An Analysis of Children Well-Being as a Result of State Intervention in Elementary Education: A study with Special Reference to Delhi and Uttar Pradesh

Ashraf, Reem (2016). 'An Analysis of Children Well-Being as a Result of State Intervention in Elementary Education: A study with Special Reference to Delhi and Uttar Pradesh' Paper presented at the annual conference of the HDCA, Tokyo 2016.

abstract   An Analysis of Children Well-Being as a Result of State Intervention in Elementary Education: A study with Special Reference to Delhi and Uttar Pradesh Abstract The study aims to focus on the social choice in education as a result of State intervention in Elementary education, for the Economically Weaker Section (EWS) children, with special reference to Delhi and Uttar Pradesh.  The aim of the study is to situate Social Choice Theory in education and to enable to theorise and look at the multidimensional educational well-being of the EWS children through the instrumental role school choice through RTE Act (2009), Section 12. The study will investigate the functionings and capabilities of EWS children in elementary education in private and public schools. The evidence from India on the impact of private schools on learning outcomes has legitimised the understanding of unequal school resources breeding unequal academic outcomes, where children in private schools perform well in learning outcomes (Muralidharan & Kremer 2008, French and Kingdon 2010,Muralidharan & Sundararaman 2011, 2013; Singh 2013).  Besides academic outcomes explaining inequalities, the literature has cited evidence on the non-academic concepts that impacts the learning outcomes of children and the disadvantage in schools that builds around discrimination, identity and non-conducive school experiences (Di Tommaso, M.L, 2007; Cameron, 2008, 2011, 2012; Rolleston et al 2013; Singh 2011; Comim et al 2011; Saito, 2003; Biggeri, 2007).   It case of India, it must be seen that the expansion in elementary education through right based approach, providing equal opportunity of schooling, did not translate into actual real opportunities for the EWS children to participate in education.  Learning levels of the students in government schools in general and for those particularly belonging to deprived sections remain dismal with the huge learning disadvantage being associated with respect to the disadvantaged groups –SC/ST, and particularly Muslim children. Since, the cultural capital for EWS at home is significantly different from that in private schools and schooling of a child being further constrained because of entitlements and capabilities of parents and care givers (Jerome et al, 2011), the study attempts to understand what happens when these disadvantaged children are given school choice through by RTE, Section 12 that mandates private schools to reserve 25 % of their seat at the entry level classes for EWS children. The understanding of disadvantage must incorporate that it is the quality of cultural capital, which is important in determining the agency and shaping conversion factors of children. What schooling and education policy must equalise is the ability of children in light of their background disadvantage, to convert the resources at their disposal into the functioning and resulting freedom to expand their capabilities. Objectives, Research Questions and Hypothesis: The study attempts to understand Educational Experiences of EWS children in public and private schools in Delhi and Uttar Pradesh, on account of Delhi being the oldest state to implement and UP being the latest under developed state to implement RTE, Section 12. Understanding capability formation through the experiences in schooling in Elementary Education. Understanding the interaction between the normative policy framework at National and state level, and school resources and the entitlements of parents shaping the capability sets for EWS children.     Research Questions:   What are the determinants of private school participation and magnitude of out of school children from disadvantaged households in India.   To arrive at multidimensional index of educational well-being by theorizing capability to be formally educated and coming up with list of capabilities for EWS children.   What are the expected functionings at class VIII, i.e. the end of elementary education? What capabilities are needed to reach the desired level of outcomes at class VIII? To what extent does EWS children in public schools have constrained opportunities (school inputs, Household factors) as compared to EWS in private schools to convert their resources into functionings? To understand the perspective of stakeholders in terms of challenges to RTE, Section 12, in light of the well-being of children and their capabilities by conceptulising the case study of Uttar Pradesh. In light of the above research questions, following hypothesis will be tested: Schools are the first institution for capability expansion and school choice under RTE (2009) expands the opportunities and capabilities of EWS children in Private schools as compared to their Government school counterparts. The normative frameworks governing implementation of RTE will help making schools more inclusive spaces and would foster better learning environment for EWS children. There is harmony in the policy norms and institutions- schools and families, to work together to un-constrain the conversion factors at disposal of the children. The cultural capital at home, and in the school are divergent for the EWS children, especially with respect to the language spoken at home. The entitlements of the EWS parents, as care givers, will not obstruct in helping children convert the resources into valuable functionings and capabilities in private schools as compared to the public schools.   Study attempt to conduct filed survey in State of Delhi (North- East District) and Uttar Pradesh (Lucknow). The sample will be drawn from the 2010-11 EWS admission in Private schools in North-East District of Delhi and 2014-15 EWS applicants in Lucknow. The study will also exploit the secondary data sets- NSSO 64th (2007-08) and 71st (2013-14) rounds on Education. The admission for EWS children happens by virtue of lottery therefore the study has the liberty to conduct analysis based on control and experimental group. The MIMIC model, Logit-model will be used for analysis. An Index will be constructed by using factor analysis that will focus on the educational experience to arrive on the list of capabilities for EWS children. The domains identified by now for the Index are – Information to the EWS parents about the RTE, Section 12, Constrains to the implement RTE, Section 12, Parents experiences with the application and selection process and Educational experience of children. The study would contribute towards policy implications for disadvantaged children.

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