ENHANCING THE QUALITY OF PRIMARY EDUCATION
Primary education is the foundation on which the development of every citizen and the nation as
a whole built on. In recent past, India has made a huge progress in terms of increasing primary
education enrolment, retention, regular attendance rate and expanding literacy to approximately
two thirds of the population. India’s improved education system is often cited as one of the main
contributors to the economic development of India. At the same time, the quality of elementary
education in India has also been a major concern.
Free and compulsory education to all children up to the age fourteen is constitutional
commitment in India. The Parliament of India has recently passed “Right to Education
Act” through which education has become fundamental right of all children of age group 6-14
years. The country is yet to achieve the elusive goal of Universalisation of Elementary education
(UEE), which means 100 percent enrolment and retention of children with schooling facilities in
all habitations. It is to fill this gap that the Government has launched the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan
in 2001, one of the largest such programs in the world.
In this era of information technology, ICT is playing commendable role to bridge the gap
between haves and have not’s in the education system, particularly in rural India. The primary
education vertical of India Development Gateway is an attempt to empower the children and
teachers by providing ample resource materials to achieve the goal of Universalization of
Elementary Education in India.
This is an attempt to fill in this information gap and provide the information on various National
& State level Scholarships and Awards for students by the Government of India through its
Ministries, Departments and autonomous institutions and by the state governments. This
information is useful for the students who pursuing their school level (class 1 to 12th
This attempt is to bring the publicly available information together.
Along side providing free schooling, the Government of India and State governments have
launched many schemes, scholarships and programmes to raise the levels of participation of the
marginalised in school education. Aimed to decreasing dropout rate, reducing gender gap,
motivating students for pursuing higher education and promoting equity.
The scholarships covered in this compilation are given for studies in classes ranging from 1 till
, some of them continuing onwards, covering professional courses and (some) up till Ph. D
level. This is helpful in pursuing higher education studies. Say for instance, the NTS which is
given from class 9 onwards and subject to the student satisfying eligibility conditions, can
continue till Ph.D. In a nutshell, the breakup is as follows.
1. Pre-matric scholarships - which provide scholarships for study in classes 1 to 10th
2. Post-matric scholarships - which provide scholarships for studies from class 11 onwards
and (some) continuing till Ph.D.
3. Secondary and onward grades - class 9 onwards till Ph.D (NTS, for instance).
4. Only for senior secondary grades - classes 11 and 12th
, such as Maulana Azad
Scholarship for meritorious girl students from minority communities.
5. Senior secondary classes - from class 11 onwards and continuing upwards, such as
Kishore Vaigyanik Protsahan Yojana.
6. Secondary and senior secondary grades - classes 9 to 12th
only, such as Chacha Nehru
Education in India is provided by the public sector as well as the private sector, with control
and funding coming from three levels: central,state, and local. Takshasila was the earliest
recorded centre of higher learning in India from at least 5th century BCE and it is debatable
whether it could be regarded a university or not. The Nalanda University was the oldest
university-system of education in the world in the modern sense of university. Western education
became ingrained into Indian society with the establishment of the British Raj.
Education in India falls under the control of both the Union Government and the State
Governments, with some responsibilities lying with the Union and the states having autonomy
for others. The various articles of the Indian Constitution provide for education as a fundamental
right. Most universities in India are controlled by the Union or the State Government.
India has made progress in terms of increasing the primary education attendance rate and
expanding literacy to approximately three quarters of the population. India's improved education
system is often cited as one of the main contributors to the economic rise of India. Much of the
progress, especially in higher education and scientific research, has been credited to various
public institutions. The private education market in India was 5% and in terms of value was
estimated to be worth US$40 billion in 2008 but had increased to US$68–70 billion by 2012.
As per the Annual Status of Education Report (ASER) 2012, 96.5% of all rural children between
the ages of 6-14 were enrolled in school. This is the fourth annual survey to report enrollment
above 96%. 83% of all rural 15-16 year olds were enrolled in school. However, going forward,
India will need to focus more on quality.
Primary education system in India
The Indian government lays emphasis on primary education up to the age of fourteen years,
referred to as elementary education in India. The Indian government has also banned child labour
in order to ensure that the children do not enter unsafe working conditions. However, both free
education and the ban on child labour are difficult to enforce due to economic disparity and
social conditions. 80% of all recognized schools at the elementary stage are government run or
supported, making it the largest provider of education in the country.
However, due to a shortage of resources and lack of political will, this system suffers from
massive gaps including high pupil to teacher ratios, shortage of infrastructure and poor levels of
teacher training. Figures released by the Indian government in 2011 show that there were
5,816,673 elementary school teachers in India. As of March 2012 there were 2,127,000
secondary school teachers in India. Education has also been made free for children for 6 to 14
years of age or up to class VIII under the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education
There have been several efforts to enhance quality made by the government. The District
Education Revitalization Programme (DERP) was launched in 1994 with an aim to universalize
primary education in India by reforming and vitalizing the existing primary education
system. 85% of the DERP was funded by the central government and the remaining 15 percent
was funded by the states. The DERP, which had opened 160000 new schools including 84000
alternative education schools delivering alternative education to approximately 3.5 million
children, was also supported by UNICEF and other international programmes.
This primary education scheme has also shown a high Gross Enrollment Ratio of 93–95% for the
last three years in some states. Significant improvement in staffing and enrollment of girls has
also been made as a part of this scheme. The current scheme for universalization of Education
for All is the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan which is one of the largest education initiatives in the
world. Enrollment has been enhanced, but the levels of quality remain low.
In India and Sri Lanka, due to the British influence, a public school implies a non-governmental,
historically elite educational institution, often modelled on British public schools which are in
certain cases governmental. The most well known public school in Sri Lanka is Royal College
Colombo. Although it is a governmental school it has much autonomy. S. Thomas' College
located in Mount Lavinia and its branches are located in Kollupitiya, Gurutalawa, Bandarawella
and Trinity College, Kandy are the most prominent private schools in the island. Apart from this
Ladies' College, Colombo; Bishop's College, Colombo and Hillwood College, Kandy are the
well known private school for ladies.
There are privately owned and managed schools, many of whom have the appellation "Public"
attached to them, e.g. the Delhi Public Schools, National Public Schools or Frank Anthony
Public Schools. Most middle-class families send their children to such schools, which might be
in their own city or distant boarding school such as Rajkumar College, Rajkot, the oldest public
school in India. The medium of education is English, but Hindi and/or the state's official
language is also taught as a compulsory subject. Preschool education is mostly limited to
organised neighbourhood nursery schools with some organised chains.
According to current estimates, 80% of all schools are government schools making the
government the major provider of education. However, because of poor quality of public
education, 27% of Indian children are privately educated. With more than 50% children enrolling
in private schools in urban areas, the balance has already tilted towards private schooling in
cities; even in rural areas, nearly 20% of the children in 2004-5 were enrolled in private
schools. According to some research, private schools often provide superior results at a multiple
of the unit cost of government schools. However, others have suggested that private schools fail
to provide education to the poorest families, a selective being only a fifth of the schools and have
in the past ignored Court orders for their regulation.
In their favour, it has been pointed out that private schools cover the entire curriculum and offer
extra-curricular activities such as science fairs, general knowledge, sports, music and drama. The
pupil teacher ratios are much better in private schools (1:31 to 1:37 for government schools and
more teachers in private schools are female]
. There is some disgreement over which system has
better educated teachers. According to the latest DISE survey, the percentage of untrained
teachers (paratechers) is 54.91% in private, compared to 44.88% in government schools and only
2.32% teachers in unaided schools receive inservice training compared to 43.44% for
government schools. The competition in the school market is intense, yet most schools make
profit. However, the number of private schools in India is still low - the share of private
institutions is 7% (with upper primary being 21% and secondary 32% - source : fortress team
Even the poorest often go to private schools despite the fact that government schools are free. A
study found that 65% of schoolchildren in Hyderabad's slums attend private schools.
•Teacher compensation has little effect on absence
•Better infrastructure provides stronger incentive to attend schools
•Increase frequency of inspection –local communities, PTAs to monitor
•Modified contract rules
Article 45, of the Constitution of India originally stated:
“ The State shall endeavour to provide, within a period of ten years from the
commencement of this Constitution, for free and compulsory education for all children
until they complete the age of fourteen years. ”
This article was a directive principle of state policy within India, effectively meaning that it was
within a set of rules that were meant to be followed in spirit and the government could not be
held to court if the actual letter was not followed. However, the enforcement of this directive
principle became a matter of debate since this principle held obvious emotive and practical
value, and was legally the only directive principle within the Indian constitution to have a time
Following initiatives by the Supreme Court of India during the 1990s the Ninety-third
amendment bill suggested three separate amendments to the Indian constitution.
The constitution of India was amended to include a new article, 21A, which read:
“ The State shall provide free and compulsory education to all children of the age of six to
fourteen years in a such manner as the State may, by law, determine. ”
Though this problem of increasing the quality of education is slightly tough task, but we can
over come it by following some of the steps that we have already discussed earlier like making
the law of free and compulsory education to every child till he/ she reach his 15, by making
some strong amendments in the rules for govt. teachers about the academic schedule, frequent
inspections by authorities, continuous evaluation regarding the subjects, educating the parents
about the useful ness of min. primary education to children and many more……….
The above mentioned thins can’t be done and expect immediate out come but it’s a time taking
process with fruit full results…..