Teaching , Learning & Assessment - Education Policy & Society - Assessmnt Answer

November 16, 2018
Author : Ashley Simons

Solution Code: 1EIHE

Question: Teaching , Learning & Assessment - Education Policy & Society

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Teaching , Learning & Assessment / Education Policy & Society Assignment

Assignment Task

Select an educational issue from some of those explored in the module. Choose from:

  1. a) How education prepares young people for the social and economic contexts of the21st Century.

  1. b) Inequalities in educational participation and outcomes among different social groups
  2. c) Comparative education: the effects of globalisation on culture and on approaches to education.

  1. d) The development of education policy: what kinds of influences and pressures are shaping contemporary education policy?

1.1 Discuss the importance of this issue, in the context of the purposes of education and the role of education in wider society.

1.2 Critically examine some of the problems and challenges identified in recentresearch and policy on this issue.

1.3 Critically examine some of the responses to these problems and challenges(policies, general approaches, recommendations) proposed in current research and policy on this issue.

1.4 Drawing on current research, what would you recommend should be the priorities for future research or practice or policy. (You can address this by arguing for specific measures and/ or by considering more general approaches).

You may focus your discussion on a particular education sector or area of policy (e.g. schools, post-compulsory education, universities) or discuss education systems in general.

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Solution:

Introduction

By discussion presented on the social justice in India in terms of Girl Education, this paper would be able to shed light on the manner in which the social justice can impact the girl education in India. Hence apart from discussing the manner in which the need for social justice has been identified, this paper will also explore the various initiatives which are being taken by the government for the same. In addition to the above said, this paper will also present a critical analysis of the issue and the interventions which are being applied to counter the issues identified. This topic reflects the present state of the interventions which have been applied for encouraging the girl child education and identifies the lacking based on which future recommendations have been made. Hence the topic of study is justified.

While referring to the responsibility of social justice as provided to the population, it is seen that that government plays the most important role in providing social justice to the people. However, on the other hand, it is also seen that as per Adams (2016) the role of the population itself remains important for the implementation of the policies which pertain to social justice. Education of the girl child in India has been a debatable issue which has led to international attention owing to the constrained mindset of different communities in India, while gender biases can be considered to be the most important reason, it is also seen that other factors such as economic disparity also impact the issue. With insufficient attention on girl education, it is also seen that other social evils such as domestic violence and marriages in early age have been on the rise.

Main Body

Importance of the issue identified and context of purpose of education in the wider society

Fägerlind and Saha (2016) argue that despite the inequalities offered by the external factors, it is seen that for a society to prosper, there has to be an equal distribution of resources and opportunities irrespective of the differences which are identified in people. This is also referred to as social justice where in the people belonging to a society are provided the right to equality for all. As stated by Adams (2016) earlier interpretation of the term social justice targeted the elimination of poverty such that a similar distribution of resources can be conducted at present, it refers to the detailed definition including segregation based on which moral treatment offered to people is presented. It has been further assessed in this regard that in order to attain social justice, there needs to be a proper implementation of laws and rights. It is through the effective implementation of the laws and rights that the opportunities and resources are equally allocated to all. As observed by Sensoy and DiAngelo (2017) the primary intent of the initiative of encouraging the education for children, remains the fact the human dignity needs to be maintained. And in cases where the government may support oppressive laws it is seen that coalitions can be used to change the impacts as defined.

Historically, it is seen that the issue of lack of education for women was not brought to notice until recently in 2011, when the national census was recorded. Various initiatives aimed at improving the social condition of women in the country were present but any policy or procedure focussing only on education of women eluded the political agendas.  At the same time the gravity of the issue can also be identified from the fact that as per the 2011 census, a high disparity between the literacy rate in India can be identified. As reported by Emranand Shilpi (2015) the effective rates of literacy in 2011 were 82% for men for ages 7 and above and only 65% for women of the same age group. Hence apart from the fact that there exists a low literacy rate for women, a pressing issue also remains the fact that there exists a gap between the literacy rates of men and women. Kruss et al. (2015) ratifies that empowerment of the country is linked with emancipation and both the factors are largely related with education. Hence it remains an issue of utmost importance that education should be provided to all irrespective of the various external factors which impact the demographic segmentation of the population. As per the mandates of the Indian Constitution it is also seen that there lies a need to recognise the importance of universal education and under the Directives of the State Policy as suggested in Part IV, it is seen that after independence it was necessary to include the right to free and compulsory education. In the same perspective, it is also seen that various Commissions have been appointed throughout the history since independence with an intent of raising both the level, scope and standards of education. A humble beginning in this regard was made by the Radhakrishnan Commission which was set up in 1949, the initiatives of which were further contributed to by Kothari commission of 1966. Importance of such Commissions were also identified from the fact that it was the Kothari Commission which was renamed the Education Commission, with an aim of eradication of illiteracy in India and projected Education in India as the instrument of Change (Tharakan 2017).

Importance of this issue is also identified at the international level where in India was one of the countries to sign the Declaration of the Rights of the Child stating that education should be free and made mandatory for all children in the country irrespective of their gender. In order to promote the education of the girl child it was also seen that free education has been offered to girls till the primary level of education. Such efforts have also been further supported through the judiciary which has been able to uphold the Unnikrishnan Judgement where in the right of children and more importantly girls towards education and quality of life were stressed upon (Thakur 2015). However, despite the early efforts which have been made by the government towards the eradication of this issue, it was also identified by Dewanand Mehendale (2015) that the success of the early initiatives aiming to improve the girl child education have been limited since it was the 93rd constitutional amendment which made Education a fundamental right for children was made as late as 2005. It was only after that, the national interventions and policies aimed at strengthening the base of education especially focussing on the girl child were made stronger. The pressing importance and urgency of this issue can be identified from the following facts which have been presented as the important part of this discussion.

Problems, Challenges and Concerns

Social, Economic and Political impacts of issue of girl child education in India

Maertens (2013) explores that the mean age of marriage as depicted by national surveys conducted in 2014 showed that at an All India Level the mean age was 22 years in urban areas this age was only 21 years in rural areas. This represents the deteriorating position of women in India where it is clearly evident that at early marriage ages, the changes of domestic violence and abuse are highest as compared to the rate of success in terms of career and job orientation. Furthermore, while it may be stated that the situation in the cities is better it is also seen that when moving towards the interiors of the country, the present mindset of a girl child being a liability on the family still exists. Due to lesser education which is in turn guided by various factors, it is seen that women tend to lack the power which enables them to co-exist with men in the society. Hence apart from domestic violence and abuse, women have also been facing various criminal offences and lack of education which further instils the dependence and fear leading to a higher decline in the position of women in the country. Uneducated women also limit the decision-making ability of the women in the household reflecting the non-important existence of women in the country as a whole. Deprivation of education also leads to construction of beliefs and fears which further prevent women from exploring their abilities and thus remain limited within their homes and families and lesser exposure further leads to domination over women. Hence this leads to a higher decline in the position of women which as expressed by Ansari (2016) also leads to other related health, and nutritional issues as well.

Another area of study which sheds light on the gravity of issue of Girl Child education in India is the economic impacts which lower levels of education has for the country as a whole. It is seen that as per Klasenand Pieters (2015) the Workforce Participation rate calculated in 2011, at an all India level was 25.51% for females and 53.26%  for males. This shows that , the contribution of the women in workforces is lesser than half which further shows there is lower number of qualified and educated women in the country. The gender based discrimination for girl child education can also be identified from the fact that there lies no rural and urban gap for males which is unanimously capped at 53% of employment. However, when the same is assessed for women, it is seen that in rural areas rate of employment of women is lesser and the percentile is 30% and 15.4% in urban and rural sectors respectively. Owing to the fact that half of the population is women in the country, it is clearly seen that half of the workforce largely is not participating in the economy of the country due to the reasons that lesser facilities providing education and wellbeing reduces the chances of employment and job opportunities. This is evident from the report presented by Indian Census which states that in 2001. 532 Million people amounting to52% of the entire population are men where as 497 million citizens amounting to 48% of the population are women (Censusindia.gov.in 2014).

Hence based on the discussion which has been presented it is seen that the impacts of restricted education for girls are not only limited to political and social impacts but largely impact the economy of the country which further lead to the observation that such an issue restricts the development of the country as a whole (Coleman 2015). Therefore, it is seen that girl child education remains one of the current issues which is being faced by the country and national efforts to eradicate the problem have been identified and implemented. Later in this study, the various issues which are associated with the manner in which the implementation is conducted and hence leads to restricted impacts have been identified.

Girl Child Education in Developing and Developed Countries

While referring to the definition of girl child education in countries, Rousso (2015) states that the classification of the country on the developing or developed nation status depends on the manner in which the economic and social development of the country has panned over the last decades. However, Cassen (2016) strongly suggests the fact that development largely remains related to the societal contributions which are made by the population to aid the development targeted. Keeping in consideration the concept and issue of Girl Child Education, Barcellos et al. (2014) states that a recurrent phenomenon of lack of girl child education, can be evidently found in all developing nations. However, on the other hand, it is also identified by Ansell (2016) that while the proportion of girl child education in developed countries is not hundred percent, the fact remains that women form an important part of decision making and control within the households, the community and the country as a whole. Owing to this factor, it is seen that there lies a remarkable difference between the concept of girl child education in developing and developed countries.

Lastly, as observed by Stromquist and Monkman (2017) structural formation of the countries referring to the facilities and amenities which are provided to the people also determine the manner in which importance is allotted to issues such as education of girl child. Private educational facilities in countries like India is expensive and since the financial stability is low as discussed above, it is seen that affordability of education in the private sector remains an issue. However, at the same time, it was explored by Muralidharanand Sundararaman (2015) that with a decline in the facilities provided and resources available for education of children as a whole, the importance of girl child education is further diminished.

Another factor which dictates the difference of the context of education for girls remains the fact that the cultural differences between the developed and developing nations tend to guide the importance of education for the girl child. This can be identified from the research conducted by Manning, Baruthand Lee (2017) titled “Multicultural education of children and adolescents” who observed that education needs to form the core of the culture to eliminate the number of uneducated girls in the developing countries. As per the traditions, values and beliefs of the communities thriving in developing countries, it is seen that women objectify the role of home makers and remain confined within the boundaries of home. Secondly, it is also seen that in such cultures the role of women in decision making is negligible further eliminating the need for education of women. However, Kruss et al. (2015) argues that the current scenario of globalisation and presence of international attention on developing countries such as India, reiterates the need for empowerment of women, owing to which the recent attention to this issue has increased. Further as assessed by Murnaneand Ganimian (2014) a major cause of lesser attention towards education of girl child remains the fact that women in developing countries such as India, Pakistan and Bangladesh are not mandated to contribute to the family income. And since women do not take the financial responsibilities, sustainability for women is lesser, owing to which deprivation from education is identified. Such factors remain deep rooted into the social and cultural elements of the country owing to which it is seen that comparatively lower levels of education of girl child is identified.

While referring to the economic reasons, Barcellos et al. (2014) states that a prime reason for deprivation of girls from education in developing countries remains the financial issues and instability of the households owing to which the importance of education is reduced. This was also identified by Tharakan (2017) who stated that the prime survival needs form the core attention of these countries owing to which education has been termed as a luxury in such countries. Therefore, when such families decide upon the education of children, it is seen that education for children takes a back seat as compared with other family expenses which have to be fulfilled. And owing to the gender superiority which is offered to males, even in cases where education is provided, the importance of education of girls is not considered when compared with education of boys. In addition to the same it is also seen that due to the increased crime rates against women, families feel safer when children especially girls are not allowed to step out of home for their safety and therefore, education of girl child suffers in this context as well.

However as compared with developed nations, it is seen that both the structural and social norms which have to be adhered are compliant with the standards which have to be followed. For instance, in countries such as Australia, adhering with the Fair work ombudsman relieves the gender disparity in pay and salaries whereas Gender Discrimination at work or school is considered as a criminal offence. This promotes the need to educate the children irrespective of their gender and with sufficient governmental support offered to the population, it is seen that families are comfortable providing education to both gender of children (Campbell and Proctor 2014).

This is also ratified from the legal bindings and legislative policies of health, education and wellbeing of children and women as applied in the UK.  When explored by Alcock (2016) it was seen that the active nature of the policies and interventions, encourages education in the UK and the cases where education is not being provided can amount to legal attention. In the UK exploitation of children in terms of abuse of rights and voluntary decisions are also provided importance due to which the children and their education is considered to be a primary concern in the country. Various Acts such as Equality Act, Gender Equality Act and Safeguarding Act prevent the misuse of children through forced decisions, stress upon the quality of life and equality in education, hereby improving the ratio of children educated and it is seen that as compared with the total pollution, a gap between educated and uneducated children is not largely evident (Dorling and Lee, 2017)

Current Responses

Rousso (2015) also analyses that a key cause of lesser attention to this issue has been the cultural and social orientation of the country which considers women lesser to men in all respects. This has been further contrasted by Parkes (2015) who states that while women in Japan, being a developed nation, are also segmented from men in terms of roles and responsibilities to be undertaken, education forms a core of the society.

Identification and evaluation of effectiveness of policies and researches pertaining to the issue

When referring to the past researches and policies which have been implemented, it is seen that, while the planning and decision making in the policies have been tremendously guided by national directive, there lies a major lack as far as the implementation of the policies is concerned. Given below is a brief discussion of the policies which have been implemented in India and a critical review of the policies has been conducted in order to justify the arguments about the ineffectiveness of these policies when applied.  The relationship between developmental policies and their impacts has been identified by Coleman (2015) who states that the backwardness and issues which pertain to the political, social and economic conditions are the factors which hinder the progress made through implementation of such policies. While referring to India, Parkes (2015) also observes that apart from the factors mentioned above other issues such as crime against women and jeopardized condition of women in the country also hinders the educational development of women. This has been further supported through the arguments of Sahu et al. (2015) who argue that disability in women is also a condition which is not addressed and most of the girl children born with disabilities are not treated for their conditions, further impacting the rate of education of girl children in the country.

Millennium Development goals – UNDP

The first policy related to the subject of study is the United Nations Development Program which constitutes the eight MDG, or Millennium Development Goals. As per Jha and Tripathi (2015) this development goals are directly related with the empowerment of women in India and hence education remains a base requirement of the population at present. The first MDG is associated with the eradication of poverty, the second MDG concerns with the development of women overall. As per this MDG, it is planned that gender disparity between the two genders has to be eliminated and it is also planned that all levels of education should be standardised and equalised for all grades and classes by 2015.

However, while referring to the effectiveness of this policy, Kumar et al. (2016) state that the first deadline of eliminating gender disparity in primary education has been missed due to political changes impacting the implementation of the programs. India has been able to expedite the Gender Parity Index, but also reports that participation of women in decision making and control of households would not be attained by 2015 since the current levels of educated women in the country is lower than expected.

Ministry for Women and Child Development

Established as a department of human resource development ministry, it is seen that this department has actively contributed to the development of girl children in the country by stressing upon the importance of the education for girl children. At present this department has the power to take decisions and policies as per the needs of the programs and given situations in the country owing to the Ministry status which was provided to it (Patel et al. 2015). However, despite the efforts which have been made by this Ministry the impact has been reduced, owing to two prime reasons as cited by Chatterjee et al. (2016) who claims that the first reason which hinders the progress of such policies is limited resources and funds to implement the policies. The second reason which can be attributed to the same is the manner in which there lies a difference between the planning of the policy and the implementation of the same.

Sarva Shiksha Abhiyaan

Also called the SSA, this initiative was launched as a nationwide programme to promote elementary education in children. This programme has been appreciated for the effectiveness of the programme in reaching each hamlet to be covered under the district. In addition to this, in order to support this programme, the constitutional amendment of making education a birth right was also made. Through this program the quality of basic education was to be improvised and it is seen that a programme attained the success to a large extent owing to the strict adherence with the time frames in addition to the fact that it remains a response to the demand for the basic quality of education which is required in the country (Ramachandran, V. and Chatterjee 2014). One of the most important observations in this regard, was made by Abhiyan (2016) which claimed that it is this programme which lends social justice to the cause of girl child education in India. While relating the use of third parties and supporting organizations in relation to the implementation of such programmes it is seen that SSA integrates the resources, abilities and skills of Panchayati raj Institutions, management committees of schools and colleges and urban level committees along with interventions of Parent Teacher Associations and school management for providing free and standard education to both boys and girls in areas which are targeted (Kapur 2013). The primary aim of this initiative remains to enrol all children in schools. However, despite the national approach which has been adopted by this policy, it is seen that the effective implementation of this policy has been hindered by political delays and delayed grants of the funds and resources which were required to implement the policy.

National Policy on Education

Also called NPE, through this policy it was defined that education would be used as a tool of change while referring to the status of women and girls in the country. It was further reiterated through this policy that the status of women should undergo a change and also compensate for the lacking as identified earlier (Sharma and Das 2015). Through this policy, as analysed by Sharma and Das (2015) the National Education System forms the interpretivist role in girl education, which would finally lead to the empowerment of women on a national scale. It is also seen that through this scheme the books and curricula, teacher trainings, orientation, decision making and administration were remodelled to suit the needs of the agenda of girl child education. In fact, as per this scheme it was also planned that more schools closer to the proximity of the villages and hamlets would be opened in order to promote the education of girl child. As stated by NPE 1986 Stromquistand Monkman (2014) it was also identified that a national agenda to eliminate the poverty of women through Literacy and education of women was planned. However, as identified by Fägerlind and Saha (2016) one of the basic limitation which has impacted the success of this initiative has been that no major changes which were required in the mindset were incorporated.  Despite the efforts which have been made and the initiatives which have been taken, it is seen that government run schools are not in the stance to act as social transformation tool and lack the strength to control the situations as described.

Discussion: Ways forward

While referring to the issue of education of girl child in India, Rousso (2015) explores that, with lesser attention to education for the girl child, there are other social, political and economic issues which emanate as well. Importance of this issue has been linked with the overall social development in India and it is seen that with more than 50% of the population below the age of 25 years and more than 65% below the age of 35 years, the growth prospects of the country are the highest. This indicates the high prospects of a young generation guiding the future of the country.  This is also evident from the comparison of the same values with China and Japan and it is evident that the dependency ratio of the country is only 0.4% (Cassen 2016). Based on these figures, Cassen (2016) also states that India presently rests at a stage where in the growth prospects of the country are higher than other developing nations. However, it is also pointed out by Helmers and Patnam (2014) that in such cases the need for social and economic development remains interlinked with the overall development of the country. And girl child education remains the most undervalued growth prospect in the country.

Past research when studied forms the base of a research issue and can be conducted through the study of past researches, journals and papers which have been published in this domain of study. Through past research the initiatives which have been taken to address this issue can be identified in addition to the knowledge about the future planning which can be obtained. Sahu et al. (2015) state that despite being one of the most highlighted issues in the country, the practical research on this issue is limited.

As per the NSS reports which were released in 2011-2012, it was identified that out of the smaller percentile of women who are unemployed, 59% of the women are self-employed which further proves that lack of education restricts the opportunities which can be provided to the girl child. This is further argued by Carranza (2014) that the regular wages and salaries is lesser for both females and males in rural areas as compared with urban areas but amidst the two a clear gap of higher wages for men and lower wages for women has been identified further reiterating the fact that women being uneducated are exploited in all respects. This leads to the observation that female headed households in the country are limited to only 12.4 % where in this also leads to lack of opportunities subsequently leading to negligible empowerment.

There are different problems for girls which have been identified and it is seen that apart from the fact that the schools are not able to offer proper sanitation for the girl children, there are also gender biases which exist. As reported by Wolf (2013) there have also been instances where the girl students are not allowed to access the resources and sports which are stereotyped for boys. A bias of attention from the teachers where the teachers do not pay attention to the girl students and respond more to boys have also been witnessed. In many cases, discrimination to the extent of allotting the task of cleaning and mopping the school or cooking the mid-day meals to the girl students is also seen.

However, it is seen that recent changes which have been brought about in the country even though they have been at the state level have now started altering the manner in which the education of the girl child is perceived. To begin with one of the initiatives which has been recently taken is the no detention policy for the classes 5-8 and it is seen that all the students in class five and eight would be promoted and not detained as an initiative to encourage education for girls. In another state Assam, free education has been offered to the marginal and poor communities and it is identified that through this scheme the number of girls enrolling for higher education has increased (Losen et al. 2014). In addition to the above said, it is also seen that the government of Guwahati has also announced special education facilities for disabled children and therefore, education for disabled children has been encouraged as well. In another research while evaluating the mindset about the limitation of girl child education issues to rural India it was identified in a survey conducted by Save The Children that only 14 out of 100 girls in cities are able to complete their senior secondary education. Hence, to assume that lack of development restricts the education of girls is not the solution.  On the other hand, it has been argued by Muralidharan (2013) that, while investing more money may seem to be a probable solution for the issues which have been presented above, it is also seen that as per the last World bank data reports, India has spent 3.7% of the GDP on education for girl child. However, this stage, Ansari (2016) argues that lack of infrastructure does impact the education of girls more than boys. While exploring the probability of improving the education of girls through technology, Bhargava (2017) criticises the thought and states that it is the quality of the teachers which would impact the quality of education and through reports accessed and studied it is found that 54% of the 7.6 lakh primary schools have only two teachers or lesser and almost 6000 schools have no teachers at all.

Conclusion

As evident from the research which has been presented above, it is seen that one of the basic recommendations which has to be explored through future policies and researches is the manner in which the public participation in the different initiatives can be enhanced. It is clearly evident that while there is no lack of the policies and regulations encouraging the girl child education, it is basically the implementation which needs to be altered. Future research and policies should be able to link the economic and social factors impacting the implementation of the policies with the actual policies to be formed.

Through this report, it is evident that constitutional right to education remains in the books whereas the actual ground level situation of education of girls in India is deteriorating. It has also been identified through this report, that owing to which fact that girls are more vulnerable to abuse and exploitation, and owing to the fact that cultural and social practices in countries such as India further create such condition, the reasons for girls not being educated or leaving school early are numerous. And a lack of coherence between the policy makers and implementers leads to the failure of the policies and research in this domain.

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