A weak link in the elementary education chain -Rohit Dhankar
India is ignoring the necessity for strong capacity building of the many NGOs engaged in educational improvement
For about three decades now, a large number of non-governmental organisations (NGOs) are intensively engaged in the task of improving elementary education in the country. A paper in the Economic & Political Weekly of May 2005, titled How Large Is India’s Non-Profit Sector?, estimates about three million paid workers in the voluntary sector through 1.2 million organisations. The paper estimates that 20.4% of this workforce (about 6 lakh workers) is engaged in education. According to a newspaper report, “India has 31 lakh NGOs, more than double the number of schools” (August 1, 2015), the number of NGOs in the country was more than 31 lakh — more than double the number estimated in the above mentioned paper. With these data, it should be a safe guess to estimate that there are now more than 12 lakh NGO workers engaged in education (even if there could be only 50% of them in school education, and the remainder involved in improving reach and quality). The lower end of the estimated number of NGO staff working for the improvement of quality and reach in elementary education must be over three lakh.
Scope of work
It is most probable that these workers are engaged in direct teaching in classrooms, demonstrating various activities and methods to teachers, conducting teacher workshops and so on. Most NGOs and large foundations believe that these people work as catalysts and influence the functioning of the system. For various reasons, they are supposed to be more effective than regular employees in the government system.
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The Hindu, 15 October, 2020, https://www.thehindu.com/opinion/lead/a-weak-link-in-the-elementary-education-chain/article32856519.ece?homepage=true