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Access to Elementary Education in India

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posted on 2023-06-07, 14:46 authored by R Govinda, Madhumita Bandyopadhyay
This analytical review aims to explore trends in educational access and to delineate different groups which are vulnerable to exclusion from educational opportunities at the elementary stage. This review has drawn references from a series of analytical papers developed on different themes, including regional disparity in education, social equity and gender equity in education, the problem of drop out, education of the children of migrants, inequity in educational opportunities, health and nutrition, and governance of education, among others. The first and second sections of the paper present a brief review of the state of elementary education in India with particular focus on regional disparities and social inequities in provision. The third section delineates different zones of exclusion, highlighting the nature and magnitude of the problems of access, transition and equity. The fourth section captures the profiles of the varying groups of children and addresses the questions: ‘who is excluded from schooling?’ and ‘why are they excluded?’. In the final section, the paper makes an effort to identify gaps in our understanding which point to the need for further research and also identifies strategies that have had some success in addressing issues of access to elementary education in India.


Publication status

  • Published


Consortium for Research on Educational Access, Transitions and Equity (CREATE)



Place of publication

Falmer, UK

Department affiliated with

  • Education Publications


Country Analytic Review (CAR), India


National University of Educational Planning and Administration (NUEPA)

Full text available

  • Yes

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