India's Small Schools are Failing to Provide Equal Education to Rural Children -Tanoj Meshram

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published Published on Oct 5, 2020   modified Modified on Oct 10, 2020

The new National Education Policy 2020 (NEP 2020 hereafter) has rekindled the debate on the various kinds of problems in Indian education. One of the problems which has bothered me is the need for reforms in rural government elementary schools, more specifically the need for addressing the problem of sub-optimal schooling experiences and poor learning outcomes of poor rural children. The Annual Status of Education Report (ASER) 2014 brought out that the learning outcomes measured in terms of reading and arithmetic have been declining across the country from 2006 to 2014.

This was a surprising revelation. After formulating Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) in 2000, a policy for providing quality education for all in keeping with the global movement for Education for All, bringing landmark constitutional amendment to make education as a fundamental right in 2002, enacting a Right to Education Act, 2009, promising free and compulsory education for all the children from age six to fourteen, levying 2% education cess to boost investment in public education in 2010-11 and finally publicly bringing out an SSA framework for systematic implementation of RTE why were learning outcomes coming down? Either we should have done better or at worst should have remained where we were before these landmark policies and initiatives.

Please click here to read more., 5 October, 2020,

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