i) to compare the status of elementary education across social groups and gender, in terms of access, enrollment, retention, and achievement levels, ii) to compare school and student, context indicators, iii) to compare profile, background and students’ perception on teachers, iv) to compare the productivity in terms of achievement levels/minimum level of learning of students, and v) to identify and compare various factors affecting enrollment, retention and achievement levels, across social groups and gender, ---in government and private elementary schools of Rudraprayag district in Uttarakhand.
The study was carried out with the assumptions as:- i) the study is being conducted with the assumption that the status of elementary education in government and private schools does not vary in terms of access, enrollment, and retention, ii) it is also assumed that all the indicators related to school, teacher and student, in government and private elementary schools are quantifiable and comparable, and with one hypothesis i.e. “there is no significant difference in achievement levels (minimum levels of learning) of 5th and 8th grade students, in government and private elementary schools of Rudraprayag district of Uttarakhand".
The multistage-stratified-random-sampling technique was used to select the sample. The sample was consisting of both government and private schools at elementary-education-level. The number of private-schools was lesser as compared to government-schools(DISE-NUEPA), therefore private schools were firstly targeted to give them due representation in sample. Private schools at primary-level were taken 20% and at upper-primary-level 50% was taken of the total school-population in private-strata and the number of government-schools was equal to private-schools’ number in sample. The final targeted-sample of the study was as 88 schools(10% of total-school-population), maximum 5 teachers; 5 students(class 5th or 8th) and 5 community-members in each school or as per availability on the survey-date.
The data collection tools were prepared by the researcher and are as follows: i) School-Information-Schedule(Observation/Document-Schedule):- used to collect the information about schools; ii) Teacher-Information-Schedule(Interview-Schedule):- gathers the information about teachers; iii) Student-Information-Schedule(Interview-Schedule):- accumulate the information about students; iv) Learning-Achievement in Mathematics and Language (Achievement Test/MLL):- an achievement/assessment test used to assess the minimum-learning-level achievement of students of V and VIII standards(developed under the guidelines designed by the SIEMAT, Uttarakhand); v) Student-Perception-Schedule(Rating-Schedule):- used to appraise students’ perceptions on teachers; vi) Community-Information-Schedule(Interview-Schedule):- used to glean the information about community’s opinion on elementary schooling in their area.
The present study was conducted by using “descriptive-research-design". The research method used for the study was Descriptive-Research-Method’ and beneath this specially the Survey-Method was used for the present study and conducted in following phases: Phase one- In this phase sample was selected for the study; Phase two- In this phase, for the collection of qualitative and quantitative data on access, enrollment, retention, and quality; and also related to various school, teacher and student related indicators, various tools were developed by the researcher; Phase three- In this phase, various tools (self-constructed-tools) were administered on the sampled-units and requisite data was collected.
The study was formulated on the basis of primary data collection, but to spot the government and private elementary-education-schools in Rudraprayag district for data collection, initially the DISE (DISE data, NUEPA) school list was accessed by the researcher as a secondary source. Further, for analysis the statistical techniques as—i) percentage(%), ii) mean(M), iii) standard deviation(SD) and iv) t test(t-test) was applied on collected data by using SPSS software with the help of professional data analyst. The comparative analysis of the data has shown with the help of the percentage representation and the hypothesis testing was done with the t-est.
1. As far as the findings are concerned, the main finding revealed from the comparative-analysis is that the private-elementary-schools are much better in their productivity in terms of students’ (class 5th and 8th) achievement in Mathematics and Hindi language as compared to government-elementary-schools, which is the focal point of elementary education. The accessibility-issues also shown that private-elementary-schools are far better to access by the students as well as teachers as compared to government-elementary-schools, except they have poor-accessibility at primary-level and not having all-weather-route. The enrollment is better in private-elementary-schools as compared to government-elementary-schools, while the dropout is negligible in both the sectors. The study reveals that government-elementary-schools are better in terms of the availability of CWSN facility, Mid-day-meal facility, own-buildings, good-student-classroom-ratio and good pupil-teacher-ratio while the private-elementary schools are with no CWSN facility, no Mid-day-meal facility, rental buildings, high students-classroom-ratio and high pupil-teacher-ratio. Comparative-analysis of school-facilities has shown that government-elementary-schools are laden with Boundary-wall, health-checkups, electricity, free-text-books, and scholarships/incentives etc. facilities provided by the government while private-elementary-schools are lacking in all these. Teachers’ profile-analysis bared, that government-elementary-school-teachers own a high-salary-structure as per state-government-norms, a good in-service-training, a good work-experience in service and a good work-experience in present-schools while private-elementary-school-teachers are far behind or miniscule in availing all these facilities.
The demographic imbalance of the upper caste Hindus and SC children especially in the government-schooling-system is a serious cause of concern, which can only be improved by improving the quality of education in government-schooling-system. As such, the problem of multi-grade teaching can be seriously addressed by improving the placement of teachers and filling-up the vacant-teacher-positions, especially in government-primary-schools and also through the in-service-training of such teachers. It could lead in equipping such schools, which are facing the problem of single-teachers. At the same time, subject-wise-placement of teachers, especially at upper-primary-level will improve the overall quality of teaching in government-schools of the district. The involvement of the teachers in MDM and such other schemes in the government-schools is seriously impacting the overall quality of education in government-schools. Therefore, sincere introspection of the mid-day-meal-scheme in the government-schools of Uttarakhand is needed and an exclusive-system of such scheme needs to be evolved in which teachers are made completely devoid of their involvement and they are allowed to concentrate on their primary duty of teaching. To attract the common household for their children’s education towards government-schools, it is the time to look into this aspect seriously and if needed English as a medium of instruction can also be introduced in government schools too, along with Hindi. It may helps in checking the constantly depleting population of students in government-schools. In spite of randomly increasing the population of government-schools in the hills, it will be wiser to consolidate the existing-schooling-system as a whole and thereby improving the overall quality and productivity of such schools. It may be achieved by reducing the multiplicity of such schools and integrating them into quality residential schools, especially at the block level. The poor-salary-structure and poor-facilities given to the teachers in the private-schooling-system is a serious blow to the dignity of such teachers. Since private-schooling-system is going to stay back in the mountains, as an alternate-schooling-system, certain norms need to be evolved in the context of teachers in private-schools too, which will help in restoring the dignity of such teachers.
Keyword(s): Elementary Education, Comparative Study