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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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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 24 September 2020

Politics, Schools, and the Poor

Politics, Schools, and the Poor

A Local View

Chapter:
(p.188) 6 Politics, Schools, and the Poor
Source:
Contested Politics of Educational Reform in India
Author(s):

Manisha Priyam

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198098874.003.0007

This chapter analyses macro-level reforms as they are implemented at local sites—where policy beneficiaries live. Policy implementation is viewed in its ordinary sense, alongside everyday lives of the poor and village schools as they function. The interaction between local interests, institutions and the local state provide the context within which schools for the poor work. Empirical data drawn from schools, responses from households on how schools function, and interviews with teachers, local education authorities and Panchayat leaders in four districts of AP and Bihar form the basis of the arguments presented. The critical comparative difference between AP and Bihar schools is the very weak implementation capacity of the local state in Bihar. The poor implementation of mid-day meals and lack of community engagement with schools is a signifier of the degraded conditions in which schools in Bihar work. In the absence of strong vertical linkages and state action, schools are controlled by vested interests. Strong local vigilance and creation of sub-district state support in the form of Mandal Resource Persons in Andhra has the opposite effect—of signalling strong vertical linkages and interest of leadership in schools.

Keywords:   Local education authorities, Vested interests, Mid-day meal, Teacher absenteeism, Teacher unions, Local political action, Block education officer

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