weak fiscal devolution to local bodies, bureaucratic mistrust of local authorities, fear of local elite capture and upper caste control, and teacher union lobbying has led to centralised state control of education.

Shivakumar Jolad, FLAME University, India
Khushi Rajpuria, FLAME University, India

About the Presenter(s)
Dr Shivakumar Jolad is a University Associate Professor/Senior Lecturer at FLAME University, Pune in India

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Posted by Clive Staples Lewis

Last updated: 2023-02-23 23:45:00