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Contested Politics of Educational Reform in IndiaAligning Opportunities with Interests$
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Manisha Priyam

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780198098874

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198098874.001.0001

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Reform Opponents

Reform Opponents

Teachers, Unions, and the Implementation of Change

Chapter:
(p.116) 4 Reform Opponents
Source:
Contested Politics of Educational Reform in India
Author(s):

Manisha Priyam

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198098874.003.0005

Collective action of teachers and their unions is assumed to be a powerful weapon, amongst the most formidable opponents of school reforms. The analytical literature on policy reforms considers them as classic examples of self-interested actors, who work together only to protect their vested interests and demand mainly higher wages. However, the empirical evidence on state-teacher relationships, and how unions have acted during the course of reform implementation in Andhra and Bihar, is counterintuitive. Andhra has a very competitive and vibrant presence of a number of teacher unions, with units at the state and district level. The State acted politically in negotiating with the largest Panchayati Raj Teachers Union, whose main demand was for government status, not higher wages. In the process, state gained the support of teachers for implementing new policies. Collaborative strategies were helpful for unions as well (in gaining the allegiance of existing members) and this was a disincentive to colliding with the state. Bihar was a contrast with one union the Bihar Rajya Prathmik Shikshak Sangh holding monopoly control, and disinterested in negotiating with the state on teacher issues.

Keywords:   teacher unions, teacher policies, Bihar Rajya Prathmik Shikshak Sangh, state-union relation, collaborative strategies, para-teachers, contract teachers, inter-union competition, partisan affiliation

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