Real learning or just school for all? : Discrepancies between enrolment numbers and learning results in India
Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
As the United Nations Millennium Development Goals, MDGs, are coming closer to the target year of 2015, this study joins the ongoing debate about the achieved results with a focus on India. While India has seen great improvements concerning the second MDG, which is for all children to enrol and complete primary education, the country has for the past years been facing a challenge of decreasing learning results. The focus of this study is the effect that the increased enrolment has on the learning outcomes, measured in arithmetic and reading ability. This paper is based on a field study conducted in the rural southern parts of West Bengal, India. The data primarily originate from semi-structured interviews with teachers, families of school children and field observations. The findings are analysed through Bourdieu’s framework of habitus. By analysing the situation through Bourdieu’s three forms of capital; economic, cultural and social, the study aims to broaden the understanding of the declining learning results in Indian primary schools. The study concludes that one has to look beyond the concept of habitus in order to get the full picture of why the children do not learn as much as they did before. Though habitus can be seen as a contributing factor to the decline, this due to the increased enrolment of children from a weaker habitus; that have different prerequisites for learning, this effect could be enhanced through migration of children with a stronger educational habitus from the public to private school system. However, this paper shows that other factors such as the role of the teachers and lack of focus on the fundamentals for learning might be more important when looking at the lower academic performance.
Key words: India, West Bengal, Primary education, Decrease in learning achievements, Bourdieu, Habitus
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. , 52 p.
Other Social Sciences not elsewhere specified
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-40098OAI: oai:DiVA.org:lnu-40098DiVA: diva2:788138
Subject / course
Peace and development
Peace and Development Programme, 180 credits
Åkesson, Gunilla, AdjunktNilsson, Anders, Lektor
Fritz, Heiko, Lektor