What were the perceived and evident features of Lok Jumbish which made it a unique UEE project as compared to DPEP?
Why was the school mapping process of Lok Jumbish much appreciated by the international agencies?
How was the issue of gender equity and equality addressed in Lok Jumbish?
What kind of educationists management system was followed in Lok Jumbish?
How was the functioning of Lok Jumbish affected by the change of key personals and socio-political changes?
Sample: 50 interviewees were selected
Tools used: Interview Schedule
An ex-post facto study was done.
Statistical Techniques Used: Mean, Standard Deviation, F value
In Lok Jumbish school mapping and micro-planning was considered as the backbone of the project and was the most prominent tool for social mobilization, improving school infra-structure and village level educational planning.
The management system of Lok Jumbish was participatory and decentralized. In consisted of teams and steering groups coupled with review and planning meeting for dynamism. All the newly appointed functionaries received induction training and capacity building measures to understand and imbibe the work culture of Lok Jumbish.
As compared to the present system under Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan, Lok Jumbish was a more open and autonomous system of functioning. The review and planning meetings right from cluster to block to district to headquarters levels constantly tracked the progress of the project and did mid-course corrections along with creating a sense of collective responsibility towards the objectives and targets.
In Lok Jumbish, the functionaries were either taken on deputation or on contract. Those, who did not perform or could not adjust to work culture were sent back or left on their own. The insecurity among the contracted staff created resentment when the project expanded and with sudden turn of events after 1998 nuclear test. The project suffered a set back. The resource institutions funded by Lok Jumbish collapsed and the state level governmental institutions like State Institute of Education Research and Training, (SIERT) and District Institutes of Education and Training (DIETs) could not take up the responsibility of curricular reforms and in-service training effectively. Ignoring the governmental resource institutions and favoring the NGO-based resource institutions was seen as an academic arrogance on the part of Lok Jumbish, and good processes and practices could not find inroads to the governmental set-up.
political changes affected the functioning of Lok Jumbish since the
autonomy of Lok Jumbish clashed with the vested interest. Also,
avoidance in incorporating the elected representatives of Panchayat
Raj for power sharing in the Block Level Management Committees
created a confrontation. Also, appointments at project officer level
from the NGO sector and contractual
basis of employment irked the political powers and
The attempt to revamp three DIETs was a good beginning to promote transfer the good academic and governance practices to the main stream with appointing the staff dedicated to DIETs and their induction training; the reduction of seven departments to five by making gender equity and action research as cross-cutting activities; responsibilities of in-service training and capacity building of cluster and block resource teams were good innovations. But, it created a polarization and clashes of interest the SIERT, Directorate of School Education and Bureaucracy. The revamping of DIETs soon collapsed and got limited to improving the infrastructural facilities with Lok Jumbish funds and soft paddling.
During the experimental and verification stages of competency-based education, which was limited to a few hundred schools, impact was good due to the efforts of Sandhan an NGO that worked as an academic resource institutions for Lok Jumbish. It led to improvement in the classroom practices with a follow-up system at cluster, block and district levels. But, with expansion of the programme and clashed with the SIERT as a competing institutions for curriculum reforms, even the textbooks of Lok Jumbish could not get universalized. In the fourth phase of the Lok Jumbish, the MLL based education was replaced by the SIERTs Jn Sammat Curiulum. Sandhan's Training wing got wound up since Lok Jumbish stopped giving at the financial grants.
The study has revealed that the four noteworthy features of Lok Jumbish have been as follows:
Participatory management with periodic review and planning meetings.
Gender sensitivity as a cross-cutting issue.
Multiple contextual alternative education initiatives by involving NGOs in the form of MLL based instruction with the help of NGO based resource institution, contractual staff at the decision making position and non-involvement of governmental resource institutions into the school improvement programmes were the low points of Lok Jumbish.
After 2000, bureaucratization of Lok Jumbish took place; decisions got centralized at the headquarters level and energy levels of field functionaries ebbed. The key factor for this was to promote the World Bank loan assisted DPEP with the governmental group on its implementation and slowly phase out Lok Jumbish.
The Study reveals that the erstwhile Lok Jumbish functionaries held that the strengths, weakness, opportunities and threats in respect of Lok Jumbish were as follows:
Participatory planning and management
Emphasis on community mobilization and ownership
Gender equity and gender sensitization
Quality of education through MLL Scheme with a training and follow-up system
Participation of NGOs in social mobilization and alternative education initiatives.
Strong linkage with Shiksha Karmi Project
Village level educational plans and micro planning
Over work and burnout
Lack of contingency management strategies
Lack of job security for contractual staff
Slow pace of expansion of the project
Frequent changes of the Directors of Lok Jumbish from drawn from IAS Cadre
Working in diverse socio-geographical situations
Scope for local level innovations
Strengthening the state institute of educational research and training and District institution of Education and Training
Improving the education system through new processes and value system
Disenchantment among contractual staff due to fear of not being absorbed in the governmental set up.
Vested political interests
Being seen as a parallel system education department
Conclusion: Lok Jumbish was a unique Universal Elementary Education (UEE) project in Rajasthan that was able to mobilize local communities and empower them through its school mapping and micro planning process along with gender sensitization as supported by this study as well as the studies by Govinda and Ramachandaran. Also the multiplicity of alternative education initiatives with the help of NGOs was a unique feature of project. However, the curricular reform programme through the competency- based curriculum could not be mainstreamed and universalized due to lack of linkages with the state level governmental resource institutions and lack of political support. This study reveals that advocacy and consciously developed and nurtured political support in equally vital for an educational project to succeed.
Keyword(s): Basic Education, Non-Formal Education, Technical Resource, Primary education, Upper primary education, LOK JUMBISH PROJECT