Laina Emmanuel, Accountability Initiative
Parental involvement in children’s education is largely believed to lead to improved learning outcomes. The level of involvement can vary from providing a secure home for children, maintaining a healthy parent-teacher communication, volunteering to involving parents in the governance of the school. The effect of each type of parental involvement on learning outcomes also varies, though research largely points towards beneficial effects. Read more »
Avani Kapur, Accountability Initiative
Over the last few years, India’s elementary education landscape has witnessed a lot of change. On the one hand, there has been a substantial increase in financial allocations. For instance, allocations for Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) – the programmatic vehicle for elementary education have increased from Rs 15,000 crores in 2010-11 to Rs 25,555 crores in 2012-13. This represents an increase of 70 percent in 3 years. At the same time, with the passing of the Right to Free and Compulsory Education Act (RTE) in April 2010, states now have an increased responsibility towards the beneficiaries. Central and state govern Read more »ments can now be held accountable for failure of delivery.
Aishwarya Panicker, Accountability Initiative
The recently released ‘White Paper on Black Money’ by the Ministry of Finance was presented at the Lok Sabha on the 21st of May 2012. Having taken some time to read through the rather lengthy document, it seemed fitting for a few words to be written about the report. Read more »
Gayatri Sahgal, Accountability Initiative
In last week’s blog on the Rangarajan Committee Report, Anirvan outlined the process of fund flows in Centrally Sponsored Schemes (for more details see here). Piqued and interested in exploring the topic of Centrally Sponsored Schemes, I decided to do some digging of my own. In the process of my investigation, I came across an interesting report recently published by a committee appointed by the Planning Commission on ‘Restructuring of Centrally Sponsored Schemes’ (details of the report can be found here). Read more »
Ambrish Dongre, Accountability Initiative
Recently, I attended the release of an interesting report, ‘Quality Education Study’, put together by Educational Initiatives and Wipro-Applying Thoughts to Schools. The study tries to assess learning levels of students in Standards 4, 6 and 8 by developing specific tests for English, Maths, Science and Social Studies. As mentioned in the report, ‘the questions were not based simply on the ability to recall information or use formulae or procedures…but also attempted to evaluate if the students have understood and internalized the concepts(1). Some questions were also included to study student attitudes toward gender equality, diversity and sensitivity toward others, civic/ citizenship issues, ecological issues, values and interpersonal skills. Read more »
Venugopal Kalokota, Poonam Chaudhary, Swapna Ramtake, Dinesh Kumar, and Ram Ratan Jat(1)
During the course of the PAISA survey our field level researchers gained some interesting insights regarding the ground level implementation of SSA. Their findings, trace different elements of the implementation story and include an analysis of the pattern of SSA fund flows, the status of school outputs and the level of SMC functioning. Here are some highlights from the field. Read more »
Anirvan Chowdhury, Accountability Initiative
The Report of the High-Level Expert Committee on Efficient Management of Public Expenditure chaired by Dr. C. Rangarajan (and better known as the Rangarajan Committee Report) was tabled in Parliament in July 2011 and I had been waiting for it to be publicly available since then. The Report finally found its way to the internet (this is the link). To those concerned about the “High Level” and “Expert” adjectives, the Report does not disappoint. I had earlier blogged on why the committee was mulling over merging plan and non-plan expenditure. This time I summarise the Rangarajan Committee’s take on fund flows in centrally sponsored schemes (CSS). Read more »
Empowering schools and school management committees (SMCs): Unpacking decision-making in India’s schools.
Gayatri Sahgal, Accountability Initiative
Since the early 1990’s School Based Management (SBM) has gained increasing popularity as a strategy for improving responsiveness and accountability in the delivery of education services. As a form of decentralization, the SBM approach involves the transfer of decision making authority over school operations to local agents (2). One of the principle function’s which is delegated to local agents is the responsibility for managing the school’s finances. In several countries, including Brazil, Nepal, Mexico, and Czech Republic, authority is devolved to school based committees who are given varying levels of financial autonomy for 1) determining school needs, 2) preparing budgets and plans, and 3) procuring items and incurring expenditure for meeting such needs (3). Read more »
Understanding Local Dynamics and Tracking Fraud/Corruption in NREGS: Notes from the 2nd field visit.
Adarsh Namala, Short term research associate, Accountability Initiative
Continuing with our study on Social Audits in NREGS in Andhra Pradesh, I visited the Medak and Papannapet Mandals in March. The study aims to analyse the efficacy of the social audits as a platform to capture the universe of complaints and whether it leads to effective grievance redressal. My part in the study is to understand the local dynamics in the selected GPs and to track corruption and fraud.
Based on the data from the Society Social Audits, Accountability and Transparency (SSAAT) website, we selected Medak and Papannpet Mandals as they were the front runners in terms of total misappropriated amount in Medak district. Read more »
Indrojit Banerji, Accountability Initiative
Teacher absence in India’s government schools is a well documented problem. Since the late 1990s, a number of independent studies such as the Public Report on Basic Education (1999 and 2009) and Kremer, Muralidharan et al’s 2004 World Bank report on teacher and health worker absence in developing countries have conducted surveys which assessed the degree of teacher absence in government schools. Reported absence rates range from between 14% in some states to up to 44% in others. Longer term and repeat studies such as ASER and PROBE Revisited have reported national absence rates to be fairly consistent since 2007 and between 1996 and 2006 respectively. Read more »