What Matters for Outcomes in Elementary Education in India?

  • Jandhyala B. G. Tilak


Rural transformation requires transformation of schools in rural areas into powerful centres of learning in such a way that children, parents, and the whole community look at schools as the pivot of transformation. Focusing on rural–urban inequalities in education, this paper presents an overview of the growth, achievements and problems in elementary education in India. With the help of recent data, an attempt has been made to analyse questions such as: why do children not go to schools? Once they enrol in schools, why do they drop out soon, before completing a given cycle of education? When they continue in schools, why are their levels of learning not satisfactory and why are the overall education outcomes of the primary and upper primary schools not up to the mark? A few major policy implications are also drawn from the several results presented.


Elementary education Education outcomes Rural–urban inequalities in education Learning School attendance Private unaided schools Literacy Index of education Dropout ‘Never’ enrolled Teachers Infrastructure Outcome index 



Revised version of the paper presented at the International Symposium on Education for Rural Transformation (Stockholm, Institute of International Education, Stockholm, Sweden: Stockholms Universitet, 8–10 November 2010). The comments and suggestions made by the participants, particularly Abhimanyu Singh, Vinayagum Chinapah, Hans Bhola, Suleman Sumra, Pushpanadham Karnam and Manzoor Ahmed and those of the anonymous referees of the IJHD are gratefully acknowledged. This paper was originally prepared as a part of the activities of the Africa–Asia University Dialogue for Educational Development Network Project (Hiroshima University). The author is grateful to Kazuhiro Yoshida. The usual disclaimers apply. The paper in its present or earlier version may appear in a book being edited by the Stockholms Universitet.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jandhyala B. G. Tilak
    • 1
  1. 1.New DelhiIndia

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