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Research Journal of Education
ISSN(e): 2413-0540, ISSN(p): 2413-8886
Vol. 2, No. 1, pp: 1-6, 2016
URL: http://arpgweb.com/?ic=journal&journal=15&info=aims
*Corresponding Author
1
Academic Research Publishing Group
Teacher’s Attitude and Its Impact on Children’s Access to
Primary Education: Evidences from Primary Data
Rosy Sulochana* Research Fellow, ICSSR Project & Ph.D in Economics from Banaras Hindu University
Rakesh Raman Department of Economics, Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi
1. Introduction
In the present era, the fundamental challenge before the country like, India is ensuring basic health services,
development of infrastructure and educational access to the masses of younger population. Among such issues, the
issue of access to primary education is the prominent one which is crucial for the targeted section and thus happens
to be the crying need of the society. As a matter of fact, education is recognised as a basic input for empowering
individual and overall development of the society.
The universalisation of primary education continues to be a distant dream even after 50 years of planning,
enormous funding and promises. Rather, the goal of universalisation has only been sparsely achieved and much has
to do with the way access has been defined. The government’s approach of defining access in terms of attainment
i.e., increasing literacy rate, enrolment ratios, infrastructure and teachers availability etc. and then making them
Abstract: Education is recognised as a basic input for empowering individual and overall development
of the society. The universalisation of primary education continues to be a distant dream even after sixty
years of indepencence, enormous funding and promises. Rather, the goal of universalisation has only been
sparsely achieved and much has to do with the way access has been defined. The government’s approach
of defining access in terms of attainment i.e., increasing literacy rate, enrolment ratios, infrastructure and
teachers availability etc. and then making them affordable to the masses has proved to be grossly
unsatisfactory. The approach has been narrowed in including a relevant aspect i.e., the attitude of
providers which determines the willingness of first generation learners to join educational institutions and
thus, affects access to primary education to a large extent. Keeping this in background, the present paper
argues that mere availability and affordability of facilities cannot ensure access. It must be accompanied
with an encouraging attitude and high commitment of education providers. Availability and Affordability
would fail miserably in ensuring access if those who are involved in providing the facilities to the deprived
section actually do not accept their role, acknowledge their responsibility and are not prepared to work
tirelessly towards the end.The paper intends to measure the rural-urban disparity in attitude of teachers for
which it uses data collected through a primary survey of six basic survey units- 4 villages and 2 wards
from the Varanasi district of Uttar Pradesh. Multi-stage sampling has been done to select the schools and
households to be surveyed. Two groups of people were interviewed- parents whose wards were studying
in the schools in the survey area and headmaster of different primary schools falling in the locality, thus
making the total sample size of 450 parents and 31 headmasters, respectively. For measuring attitude, a
psychometric response scale developed by Likert has been used. Likert scaling on 1-5 points has been
done for transforming the qualitative indicators into quantitative one.The findings of the study suggests
that excessive reliance on year end examination, sparse personalised attention of teachers towards
individual problems of the weak students, checking homework on irregular basis and lack of commitment
or an easy going approach of teachers towards their job have been the major problems with schooling
system in general and government in particular. For ensuring commitment and dedication among the
providers, government can employ college/university students during their vacation days for carrying
different surveys so as to reduce non-teaching burden of teachers and allow them to solely teach. Besides
this, the grading of teachers should be done on the basis of their qualification, behaviour and involvement
with students, classroom activity and student’s performance both in terms of oral and written examination
of student. This would enhance the motivation and commitment level of teachers.
Keywords: Empowerment; Universalisation; Access; Availability; Affordability.
Research Journal of Education, 2016, 2(1): 1-6
2
affordable to the masses has proved to be grossly unsatisfactory (Dreze and Kingdon, 2001; Khasnabis and
chatterjee, 2007). The approach has been narrowed in including a relevant aspect i.e., the attitude of providers which
determines the willingness of first generation learners to join educational institutions and thus, affects access to
primary education to a large extent. In government schools teachers have negative attitude especially towards
education of weaker section of the society- they feel that the deprived section neither has the will nor the right and
resources to be educated. Teachers do not make genuine effort to bring marginalized children into the mainstream
schools (Bordia, 2005; Vasavi, 2006).
Keeping this in background, the present paper argues that mere availability and affordability of facilities cannot
ensure access. It must be accompanied with an encouraging attitude and high commitment of education providers.
Availability and Affordability would fail miserably in ensuring access if those who are involved in providing the
facilities to the deprived section actually do not accept their role, acknowledge their responsibility and are not
prepared to work tirelessly towards the end.
The paper is structured into three sections. Section-I attempts to provide a broader perspective of access to
primary education focussing the attitude of providers. Section-II highlights the rural-urban disparity in the attitude of
providers of primary education with the help of primary data collected for the Varanasi District of Uttar Pradesh.
Section-III, provides policy intervention and argues that in rural areas of Varanasi more than providing educational
facilities, creating right attitude among providers would be more effective in ensuring access to primary education.
2. Section-I: Conceptualisation of Access: Attitude of Providers
The existing literature is sufficient to highlight that along with availability (creation of facilities), affordability
(cost of education) is also a key factor. The best infrastructure in the world would not ensure access, if the
infrastructure is not affordable to the majority of the population. However, mere availability and affordability will
not ensure access; a very crucial condition is the right attitude of the providers.
Many scholars have viewed access from the angle of attitude of the providers. Access can be ensured only when
those entrusted with the responsibility of imparting/administering education have the right attitude towards
promoting participation of all social inter-sections of students with bias and malice towards none. In this dimension
of access, scholars like, Subrahmanyam (1984 ), Weindling (1989), Ramachandran (2005) and Dholakia and Iyengar
(2008) have generally indicated towards the following factors associated with the providers of education-
Figure-1. Attitude of Providers
The important aspect from the perspective of access is teacher’s attitude towards the children of deprived caste,
class and income groups. If the teacher’s behaviour towards underprivileged children is extremely detrimental, it will
ultimately lead to the eviction of students from the educational system (Bordia, 2005; Vasavi, 2006). Sometimes, it
is observed that poor children get little attention and experience exclusion in the form of unfamiliarity with
mainstream language used by teachers and other children. In government schools teachers have negative attitude
towards education of weaker section of the society- they feel that the deprived section neither has the will nor the
right and resources to be educated. They are destined to do particular type of work in the social hierarchy and any
effort to educate them would distort the caste hierarchy and also the social division of labour. They make no genuine
effort to bring them in the mainstream. In such a scenario, only acceptability can ensure that facilities are not only
created rather they are made available in the right spirit to the deprived section. This calls for a radical
transformation of society focusing on strategies and activities to sensitize the community, i.e., teachers,
administrators, and pupils to change negative attitudes towards the education of marginalized children. Due to the
presence of widespread inequalities in the distribution of educational facilities across region, social groups and
communities coupled with the lack of right attitude among the providers, the incorporation of the educationally
deprived and marginalized children into education still remains a problem (Jha and Jhingran, 2002; Nambissan,
2006; Saxena, 2006).
As cited by Ramachandran (2004), there exists ‘hierarchies of access’ of different socio-economic groups to
different categories of schools. She points out that as one goes down the social and economic pyramid, access and
quality issues become more pronounced. In her experience, the vast numbers of the poor in rural and urban India
have to rely on government schools of different types, and the quality of these may vary. The relatively better-off in
rural and urban India either access better government schools or opt for private aided and unaided schools. Acharya
(1982) and Chandra (1983) also found that "educational achievements in terms of literacy, enrolment and retention
Providers'
Attitude
Caste, Class &
Income
Hierarchy
Academic
Emphasis
Classroom
Management
Continuous
Assessment of
Students
Teacher's
Motivation
Representation of
Female/SC/ST
Teachers
Research Journal of Education, 2016, 2(1): 1-6
3
correspond closely with the hierarchical order of the rural society according to class, caste and income level. The
literacy and enrolment rates decline very steeply in accordance with the society’s hierarchy." As per Chandra, the
existing school system barely caters to the needs of the children from economically weaker sections" (Chandra,
1983). Kumar (1983) in his empirical study encountered that the enrolment rate was higher among non-scheduled
castes whereas the drop-out rate was higher in scheduled castes. The prevalence of caste-based discrimination in the
schools was found to be the reason for such a situation. Based on the study in two districts in UP, Srivastava (2001)
found a contrast between the upper caste and lower caste with regard to the school type. Upper castes were inclined
to prefer private schools than the lower castes that usually sent their children to less-equipped government school.
Along with teacher’s attitude, his skill in handling classroom or managing right environment in the classroom is
also very crucial. Unsupportive and suffocating class environment discourage learning process and compel students
to regularly skip classes. Weindling (1989) found that along with the parental involvement and support, an effective
schooling system tends to be characterized by academic emphasis (in terms of belief of students that teacher can
teach, regular setting and marking of homework, and visible rewards for academic excellence and growth), class-
room management (in terms of high proportions of lesson time spent on the subject matter or interacting with the
class as a whole as opposed to individuals, lesson beginning and ending in time, clear and unambiguous feedback to
students on their performance and minimum disciplinary interventions), continual monitoring of students' progress
and attention of Head towards classroom instruction and learning. Based on a study of grade V students in 15
primary schools of Andhra Pradesh, Subrahmanyam (1984 ) has shown that academic environment of the schools,
followed by home environment of learners and school infrastructure facilities, has a high and positive relationship
with reading achievement of children.
Ramachandran (2005) highlighted low access is also accounted partly with educators, especially teachers who in
government schools and in more rural areas appear demotivated and disheartened. This demotivation on the part of
teachers occurs on many counts e.g., high teacher-pupil ratio especially when school is multi-grade, lack of subject
specific training to teachers, wide social distance between teacher and children (poor or socially disadvantaged) and
politicization (payment for transfers/preventing transfers, deputations, appointments, promotions and special
assignments) of school environment. Of these, social attitudes and community prejudices play a dominant role in
determining the ability and willingness of teachers to empathize with children. There are a number of explanations
given for lack of commitment and positive attitude of teachers. As per Ramachandran and Bhattacharjea (2009),
since teachers’ salaries are related exclusively to seniority, teachers have little to gain by putting more effort into
teaching. Further, due to the operation of rent-seeking in many parts of the country, teachers often dedicate
considerable time and effort to keeping local politicians and power brokers happy because they control the limited
rewards obtainable within the system in particular, transfers to desired locations. In general, access to those with
power can increase status, whereas dedication to teaching cannot. This seriously affects the commitment level of
teachers keeping them away from their real profession. Apart from the above, sufficient representation of teachers
from weaker section/caste group also play a crucial role in creating congenial class environment. It is generally
believed that teachers belonging to SC/ST communities have more positive attitude towards students belonging to
this section and are liable to work with more dedication for educating them and retaining them to schools.
Thus along with availability and affordability, acceptability becomes a crucial factor in ensuring access and
promoting inclusive education. Inclusive education is not merely about providing access into mainstream school for
pupils who have previously been excluded or closing down an unacceptable system of segregated provision. Rather,
it demands a change on the part of existing school systems in terms of physical factors, curriculum aspects, teaching
expectations and styles, leadership roles.
3. Section-II: Disparity in Access to Primary Education in light of Provider’s
Attitude
This section is divided into two subsections, one stating the methodology and choice of indicators and second,
highlights analysis part showing the rural-urban disparity in attitude of teachers in the survey area affecting access to
primary education.
3.1. Methodology & Choice of Indicators
The paper intends to measure the rural-urban disparity in attitude of teachers for which it uses data collected
through a primary survey of six basic survey units- 4 villages and 2 wards from the Varanasi district of Uttar
Pradesh. The survey was conducted in 2012 as a part of Ph.D thesis but information is being used for this work.
Multi-stage sampling has been done to select the schools and households to be surveyed. In the first stage, Nagar
Nigam located in urban area and two rural blocks has been chosen on random basis. From the 90 wards in the Nagar
Nigam one ward from the centre of the town and one ward from periphery have been chosen. From the 8 blocks in
the Varanasi district, 2 blocks were first chosen on the basis of preparing a composite index of educational
development and from the chosen blocks two villages each have been chosen on random basis after proper listing of
village. Two groups of people were interviewed- parents whose wards were studying in the schools in the survey
area and headmaster of different primary schools falling in the locality. The total sample size was 450 parents and 31
headmasters of the primary schools.
The attitude of provider is intricate to measure as it is qualitative in nature unlike the issue of availability and
affordability. For measuring attitude, a psychometric response scale developed by Likert has been used. Likert
Research Journal of Education, 2016, 2(1): 1-6
4
scaling on 1-5 points has been done for transforming the qualitative indicators into quantitative one. The attitude of
providers is measured on the basis of following indicators.
Table-1.Indicators of Attitude of Provider
1. Personalised Attention paid to weaker/deprived section students
2. Regularity of teachers in schools and their job seriousness
3. Remedial classes conducted by teachers for weak students
4. Continuous assessment of the student’s performance or importance to term end examination only
5. Absence of discouragement to weaker section children due to teacher’s punishment
6. Giving exercises in the classroom and correcting them
Source: Chosen by the Author from Primary Survey
3.2. Major Findings: Rural-Urban Disparity in Attitude of Providers
A very common problem with access to primary education in Uttar Pradesh is lack of commitment and
dedication of teachers and the apathetic attitude especially towards the weak students and students from the weaker
section of society. In order to know the guardian’s perspective on the way the teachers perform their responsibility
and handle the children, a number of questions were asked as shown in Table-2 given below.
Table-2. Guardians’ Response to Attitude of Teachers (in %)
Question
Village/
Ward
Govt. School Pvt. School
Question
Village/
Ward
Govt.
School
Pvt.
School
D* A D A D A D A
Teachers come
regularly in school
and take their job
honestly
Ghamahapur 11.1 38.9 1.7 95
Teachers
conduct
remedial
classes for
failures or
weak
students
Ghamahapur 34.7 15.3 65 18.3
Milkichak 18.4 76.3 3.7 90.7 Milkichak 86.8 7.9 100 0
Singhpur 21.9 71.9 0 93.3 Singhpur 87.5 0 83.4 16.6
Paterawan 20.4 32.7 4.1 89.2 Paterawan 77.6 0 86.5 1.4
Rural 17.95 54.95 2.37 92.05 Rural 71.65 5.8 83.72 9.07
Luxa 5.3 94.8 2.9 94.2 Luxa 42.1 15.8 71.5 10
Shivpur 25 50 1.9 97.3 Shivpur 37.5 37.5 60.2 23.2
Urban 15.15 72.4 2.4 95.75 Urban 39.8 26.6565.85 16.6
Total 16.8 56.4 2.5 93.4 Total 65.2 8 78.3 11.3
Teachers give
homework in
classroom &
examine the same
next day
Ghamahapur 30.5 44.5 10 86.6
Teachers
make
continuous
assessment
of student's
performance
Ghamahapur 15.3 30.6 8.3 70
Milkichak 29 31.5 2.8 94.5 Milkichak 81.6 18.4 13 87
Singhpur 29.7 68.8 3.4 96.7 Singhpur 81.3 9.4 8.3 81.6
Paterawan 16.3 53.1 8.2 90.5 Paterawan 51 6.1 13.5 70.3
Rural 26.37 49.47 6.1 92.07 Rural 57.3 16.1210.7777.22
Luxa 0 84.2 0 97.1 Luxa 31.6 26.3 25.7 57.1
Shivpur 25 50 1.9 97.2 Shivpur 25 50 8.4 71.3
Urban 12.5 67.1 0.95 97.15 Urban 28.3 38.1517.05 64.2
Total 24.8 53.6 3.9 94.2 Total 50.8 18.8 12.8 73.8
Teachers pay
personalised
attention to
individual
problems of
students
Ghamahapur 29.2 23.6 36.6 38.3
Importance
to term end
examination
only
Ghamahapur 9.7 36.1 0 76.7
Milkichak 86.8 5.3 61.1 35.2 Milkichak 2.6 97.3 0 100
Singhpur 84.4 4.7 41.7 55 Singhpur 17.2 76.6 6.7 90
Paterawan 69.4 2 40.5 41.9 Paterawan 0 73.5 1.4 82.4
Rural 67.45 8.9 44.97 42.6 Rural 7.37 70.87 2.02 87.27
Luxa 36.9 31.6 45.7 38.5 Luxa 15.8 57.9 5.7 64.2
Shivpur 37.5 37.5 26.9 54.6 Shivpur 0 75 2.8 66.7
Urban 37.2 34.55 36.3 46.55 Urban 7.9 66.45 4.25 65.45
Total 60.8 12.8 42.5 43.9 Total 8.8 66 2.5 80.5
Source: Computed by the Author from Primary Survey (*D= Disagree, A= Agree)
The factor that determines the teacher’s attitude in schools is the regularity and honesty of teachers towards their
job. If teachers come regularly to school and impart education with keen interest and dedication, there is high
probability among children to grasp lessons quickly. This in turn not only creates a healthy schooling environment
rather also makes an interactive classroom which further ensures real access to education. However, a significant
difference is found between teachers in government school and that in private schools regarding their regularity.
Table- 2 depicts that 92.05% respondents in rural area and 95.75% in urban area, whose children study in private
schools accepted that teachers come regularly in schools and take their job seriously and honestly while only 54.95%
respondents in rural and 72.4% in urban area who were sending children to government schools agreed on this point.
36% of the respondents of Luxa and 34.7% of Shivpur strongly agreed that the teachers come to school regularly.
However, it is a good sign of indication towards the teacher’s glory and respect in private schools, conversely the
teacher’s commitment level is still doubtful in government schools. And the situation is much grave in village areas
Research Journal of Education, 2016, 2(1): 1-6
5
as compared to the wards. As the level of development in urban areas is higher, the quality of education is better and
teachers are more conscious towards their job.
A significant variation was found in giving homework among different schools. While 94.2% of the guardians
admitted that this is done in private schools, only 53.6% of the guardians called it a regular phenomenon in
government schools. While 67.1% respondents in urban areas admitted that the teacher examine and give the
homework to the students in government school, almost 26.37% respondents in rural areas said that students do not
get homework and even if these are given these are not examined the next days by the teachers in government
school. As per parents, government school teachers are least bothered whether children learn anything or not. As
they are assured of fixed salary, they do not want to take burden of giving homework regularly and check the same
next day. On the other hand, the situation is quite opposite in case of private schools. Since the school management
is strict there and the teacher’s accountability is judged through student’s performance, the teachers are oriented
towards the progress of their students. That is why the children also remain focussed and study at home. They have
the fear that next day the homework would be checked and if they do not make it, they would be the odd man out.
However, the children studying in government school do not have such feeling as with the negligence of teachers,
they also become insolent towards studies. If teachers check home work on a regular basis they can better understand
the problem faced by individual students and take remedial measures.
An important indicator affecting teacher’s attitude is personalised attention of teachers towards individual
problems of the weak students. Normally, majority of first generation learners belong to low caste categories like,
SC and OBC, the parents of whom live hand to mouth. As such they cannot afford to pay high fee of private schools
so they are bound to admit their children in government schools. With the loose and flexible system of government
schools, these children become even weaker in studies unless teacher’s pay personalised attention to them. Teacher’s
inability to tackle these children makes it difficult for them to adapt with the fast going syllabus. Thus teacher’s
apathy and lack of involvement with such children makes the children to reach on the verge of dropping out schools.
So, from access point of view, it is necessary to ensure personalised attention of teachers towards such children. The
survey findings reveal significant variation in rural and urban areas in government and private schools. The table- 2
clearly shows these differences. While 67.45% parents in rural and 37.2% in urban areas, who were sending children
to government schools disagreed that the teachers pay attention to individual problems of the student, only 8.9% and
34.55% respondents agreed with the statement, respectively. Overall, 60.8% parents disagree to the statement and
only 12.8% agreed with the view. On the other hand, in private schools, only 42.6% respondents in rural and 46.55%
in urban areas agreed that teachers pay attention to individual problems of student while 44.97% and 36.3% of the
respondent defined it as a rare phenomenon, respectively. The responses give clear indication of the fact that there is
lack of commitment on the part of teachers especially in government school, thus hindering access to primary
education.
In view of above, it is found that teachers perform their duty just as formality and pay no attention to the
problems of the weak students, especially in government school. While in private schools, since there is large
number of children studying in one classroom having different level of intelligence, it is difficult for teachers to
spare special attention to the weak children, rather they teach them in mainstream classroom instead of arranging
some special classes for them. As is evident from table, 65.85% parents educating their children in private school in
urban area disagreed that teachers conduct remedial classes for weak students. However, this percentage was even
higher in rural areas (83.72%). This makes children feel ignored and less able to concentrate on studies. This
scenario is even poor in government schools. The situation from which the state of Uttar Pradesh is passing at
present where in a good percentage of family is the first generation learner in school, specialised care of weak
students is must. If the teachers do not take their problems separately these students were start lagging behind the
rest of the class, feel disenchanted and might in the ultimate run discontinue studies. This adversely affects
children’s access to education.
Excessive reliance on year end examination for a long time has been a major problem with Indian school system
in general and government in particular. Due to this, children do not become habitual of competing with others and
as such they do not feel the necessity to do better in examinations. This severely affects access as they gradually lose
their will to continue education and may result in dropout from school. As far as government school is concerned,
almost 57.3% respondents in rural and 28.3% in urban area disagreed that teachers make continuous assessment of
student's performance. In some villages, mostly the respondents were found to be undecided about the question. This
shows that guardians are not even aware whether teachers assess their ward’s performance or not. On the other hand,
over 70% respondents in rural and 64.2% in urban area, who were sending their wards in private school, praised
teachers for continuously assessing the students and encouraging them to perform on a continuous basis.
The above analysis reveals that there is vast disparity in terms of commitment level of teachers in government
school and that in private school. On one hand, where a strict private school management guarantees 100% teacher’s
accountability and dedication, a flexible management and easy going approach of teachers in government school not
only takes the toll of student’s future by reducing their interest in studies but also deteriorates the standard of school.
Thus, the approach and attitude of teachers is found to be decisive in determining access to primary education.
4. Section-III: Policy Interventions
Government’s loaf sided approach, emphasizing upon attainment while neglecting attitudinal issues of teachers,
has been the reason for limited success so far. In fact a sense of commitment and dedication among the providers is
essential for needful success.
Research Journal of Education, 2016, 2(1): 1-6
6
We suggest some very specific measures that address this neglected issue-
1) The survey findings revealed that involvement in non-teaching work in the school make teachers feel
overburdened. Teaching needs apart from commitment and abilities right frame of mind and a sense of
fulfillment and pride. The government can employ college/university students during their vacation days for
carrying different surveys. This would not only get the work done but at the same time provide some
incentive to the students and some income to them. For maintaining the record of student attendance, mid-
day meal details and preparing a host of other information to be supplied some people could be employed at
the block level who can visit school on rotation basis and maintain records. Such efforts would reduce non-
teaching burden from teachers and allow the teachers to solely teach.
2) Teacher’s accountability should be judged on the basis of student’s learning competencies. Their grading
should be done on the basis of their qualification, behaviour and involvement with students, classroom
activity and student’s performance both in terms of oral and written examination of student. This would
enhance the motivation and commitment level of teachers.
3) Private teaching/tuition should be strictly prohibited for government school teachers since it makes teachers
interested in money making rather than focusing on their job.
4) Teachers should be provided with special training related to teaching skill and also handling weaker section
students. They should be trained to be cooperative, helpful, encouraging and soft-spoken towards the
weaker children. Instead of providing only bookish knowledge, they should interact with children so that
children could feel free to ask anything from teacher. If the government system of education is to be
reformed, then teacher would have to revive the feeling of social service.
5. Conclusion
To conclude, the present paper suggests that providing access to primary education in real sense is not just a
matter of ensuring high attainment and making education affordable by investing more resources. Rather, it demands
a change in the mind-sets of providers in the form of committed, dedicated and responsible brand of teachers and
educational administrators in schools.
References
Acharya, P. (1982). Structural and attitudinal hindrances to popular education (Monograph). Indian Institute of
Management: Calcutta.
Bordia, A. (2005). System malfunction The Little Magazine 4(1-2).
Chandra, N. K. (1983). Agricultural workers in burdwan' in Ranajit Guha (ed), Subaltern Studies II. Oxford
University Press: New Delhi.
Dholakia, R. H. and Iyengar, S. (2008). Access of poor households to primary education in rural India. Journal of
Educational Planning and Administration, 22(3): 255-71.
Dreze, J. and Kingdon, G. (2001). School participation in rural India. Review of Development Economics, 5 (1): 1-
33.
Jha, J. and Jhingran, D. (2002). Elementary education for the poorest and other deprived groups. The Real
Challenge of Universalization: Centre for Policy Research, New Delhi.
Khasnabis, R. and chatterjee, T. (2007). Enrolling and retaining slum children in formal schools. A field survey in
eastern slums of Kolkata. Economic and Political Weekly, 42(22): 2091-98.
Kumar, V. (1983). Enrolment and drop-outs among the harijans of bihar. Research Report, ANS Institute of Social
Studies, Patna: Harijan Study Cell.
Nambissan, G. B. (2006). Terms of inclusion: Dalits and the right to education’, in Ravi Kumar (ed). pp. 224-65.
Ramachandran, V. (2004). Gender and social equity in primary education- hierarchies of access. Sage Publications:
New Delhi
Ramachandran, V. (2005). Why school teachers are demotivated and disheartened. Economic and Political Weekly,
Commentary, 40(1): 2141-44.
Ramachandran, V. and Bhattacharjea, S. (2009). Attend To Primary Schoolteachers. Economic and Political Weekly,
44(31): 17-20.
Saxena, S. (2006). Marginalization of the equity agenda in Ravi Kumar. 176-99.
Srivastava, R. (2001). Access to basic education in rural uttar pradesh. Chapter-7, In: A. Vaidyanathan & P.R.
Gopinathan Nair (eds.) Elementary Education in Rural India. A Grassroots View.Sage Publications:
Elementary Education in Rural India.
Subrahmanyam, S. C. (1984 ). Relative influence of home and school on reading achievement of primary school
children. Journal of Education and Psychologyw, 42(3): 140-45.
Vasavi, A. R. (2006). Caste indignities and subjected personhoods. Economic and Political Weekly, 41(35): 3766-71.
Weindling, D. (1989). The process of school improvement, some practical messages from research, School
Organisation. 9: 1.

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Teacher?s Attitude and Its Impact on Children?s Access to Primary Education: Evidences from Primary Data

  • 1. Research Journal of Education ISSN(e): 2413-0540, ISSN(p): 2413-8886 Vol. 2, No. 1, pp: 1-6, 2016 URL: http://arpgweb.com/?ic=journal&journal=15&info=aims *Corresponding Author 1 Academic Research Publishing Group Teacher’s Attitude and Its Impact on Children’s Access to Primary Education: Evidences from Primary Data Rosy Sulochana* Research Fellow, ICSSR Project & Ph.D in Economics from Banaras Hindu University Rakesh Raman Department of Economics, Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi 1. Introduction In the present era, the fundamental challenge before the country like, India is ensuring basic health services, development of infrastructure and educational access to the masses of younger population. Among such issues, the issue of access to primary education is the prominent one which is crucial for the targeted section and thus happens to be the crying need of the society. As a matter of fact, education is recognised as a basic input for empowering individual and overall development of the society. The universalisation of primary education continues to be a distant dream even after 50 years of planning, enormous funding and promises. Rather, the goal of universalisation has only been sparsely achieved and much has to do with the way access has been defined. The government’s approach of defining access in terms of attainment i.e., increasing literacy rate, enrolment ratios, infrastructure and teachers availability etc. and then making them Abstract: Education is recognised as a basic input for empowering individual and overall development of the society. The universalisation of primary education continues to be a distant dream even after sixty years of indepencence, enormous funding and promises. Rather, the goal of universalisation has only been sparsely achieved and much has to do with the way access has been defined. The government’s approach of defining access in terms of attainment i.e., increasing literacy rate, enrolment ratios, infrastructure and teachers availability etc. and then making them affordable to the masses has proved to be grossly unsatisfactory. The approach has been narrowed in including a relevant aspect i.e., the attitude of providers which determines the willingness of first generation learners to join educational institutions and thus, affects access to primary education to a large extent. Keeping this in background, the present paper argues that mere availability and affordability of facilities cannot ensure access. It must be accompanied with an encouraging attitude and high commitment of education providers. Availability and Affordability would fail miserably in ensuring access if those who are involved in providing the facilities to the deprived section actually do not accept their role, acknowledge their responsibility and are not prepared to work tirelessly towards the end.The paper intends to measure the rural-urban disparity in attitude of teachers for which it uses data collected through a primary survey of six basic survey units- 4 villages and 2 wards from the Varanasi district of Uttar Pradesh. Multi-stage sampling has been done to select the schools and households to be surveyed. Two groups of people were interviewed- parents whose wards were studying in the schools in the survey area and headmaster of different primary schools falling in the locality, thus making the total sample size of 450 parents and 31 headmasters, respectively. For measuring attitude, a psychometric response scale developed by Likert has been used. Likert scaling on 1-5 points has been done for transforming the qualitative indicators into quantitative one.The findings of the study suggests that excessive reliance on year end examination, sparse personalised attention of teachers towards individual problems of the weak students, checking homework on irregular basis and lack of commitment or an easy going approach of teachers towards their job have been the major problems with schooling system in general and government in particular. For ensuring commitment and dedication among the providers, government can employ college/university students during their vacation days for carrying different surveys so as to reduce non-teaching burden of teachers and allow them to solely teach. Besides this, the grading of teachers should be done on the basis of their qualification, behaviour and involvement with students, classroom activity and student’s performance both in terms of oral and written examination of student. This would enhance the motivation and commitment level of teachers. Keywords: Empowerment; Universalisation; Access; Availability; Affordability.
  • 2. Research Journal of Education, 2016, 2(1): 1-6 2 affordable to the masses has proved to be grossly unsatisfactory (Dreze and Kingdon, 2001; Khasnabis and chatterjee, 2007). The approach has been narrowed in including a relevant aspect i.e., the attitude of providers which determines the willingness of first generation learners to join educational institutions and thus, affects access to primary education to a large extent. In government schools teachers have negative attitude especially towards education of weaker section of the society- they feel that the deprived section neither has the will nor the right and resources to be educated. Teachers do not make genuine effort to bring marginalized children into the mainstream schools (Bordia, 2005; Vasavi, 2006). Keeping this in background, the present paper argues that mere availability and affordability of facilities cannot ensure access. It must be accompanied with an encouraging attitude and high commitment of education providers. Availability and Affordability would fail miserably in ensuring access if those who are involved in providing the facilities to the deprived section actually do not accept their role, acknowledge their responsibility and are not prepared to work tirelessly towards the end. The paper is structured into three sections. Section-I attempts to provide a broader perspective of access to primary education focussing the attitude of providers. Section-II highlights the rural-urban disparity in the attitude of providers of primary education with the help of primary data collected for the Varanasi District of Uttar Pradesh. Section-III, provides policy intervention and argues that in rural areas of Varanasi more than providing educational facilities, creating right attitude among providers would be more effective in ensuring access to primary education. 2. Section-I: Conceptualisation of Access: Attitude of Providers The existing literature is sufficient to highlight that along with availability (creation of facilities), affordability (cost of education) is also a key factor. The best infrastructure in the world would not ensure access, if the infrastructure is not affordable to the majority of the population. However, mere availability and affordability will not ensure access; a very crucial condition is the right attitude of the providers. Many scholars have viewed access from the angle of attitude of the providers. Access can be ensured only when those entrusted with the responsibility of imparting/administering education have the right attitude towards promoting participation of all social inter-sections of students with bias and malice towards none. In this dimension of access, scholars like, Subrahmanyam (1984 ), Weindling (1989), Ramachandran (2005) and Dholakia and Iyengar (2008) have generally indicated towards the following factors associated with the providers of education- Figure-1. Attitude of Providers The important aspect from the perspective of access is teacher’s attitude towards the children of deprived caste, class and income groups. If the teacher’s behaviour towards underprivileged children is extremely detrimental, it will ultimately lead to the eviction of students from the educational system (Bordia, 2005; Vasavi, 2006). Sometimes, it is observed that poor children get little attention and experience exclusion in the form of unfamiliarity with mainstream language used by teachers and other children. In government schools teachers have negative attitude towards education of weaker section of the society- they feel that the deprived section neither has the will nor the right and resources to be educated. They are destined to do particular type of work in the social hierarchy and any effort to educate them would distort the caste hierarchy and also the social division of labour. They make no genuine effort to bring them in the mainstream. In such a scenario, only acceptability can ensure that facilities are not only created rather they are made available in the right spirit to the deprived section. This calls for a radical transformation of society focusing on strategies and activities to sensitize the community, i.e., teachers, administrators, and pupils to change negative attitudes towards the education of marginalized children. Due to the presence of widespread inequalities in the distribution of educational facilities across region, social groups and communities coupled with the lack of right attitude among the providers, the incorporation of the educationally deprived and marginalized children into education still remains a problem (Jha and Jhingran, 2002; Nambissan, 2006; Saxena, 2006). As cited by Ramachandran (2004), there exists ‘hierarchies of access’ of different socio-economic groups to different categories of schools. She points out that as one goes down the social and economic pyramid, access and quality issues become more pronounced. In her experience, the vast numbers of the poor in rural and urban India have to rely on government schools of different types, and the quality of these may vary. The relatively better-off in rural and urban India either access better government schools or opt for private aided and unaided schools. Acharya (1982) and Chandra (1983) also found that "educational achievements in terms of literacy, enrolment and retention Providers' Attitude Caste, Class & Income Hierarchy Academic Emphasis Classroom Management Continuous Assessment of Students Teacher's Motivation Representation of Female/SC/ST Teachers
  • 3. Research Journal of Education, 2016, 2(1): 1-6 3 correspond closely with the hierarchical order of the rural society according to class, caste and income level. The literacy and enrolment rates decline very steeply in accordance with the society’s hierarchy." As per Chandra, the existing school system barely caters to the needs of the children from economically weaker sections" (Chandra, 1983). Kumar (1983) in his empirical study encountered that the enrolment rate was higher among non-scheduled castes whereas the drop-out rate was higher in scheduled castes. The prevalence of caste-based discrimination in the schools was found to be the reason for such a situation. Based on the study in two districts in UP, Srivastava (2001) found a contrast between the upper caste and lower caste with regard to the school type. Upper castes were inclined to prefer private schools than the lower castes that usually sent their children to less-equipped government school. Along with teacher’s attitude, his skill in handling classroom or managing right environment in the classroom is also very crucial. Unsupportive and suffocating class environment discourage learning process and compel students to regularly skip classes. Weindling (1989) found that along with the parental involvement and support, an effective schooling system tends to be characterized by academic emphasis (in terms of belief of students that teacher can teach, regular setting and marking of homework, and visible rewards for academic excellence and growth), class- room management (in terms of high proportions of lesson time spent on the subject matter or interacting with the class as a whole as opposed to individuals, lesson beginning and ending in time, clear and unambiguous feedback to students on their performance and minimum disciplinary interventions), continual monitoring of students' progress and attention of Head towards classroom instruction and learning. Based on a study of grade V students in 15 primary schools of Andhra Pradesh, Subrahmanyam (1984 ) has shown that academic environment of the schools, followed by home environment of learners and school infrastructure facilities, has a high and positive relationship with reading achievement of children. Ramachandran (2005) highlighted low access is also accounted partly with educators, especially teachers who in government schools and in more rural areas appear demotivated and disheartened. This demotivation on the part of teachers occurs on many counts e.g., high teacher-pupil ratio especially when school is multi-grade, lack of subject specific training to teachers, wide social distance between teacher and children (poor or socially disadvantaged) and politicization (payment for transfers/preventing transfers, deputations, appointments, promotions and special assignments) of school environment. Of these, social attitudes and community prejudices play a dominant role in determining the ability and willingness of teachers to empathize with children. There are a number of explanations given for lack of commitment and positive attitude of teachers. As per Ramachandran and Bhattacharjea (2009), since teachers’ salaries are related exclusively to seniority, teachers have little to gain by putting more effort into teaching. Further, due to the operation of rent-seeking in many parts of the country, teachers often dedicate considerable time and effort to keeping local politicians and power brokers happy because they control the limited rewards obtainable within the system in particular, transfers to desired locations. In general, access to those with power can increase status, whereas dedication to teaching cannot. This seriously affects the commitment level of teachers keeping them away from their real profession. Apart from the above, sufficient representation of teachers from weaker section/caste group also play a crucial role in creating congenial class environment. It is generally believed that teachers belonging to SC/ST communities have more positive attitude towards students belonging to this section and are liable to work with more dedication for educating them and retaining them to schools. Thus along with availability and affordability, acceptability becomes a crucial factor in ensuring access and promoting inclusive education. Inclusive education is not merely about providing access into mainstream school for pupils who have previously been excluded or closing down an unacceptable system of segregated provision. Rather, it demands a change on the part of existing school systems in terms of physical factors, curriculum aspects, teaching expectations and styles, leadership roles. 3. Section-II: Disparity in Access to Primary Education in light of Provider’s Attitude This section is divided into two subsections, one stating the methodology and choice of indicators and second, highlights analysis part showing the rural-urban disparity in attitude of teachers in the survey area affecting access to primary education. 3.1. Methodology & Choice of Indicators The paper intends to measure the rural-urban disparity in attitude of teachers for which it uses data collected through a primary survey of six basic survey units- 4 villages and 2 wards from the Varanasi district of Uttar Pradesh. The survey was conducted in 2012 as a part of Ph.D thesis but information is being used for this work. Multi-stage sampling has been done to select the schools and households to be surveyed. In the first stage, Nagar Nigam located in urban area and two rural blocks has been chosen on random basis. From the 90 wards in the Nagar Nigam one ward from the centre of the town and one ward from periphery have been chosen. From the 8 blocks in the Varanasi district, 2 blocks were first chosen on the basis of preparing a composite index of educational development and from the chosen blocks two villages each have been chosen on random basis after proper listing of village. Two groups of people were interviewed- parents whose wards were studying in the schools in the survey area and headmaster of different primary schools falling in the locality. The total sample size was 450 parents and 31 headmasters of the primary schools. The attitude of provider is intricate to measure as it is qualitative in nature unlike the issue of availability and affordability. For measuring attitude, a psychometric response scale developed by Likert has been used. Likert
  • 4. Research Journal of Education, 2016, 2(1): 1-6 4 scaling on 1-5 points has been done for transforming the qualitative indicators into quantitative one. The attitude of providers is measured on the basis of following indicators. Table-1.Indicators of Attitude of Provider 1. Personalised Attention paid to weaker/deprived section students 2. Regularity of teachers in schools and their job seriousness 3. Remedial classes conducted by teachers for weak students 4. Continuous assessment of the student’s performance or importance to term end examination only 5. Absence of discouragement to weaker section children due to teacher’s punishment 6. Giving exercises in the classroom and correcting them Source: Chosen by the Author from Primary Survey 3.2. Major Findings: Rural-Urban Disparity in Attitude of Providers A very common problem with access to primary education in Uttar Pradesh is lack of commitment and dedication of teachers and the apathetic attitude especially towards the weak students and students from the weaker section of society. In order to know the guardian’s perspective on the way the teachers perform their responsibility and handle the children, a number of questions were asked as shown in Table-2 given below. Table-2. Guardians’ Response to Attitude of Teachers (in %) Question Village/ Ward Govt. School Pvt. School Question Village/ Ward Govt. School Pvt. School D* A D A D A D A Teachers come regularly in school and take their job honestly Ghamahapur 11.1 38.9 1.7 95 Teachers conduct remedial classes for failures or weak students Ghamahapur 34.7 15.3 65 18.3 Milkichak 18.4 76.3 3.7 90.7 Milkichak 86.8 7.9 100 0 Singhpur 21.9 71.9 0 93.3 Singhpur 87.5 0 83.4 16.6 Paterawan 20.4 32.7 4.1 89.2 Paterawan 77.6 0 86.5 1.4 Rural 17.95 54.95 2.37 92.05 Rural 71.65 5.8 83.72 9.07 Luxa 5.3 94.8 2.9 94.2 Luxa 42.1 15.8 71.5 10 Shivpur 25 50 1.9 97.3 Shivpur 37.5 37.5 60.2 23.2 Urban 15.15 72.4 2.4 95.75 Urban 39.8 26.6565.85 16.6 Total 16.8 56.4 2.5 93.4 Total 65.2 8 78.3 11.3 Teachers give homework in classroom & examine the same next day Ghamahapur 30.5 44.5 10 86.6 Teachers make continuous assessment of student's performance Ghamahapur 15.3 30.6 8.3 70 Milkichak 29 31.5 2.8 94.5 Milkichak 81.6 18.4 13 87 Singhpur 29.7 68.8 3.4 96.7 Singhpur 81.3 9.4 8.3 81.6 Paterawan 16.3 53.1 8.2 90.5 Paterawan 51 6.1 13.5 70.3 Rural 26.37 49.47 6.1 92.07 Rural 57.3 16.1210.7777.22 Luxa 0 84.2 0 97.1 Luxa 31.6 26.3 25.7 57.1 Shivpur 25 50 1.9 97.2 Shivpur 25 50 8.4 71.3 Urban 12.5 67.1 0.95 97.15 Urban 28.3 38.1517.05 64.2 Total 24.8 53.6 3.9 94.2 Total 50.8 18.8 12.8 73.8 Teachers pay personalised attention to individual problems of students Ghamahapur 29.2 23.6 36.6 38.3 Importance to term end examination only Ghamahapur 9.7 36.1 0 76.7 Milkichak 86.8 5.3 61.1 35.2 Milkichak 2.6 97.3 0 100 Singhpur 84.4 4.7 41.7 55 Singhpur 17.2 76.6 6.7 90 Paterawan 69.4 2 40.5 41.9 Paterawan 0 73.5 1.4 82.4 Rural 67.45 8.9 44.97 42.6 Rural 7.37 70.87 2.02 87.27 Luxa 36.9 31.6 45.7 38.5 Luxa 15.8 57.9 5.7 64.2 Shivpur 37.5 37.5 26.9 54.6 Shivpur 0 75 2.8 66.7 Urban 37.2 34.55 36.3 46.55 Urban 7.9 66.45 4.25 65.45 Total 60.8 12.8 42.5 43.9 Total 8.8 66 2.5 80.5 Source: Computed by the Author from Primary Survey (*D= Disagree, A= Agree) The factor that determines the teacher’s attitude in schools is the regularity and honesty of teachers towards their job. If teachers come regularly to school and impart education with keen interest and dedication, there is high probability among children to grasp lessons quickly. This in turn not only creates a healthy schooling environment rather also makes an interactive classroom which further ensures real access to education. However, a significant difference is found between teachers in government school and that in private schools regarding their regularity. Table- 2 depicts that 92.05% respondents in rural area and 95.75% in urban area, whose children study in private schools accepted that teachers come regularly in schools and take their job seriously and honestly while only 54.95% respondents in rural and 72.4% in urban area who were sending children to government schools agreed on this point. 36% of the respondents of Luxa and 34.7% of Shivpur strongly agreed that the teachers come to school regularly. However, it is a good sign of indication towards the teacher’s glory and respect in private schools, conversely the teacher’s commitment level is still doubtful in government schools. And the situation is much grave in village areas
  • 5. Research Journal of Education, 2016, 2(1): 1-6 5 as compared to the wards. As the level of development in urban areas is higher, the quality of education is better and teachers are more conscious towards their job. A significant variation was found in giving homework among different schools. While 94.2% of the guardians admitted that this is done in private schools, only 53.6% of the guardians called it a regular phenomenon in government schools. While 67.1% respondents in urban areas admitted that the teacher examine and give the homework to the students in government school, almost 26.37% respondents in rural areas said that students do not get homework and even if these are given these are not examined the next days by the teachers in government school. As per parents, government school teachers are least bothered whether children learn anything or not. As they are assured of fixed salary, they do not want to take burden of giving homework regularly and check the same next day. On the other hand, the situation is quite opposite in case of private schools. Since the school management is strict there and the teacher’s accountability is judged through student’s performance, the teachers are oriented towards the progress of their students. That is why the children also remain focussed and study at home. They have the fear that next day the homework would be checked and if they do not make it, they would be the odd man out. However, the children studying in government school do not have such feeling as with the negligence of teachers, they also become insolent towards studies. If teachers check home work on a regular basis they can better understand the problem faced by individual students and take remedial measures. An important indicator affecting teacher’s attitude is personalised attention of teachers towards individual problems of the weak students. Normally, majority of first generation learners belong to low caste categories like, SC and OBC, the parents of whom live hand to mouth. As such they cannot afford to pay high fee of private schools so they are bound to admit their children in government schools. With the loose and flexible system of government schools, these children become even weaker in studies unless teacher’s pay personalised attention to them. Teacher’s inability to tackle these children makes it difficult for them to adapt with the fast going syllabus. Thus teacher’s apathy and lack of involvement with such children makes the children to reach on the verge of dropping out schools. So, from access point of view, it is necessary to ensure personalised attention of teachers towards such children. The survey findings reveal significant variation in rural and urban areas in government and private schools. The table- 2 clearly shows these differences. While 67.45% parents in rural and 37.2% in urban areas, who were sending children to government schools disagreed that the teachers pay attention to individual problems of the student, only 8.9% and 34.55% respondents agreed with the statement, respectively. Overall, 60.8% parents disagree to the statement and only 12.8% agreed with the view. On the other hand, in private schools, only 42.6% respondents in rural and 46.55% in urban areas agreed that teachers pay attention to individual problems of student while 44.97% and 36.3% of the respondent defined it as a rare phenomenon, respectively. The responses give clear indication of the fact that there is lack of commitment on the part of teachers especially in government school, thus hindering access to primary education. In view of above, it is found that teachers perform their duty just as formality and pay no attention to the problems of the weak students, especially in government school. While in private schools, since there is large number of children studying in one classroom having different level of intelligence, it is difficult for teachers to spare special attention to the weak children, rather they teach them in mainstream classroom instead of arranging some special classes for them. As is evident from table, 65.85% parents educating their children in private school in urban area disagreed that teachers conduct remedial classes for weak students. However, this percentage was even higher in rural areas (83.72%). This makes children feel ignored and less able to concentrate on studies. This scenario is even poor in government schools. The situation from which the state of Uttar Pradesh is passing at present where in a good percentage of family is the first generation learner in school, specialised care of weak students is must. If the teachers do not take their problems separately these students were start lagging behind the rest of the class, feel disenchanted and might in the ultimate run discontinue studies. This adversely affects children’s access to education. Excessive reliance on year end examination for a long time has been a major problem with Indian school system in general and government in particular. Due to this, children do not become habitual of competing with others and as such they do not feel the necessity to do better in examinations. This severely affects access as they gradually lose their will to continue education and may result in dropout from school. As far as government school is concerned, almost 57.3% respondents in rural and 28.3% in urban area disagreed that teachers make continuous assessment of student's performance. In some villages, mostly the respondents were found to be undecided about the question. This shows that guardians are not even aware whether teachers assess their ward’s performance or not. On the other hand, over 70% respondents in rural and 64.2% in urban area, who were sending their wards in private school, praised teachers for continuously assessing the students and encouraging them to perform on a continuous basis. The above analysis reveals that there is vast disparity in terms of commitment level of teachers in government school and that in private school. On one hand, where a strict private school management guarantees 100% teacher’s accountability and dedication, a flexible management and easy going approach of teachers in government school not only takes the toll of student’s future by reducing their interest in studies but also deteriorates the standard of school. Thus, the approach and attitude of teachers is found to be decisive in determining access to primary education. 4. Section-III: Policy Interventions Government’s loaf sided approach, emphasizing upon attainment while neglecting attitudinal issues of teachers, has been the reason for limited success so far. In fact a sense of commitment and dedication among the providers is essential for needful success.
  • 6. Research Journal of Education, 2016, 2(1): 1-6 6 We suggest some very specific measures that address this neglected issue- 1) The survey findings revealed that involvement in non-teaching work in the school make teachers feel overburdened. Teaching needs apart from commitment and abilities right frame of mind and a sense of fulfillment and pride. The government can employ college/university students during their vacation days for carrying different surveys. This would not only get the work done but at the same time provide some incentive to the students and some income to them. For maintaining the record of student attendance, mid- day meal details and preparing a host of other information to be supplied some people could be employed at the block level who can visit school on rotation basis and maintain records. Such efforts would reduce non- teaching burden from teachers and allow the teachers to solely teach. 2) Teacher’s accountability should be judged on the basis of student’s learning competencies. Their grading should be done on the basis of their qualification, behaviour and involvement with students, classroom activity and student’s performance both in terms of oral and written examination of student. This would enhance the motivation and commitment level of teachers. 3) Private teaching/tuition should be strictly prohibited for government school teachers since it makes teachers interested in money making rather than focusing on their job. 4) Teachers should be provided with special training related to teaching skill and also handling weaker section students. They should be trained to be cooperative, helpful, encouraging and soft-spoken towards the weaker children. Instead of providing only bookish knowledge, they should interact with children so that children could feel free to ask anything from teacher. If the government system of education is to be reformed, then teacher would have to revive the feeling of social service. 5. Conclusion To conclude, the present paper suggests that providing access to primary education in real sense is not just a matter of ensuring high attainment and making education affordable by investing more resources. Rather, it demands a change in the mind-sets of providers in the form of committed, dedicated and responsible brand of teachers and educational administrators in schools. References Acharya, P. (1982). Structural and attitudinal hindrances to popular education (Monograph). Indian Institute of Management: Calcutta. Bordia, A. (2005). System malfunction The Little Magazine 4(1-2). Chandra, N. K. (1983). Agricultural workers in burdwan' in Ranajit Guha (ed), Subaltern Studies II. Oxford University Press: New Delhi. Dholakia, R. H. and Iyengar, S. (2008). Access of poor households to primary education in rural India. Journal of Educational Planning and Administration, 22(3): 255-71. Dreze, J. and Kingdon, G. (2001). School participation in rural India. Review of Development Economics, 5 (1): 1- 33. Jha, J. and Jhingran, D. (2002). Elementary education for the poorest and other deprived groups. The Real Challenge of Universalization: Centre for Policy Research, New Delhi. Khasnabis, R. and chatterjee, T. (2007). Enrolling and retaining slum children in formal schools. A field survey in eastern slums of Kolkata. Economic and Political Weekly, 42(22): 2091-98. Kumar, V. (1983). Enrolment and drop-outs among the harijans of bihar. Research Report, ANS Institute of Social Studies, Patna: Harijan Study Cell. Nambissan, G. B. (2006). Terms of inclusion: Dalits and the right to education’, in Ravi Kumar (ed). pp. 224-65. Ramachandran, V. (2004). Gender and social equity in primary education- hierarchies of access. Sage Publications: New Delhi Ramachandran, V. (2005). Why school teachers are demotivated and disheartened. Economic and Political Weekly, Commentary, 40(1): 2141-44. Ramachandran, V. and Bhattacharjea, S. (2009). Attend To Primary Schoolteachers. Economic and Political Weekly, 44(31): 17-20. Saxena, S. (2006). Marginalization of the equity agenda in Ravi Kumar. 176-99. Srivastava, R. (2001). Access to basic education in rural uttar pradesh. Chapter-7, In: A. Vaidyanathan & P.R. Gopinathan Nair (eds.) Elementary Education in Rural India. A Grassroots View.Sage Publications: Elementary Education in Rural India. Subrahmanyam, S. C. (1984 ). Relative influence of home and school on reading achievement of primary school children. Journal of Education and Psychologyw, 42(3): 140-45. Vasavi, A. R. (2006). Caste indignities and subjected personhoods. Economic and Political Weekly, 41(35): 3766-71. Weindling, D. (1989). The process of school improvement, some practical messages from research, School Organisation. 9: 1.