Mapping The Quality Discourse Education Essay

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"Quality is not merely a measure of efficiency; it also has a value dimension. The attempt to improve the quality of education will succeed only if it goes hand in hand with steps to promote equality and social justice" (NCERT 2005, p 102).

When values are intrinsic in educational goals, quality in education would not be free from values. Educational policies are oriented by certain values that they derive from its usefulness in meeting certain ends that are valuable, for example self reliance; from our socio cultural political context, for example equality. The idea of education is also considered as being valuable in itself, as has been discussed to some detail in section 2. Which values in education get addressed by the quality improvement efforts planned in the policies of education?

There are schools that are branded and are island of excellence in school education. They are exclusive, ensure high achievement and have a higher status than most other schools. With their special status and standard, they are selective about students and are obviously not equitable. How in a country with right to equitable elementary education, such iniquitous practices in school education thrive? Can we say the best possible actually is possible without offering/providing/ensuring all an equitable opportunity? Is there something about quality notion that does not correspond with equal opportunity for all?

Aligned with the values in our Constitution education should be provided equitably. Equality is not just a valuable in education because of constitution, "Education itself immediately raises questions of equality" (O' Hear,1981, p 137)

Selection at any level of education implies unequal opportunities. Examinations are made educationally equal, persons from different social background fair differently even if schooled similarly. That students are differently abled is not a matter of socially remediable policy, and is a fact of nature. But academic ability is not a socially neutral fact, but the inequality in birth and upbringing; social inequalities closely relate to difference of academic attainment (ibid).The issue of fairness by eliminating such differences as far as possible has strength. Equality can be viewed as that before law, as non-discrimination on certain grounds, or in treatment for fairness.

Different policies have different ways to seek equality. One step to achieve equality in education is to aim for universalization of education up to a certain level. To universalize means to bridge all the existing gaps and lacunae in the educational system (Rustagi, 2009, pp5). The challenges and debates arise in the path of universalizing education (Rustagi).

The National Policy of Education, 1986 recommended that "up to a given level, all students, irrespective of caste, creed, location or sex, have access to education of comparable quality" (Section 3.2).

In seeking equality of opportunity, quality got tied to it. The NPE1986 recommended Common School System to promote equal access as was suggested by the policy in 1968.In addition to equal opportunity to all in access, but also in the conditions of success (Sharma, 2002). Yet until that reality of equal opportunity comes about. In a transitional phase, seemingly to first make easy access feasible, alternative educational plans for 'comparable quality' were proposed. This was also thought to promote the decentralization which can facilitate universalization of education in a large democracy like ours.

NPE 1986 and the subsequent review report 1990 recommended some strategies of reducing disparities in access to education by opening Residential schools, Ashram Schools for the SC, ST and Non Formal Centers with different curriculum that consider their different needs and life-styles. Non Formal Education has been an option for children who cannot attend whole day school and yet ensuring comparable quality education For universalizing elementary education, regulating provisions and facilities for schools, adjusting timings of schools to suit children's needs were some proposals.

At the same time, opportunity for good quality education of the specially talented yet poor children is created through Pace-Setting schools, Navodaya Vidyalaya Scheme. Nation wide programme for school improvement included such residential schools with no fee.

The policy prescribes two contrasting approaches of opening parallel channels for educational access and other structures to nurture special talent. Do these appear to be equalizing educational opportunities? They reflect an acceptance of a position of quality being different from equality. Alternative options to formal schools and common schools came in both shades- those offering unequal opportunity (non-formal sector) with comparable quality, and those offering free good quality education to the brighter ones.

Is equality a criterion of judging quality of education? How is 'quality' in relation to 'equality' placed and considered in the policies? Some policy analysis and a little conceptual understanding seem required. Especially in view of rising inequalities where a huge number of children continue to remain outside the school, the school system in the country is perhaps the most unequal in the world. Many government and aided schools have largely become non-functional and private schools cater to a large population (Sharma, 1981).

First we try to examining how policies to promote equality in education sought equal access to educational opportunity. Expanding educational system for equal access has been a challenge.

The moves like Non Formal Education (NFE), a parallel stream to mainstream formal school education, were meant to be merely 'comparable' with the corresponding formal education. This indicates creation of 'a layer of lower quality below the formal school' (Sadgopal, 2006). The character of the policy itself promotes the exclusion and discrimination found in the system. With formal government schools deteriorating, cheap private schools replace them while the demand for education is high. This promotes privatization and commercialization of school education (ibid).

Speaking against the differential provisions for the disadvantaged groups of dalits, tribals and girls, Velaskar (2010) interprets it as a concern for 'quality for some' against precedence over that of 'quality access to all'. According to Velaskar (2010, p 66) "The idea of Common School System, the main vehicle for operationalizing equality of opportunity… evoked overt political endorsement but stiff covert resistance… The common schools existed more by default than design in the form of solitary village schools", that too only in the form of physical integration and not accorded to 'philosophical, sociological and educational principles that are integral to the ideal' (Velaskar, 2010). This also contributes to keep the inequalities alive. The state uses education as its ordering instrument (Durkheim, 1979, f. Sarangapani, KK, 2004)

There is evidence that equality is generally not viewed as an end in itself, but as a means of reducing economic and social inequalities ? (Husen & Pstlethwaite… 1985). The need for development can be one motivation for valuing equality. Equitable access with all diversity (no disparity) is essential to sustained development. With this as a stance let's look into what international documents say on equality and quality.

In the world conference, Education For All, Jomtien, 1990 the focal points are Universalizing access and promoting equity and broadening the means and scope of basic education.

The concern for quality has been clearly expressed in Dakar Framework, " …quality must not suffer as access expands and that improvements in quality should not benefit the economically well-off at the expense of the poor…". A powerful correlation is found between low enrolment, poor retention and unsatisfactory learning outcomes and the incidence of poverty (DF, p 13). This also explains shift from 'education for all' at Jomtien conference,1990 to 'excellence for all' in Dakar Framework 2000. The conference placed both outcomes and class-room processes important.

''…qualitative achievements tell nothing of the plight of millions who are still excluded from education''…therefore information on nature and quality of teaching-learning and of educational outcomes at all levels is also required ( DF p 13). "Millions of people are still denied their right to education and the opportunities it brings to live safer, healthier, more productive and more fulfilling lives" ( DF, p12).

"Quality is at the heart of education, and what takes place in classrooms and other learning environment is fundamentally important to the future well being of children, young people and adults. A quality education is one that satisfies basic learning needs, and enriches the lives of learners and their overall experience of living" (DF, p 17) .

So far the said expresses concern for exclusion, the related quality of life and concern for quality even while expansion and access is pursued. While commitment to attaining universal enrolment is essential, improving and sustaining the quality of basic education is equally important in ensuring effective learning outcomes (DF, p16).

The patterns in education have been shifting from enrolment drives and completion to strategies for improving achievement at both national and international levels. In other words, focus is increasingly moving from equity in access to equity in achievement, from provision to outcomes.

A difficult aspect to understand in the stance is the justification for assessing quality in terms of specific and measurable learning outcomes. How is it then in tune with the 'enriching experiences of children, learning environment? Quality focus on outcomes has many implications that seem objectionable. Those relating to equity issue are being exposited here. Other implications of such a shift in focus on quality will be discussed later.

The quality in terms of specifiable outcomes assumes that learning is a quantifiable end point. It places learning (as an achievement) out of its socio-cultural context, weighing everyone on same scale. Where is the individual, his enriching experience and values that have been talked of? When outcomes become the criteria for quality, what chance does the equitable access stand?

Equality of educational opportunity is a concern of social justice while quality focus on outcomes can promote economic/ employment. Such emphasis on quality implies competition, privatization and commercialization. The 'quality' is outwardly focused on achievements, comparable and measurable. Quality and equality have thus become dichotomized as the programmes for universalization progressed (Kumar, 2010). Quality has been redefined, education has been restructured and universal access to education, as a child's right, is still a threat to our idea of education and long term goals. The strategies for equitable access still eliminate and exclude favouring the elite (Kumar, 2004, eco regime).

Students from many strata of society and regions experience problems in education. It is the systematic assessment of learning outcomes that show problematically low and/or unequal levels of learning among different sections of students in most countries that is taken to indicate (close association between quality and) equity (Govinda, 2009).Many children, even after attending primary education for five years lack basic learning skills and remain excluded from mainstream development (Govinda & Bandopadhyay). The students pass out without learning the required/ expected. How do we understand/explain this, and how can we ensure learning? Some strategies to improve both access and ensuring some levels of learning have been introduced in our education system.

Some educational programmes like DPEP and SSA have been turning points in Indian education. They have emphasized on ensuring learning. The DPEP has been a district level plan therefore suiting the needs of the district and flexible though centrally sponsored. Its objectives have included increasing access and retention, decrease drop out and disparity, and achieving measured baseline levels. It was flexible with parameters that were meant to ensure that the plan is within the framework of national concerns and priorities ( net Department of Education: 1994). It took quality 'of education to enable all children to achieve essential levels of learning' and many intervention strategies developed.

SSA is meant to universalize as well as to improve quality of education through decentralized and context specific planning and a process based implementation strategy. "Improving the quality and efficiency at school-classroom level is a major thrust area of SSA programme" (Dhar, p ix), along with "efforts directed towards increasing access, enrolment and retention".

The programme aims to provide 'useful and relevant' elementary education in the 6 to 14 age group by 2010. Its overall goals include universal access and retention, bridging of gender and social category gaps in education for better social justice. It aims at improving performance of school system with enhancement of learning levels of children.

Both programmes are decentralized therefore can work to suit the needs and problems of local community, yet 'serve' to achieve the levels of learning (MLL).

The clear emphasis on levels of learning, that is, educational outcomes is another version of 'comparable quality' in the NPE 1986.

Under the SSA, alternatives like the educational guarantee schemes (EGS) and para- teacher system were launched for universalisation of elementary education. Such alternative forms of providing education have been considered equivalent to formal schooling and sufficing as an entitlement or a right to education. Universalisation of elementary education through such questionable methods does not yield sustainable positive outcomes (Kumar, 2010).

The dichotomization of access and quality by policy guided choices like para-teachers and Educational Guarantee Scheme, NPE had already legitimatized alternatives to formal schooling for achieving universalisation, which Krishna Kumar (2010,pp9) alleges is institutionalization of long-term damage to education.

These versions of quality imply much harm to education in the sense that it separated the process of learning from outcome, that is, quality (Sarangapani, 2010). The significance of process lies in achieving the levels of performance, not really in the experience and relevance to the child. When process of learning is out from focus, learner cannot be in focus either. The system works indifferent to the learner, his individuality, his personality, his talent, his problems and the student has to cope to perform.

The Public Report on Basic Education, 1999 has reported somewhat similar findings from the study of people's perceptions of educational scenario and their expectations. The survey was dome in seven states of Northern India. The purpose of the survey was to assess how far 'the country is ready to provide elementary education of decent quality to every child'. It has been of help in locating some obstacles in achieving universalisation of education and suggesting the kind of effort that would be required for universalisation of elementary education. It explores reasons for not reaching full enrolment, retention and explanation for high drop out rates. This is not anticipated with the public demand for education on the rise.

The PROBE Report found the reasons for such problems in universalisation in the school environment. The school environment is not conducive to meaningful and joyful learning. The content and pedagogy/learning activities are not enhancing lives of students; rather alienate them from their environment also. There is lot of social discrimination in practice. The physical, organizational and social learning environment is also found inadequate by most people. The quality education, in effect, seems to be for the elite. Education, by the report, is not democratic or equal in opportunity and marginalizes the poor and disadvantaged.

Not meeting the learning needs of students, poor and socially discriminating environment, and inadequate education, joyless, meaningless, irrelevant learning that becomes burdensome, strugglesome experience for many (PROBE).

Some issues get attention and voice in the NCF2010. "Schools range from the high- cost 'public' (private) schools, to which the urban elite send their children, to the ostensibly 'free', poorly functioning local- body -run primary schools where children from hitherto educationally deprived communities predominate. A striking recent feature is the growth of multigrade schools in rural areas, based on the mechanical application of 'teacher - pupil ratios' to the need to provide a school within 1 km. of each habitation, yet unsupported by the necessary curricular concepts or clarity on materials or pedagogy. Such developments unintentionally reinforce privilege and exclusion in education and undermine the constitutional values of equality of opportunity and social justice." Our vision of development perhaps needs scrutiny as equity is not a concern, quality is ( Tilak, 2007 EPW).

"Even as the system attempts to reach every child, the issue of quality presents a new range of challenges. The belief that quality goes with privilege is clearly irreconcilable with the vision of participatory democracy that India upholds and practices in the political sphere. Its practice in the sphere of education demands that the education available to all children in different regions and sections of society has a comparable quality "(NCERT 2005, P7, 8).

Overall school expansion patterns took widely divergent paths resulting in inequality, imbalance and unevenness. There is a clear movement towards greater polarization, greater relative inequality of quantity and quality (Velaskar, 2010).

The policies show ambiguities in their concerns, contrariness and duality in their recommendations, tacitly resisting the clear implementation for a goal. The policies and strategies seem to ensure inequalities. Indian state is alleged to be playing 'dual role of both main arbiter of welfare policy and protector of dominant interests' (Velaskar, 2010). The problem of alienation and meaningless learning also prevails. The cases of successful completion with no increase in the targeted areas are many. The impact of policies is thus limited and weakens further by the international attention, direction with support/ funding.

The structural and managerial approaches define quality by valuing 'satisfying the customer', 'serving the purpose', 'fitness for use' and /or 'conformity to requirements' (Charantimath, 2006). This shows that quality is assessed by refernce to something from outside the system, because the system exists to serve some demands, some ends as well as it can. There is a competitive edge to serving the required well.

The policies recommending restructuring education and focus on new structures and mechanisms to ensure equality, namely, NPE 1986, has been discussed.

When system is efficient, it can put minimal efforts to maximize output. The output can be in terms of level of learning, or in terms of number of people going through educational programmes. When the focus is number, the quantity, which is dealt through expansion of educational possibilities, will rise and thus more people can be educated. Here, equality is not a value, except for development, but an unintended by-product.

Improving quality through management may be effective if the voice of the deprived and disadvantaged reaches those managing. Even if equality is a goal for structural approach, it may lack the 'philosophical, sociological and educational principles' necessary for real change, and would perhaps address equality only through increasing quantity/ output. Procedures may succeed in ensuring equitable admission, but can procedures ensure against discrimination occurring within schools and class rooms (PROBE 1999)? What worth are such operations if the attitudes and values of people operating it don't change? Does quality address that?

Can both quality and equality be achieved? Can quality in education improve without equal opportunity for education? Quality and equality sound as divergent concerns, one egalitarian and the other relates to meritocracy (ability). If the concern for equality was important to quality in education, the tension and relationship between the two would be addressed rather than separating the two, as is alleged.

"…policy makers, administrators and researchers do find certain antimonies and tensions they see in the quality debate "(Aspin, 1994, p 37). One major tension is "between providing opportunities for all students to do well and encouraging a high standard specialized knowledge and training" (ibid, p 37). The issue of quality schooling is that of choosing between the optimum and all round development of all/ each and the highest possible for promising few persons.

Balakrishnan (2006) asserts that equity and excellence must hold in equal parts of an educational arrangement (p42) if provision of education is to serve any worthwhile purpose, that the two need hardly be divorced from one another. He thinks, equity, even of opportunity, a purely relational concept, is more or less worthless without excellence. Equally, the feature of islands of excellence in a sea of squalor would leave condemned, from a macro perspective, educational arrangements that maintain this state of affairs. The two ideas, equality and quality are meaningful and valuable only when proximate. Supporting the position are views like universalisation and access are meaningless without quality (Rampal).The access can't be said equal when the quality (as outcome?) is unequal. Padma Velaskar questions the meaning of meritocracy when educational opportunities are unequal.

Krishna Kumar (1985) observes, between the two major concerns of education, namely access and quality, the government is obviously more inclined towards the latter. This he interprets through starting of 'Central schools' that hold places for meritorious among children, and the rise of private schooling that based on the idea that separation of worthy from the ordinary is necessary for the country's talent and breed merit which somehow is bound by caste-grouping. To generate new talent children from all social strata, both sexes need to study together (p948).

Krishna Kumar (2010) considers equality as an aspect of quality, and argues that programs for universalisation of education have dichotomized quality and equality. Equality itself reflects the quality of education as an involvement in the long term growth of a person. Equality cannot be treated mechanically, it depends on context. He thinks that a systematic goal of equality can only nurture quantity while quality would require regulation of equality.

As interpreted by Andre Beteille ( EPW,2001), access is about making a service available, creating opportunity that is about universality of education. He distinguishes universality from equitable access or equality of opportunity made available. Euality in opportunity concerns fairly equal access for all.

Justice, he clarifies, is widely thought to consist in equality. The general principle of is a criterion in liberal political theory. He further argues that fairness need not consist in equality (ibid).

The principle of universality is not free from the principle of scarcity ( Hirsch 1977, ref in Beteille). However compelling the demands of universality, we cannot disregard the constraints imposed by the scarcity of resources. R.F. Atkinson reasons, because of limited resources, that is, scarcity, quality may have to be pursued at the expense of equality. With conditions of abundance, justice and equality would be superfluous and irrelevant. (Brown 1975, p150).

Even at the elementary level of education, universality does not mean equality (Beteille, p2625). What we can offer at best is equality of opportunity for those already qualified for admission, and this leads inevitably to the quality of outcome. There are limits to which equality can be taken and beyond which inequalities are bound to come into play. He concludes with the assertion that universality is an important principle, distinct from equality.

Equality can be interpreted as both meritarian and compensatory. The first is expressed as formal impartiality/legal equality or non discrimination due to caste, gender, religion etc., a form of social justice expressed in rules and norms. The compensatory form of equality is about fair treatment and concerns opportunity which privileges individual freedom, action and mobility where effort and talent should matter, nothing else. Upholding the second principle grants special treatment recognizing deep rooted inequalities and injustices, acknowledging systematic and cumulative deprivation (Beteille, Velarkar). These notions of equality arise resistance due to the fact of human diversity. The issue of where compensation is justified and where not, often becomes controversial.

Winch 1996, pp127 asserts conclusively that education aims to nurture each ones potential…the highest possible standard should always be achieved irrespective of social-political considerations (Winch,).

Supporting it, John Rawls has also posited that although the bias of policy should be towards equality, an increase of inequality overall is justified if it benefits the most disadvantaged members of society (Rawls 1972; 75-83). Strict egalitarianism does not seem to favour anyone, even the disadvantaged.

Velaskar (2010) clarifies that equality is a pursuit of synthesis of two divergent principles- that of meritarian and of compensatory principles. She holds that only a broader vision dissolves the perceived contradictions between the two (individual and society). Beteille asserts that inequality of outcome is inevitable, no matter how much equality in opportunity is offered.

At a conceptual level, Cooper (1975) claims that 'Quality for all' is self defeating, because quality implies striving for excellence, the highest possible which implies a hierarchy, a comparison and so the same level of achievement is not conceivable for all. Cooper argues from two opposing camps- the 'egalitarians' and the 'qualitarians' and concludes that egalitarian wants us all pulled up to higher levels, which is difficult if not impossible to identify. In the system of equality, he points out, the vital means for identifying what the methods of high quality education could be (Brown p 129). Quality and equality may not be logically incompatible but conflict in choice. This is reiterated (Peters) by the fact that expansion has been found to be detrimental to quality.

Timothy O'Hagan counters Cooper's assertions by arguing that even when resources are limited, quality may have to be pursued at the expense of equality in order to attain a situation in which both quality and equality can be promoted together. Inequality is temporarily justified if it serves to bring about equality. Inequality as a value in itself is condemned, or that inequality is justified by the essential inequality of men (natural- genetic and environmental, i.e. unequal distribution of excellence/talent).

R.F. Atkinson (Brown, 1975) understands the issue as the fundamental conflict in terms of individualism and collectivism, almost on lines with the two equality principles talked of earlier. Cooper, then stands by individualism and argues that educational quality has to be judged intrinsically and in terms of processes not products. But can we ignore assessing the quality of a system without assessing the quality of its produces?

If equality becomes a criterion for judging quality of education, education fails so long as inequalities in talent, capability, achievements, outcomes, cultures exist!

The relation of equality to quality leads us into another discourse (area of reflection) on opportunity and can improve our understanding of 'opportunity'. That equality of result cannot be evidence of equality of opportunity is voiced by many. How can we determine the level of 'equality of opportunity'? How do we interpret opportunity, whether in terms of 'providing physical access', creating 'right environment' , learners' 'perception of opportunity' which is determined by his socio-cultural circumstance and his motivation, development among many other things, or by outcome as perceived by the system?

The idea of equality of opportunity as a criterion of judging quality of a school system arose in a set up/ socio-political context where production was more important than in places/countries where leisurely pattern of growth occurs, e.g., where large population is occupied in agriculture. The educational goals a country seeks should change with its stage of economic development (Beeby 1969, pp61). History shows that the schools for common people increased for industry to make use of their products.

The conceptualization and parameters for then seem to differ with different social political contexts. The values in education are influenced by values from its social political context. And that may explain how and why 'democracy and education are being ruled by market forces' (Kumar, 2004, eco regime). The extent to which education is to be shaped by its circumstance of serving political and economic ends is a significant/relevant concern. (Kumar, 2001; Winch 1996). It is a concern of this work also.

Once we understand that having an opportunity depends on having power to take it up, we can increase opportunities by increasing powers. Relating the issue of equal opportunity with justice, John Wilson (1993) argues that 'equality in opportunity' and power is an issue of justice rather than equality because if equality involves the idea of 'sameness', then sameness of opportunity would rely on sameness of powers which is neither sensible nor an attainable ideal.

Inequalities exist and will persist. Only which forms of equalities are more desirable than others and which inequalities need to be reduced creates the discourse of justice that weaves into the discourse of education also.

Through Isaih Berlin and Amartya Sen we are aware that the equality of opportunity, seen as a global absence of coercion, cannot translate into a positive variant of opportunity when capabilities differ. It is the systematic assessment of learning outcomes that show problematically low and/or unequal levels of learning among different sections of students in most countries that is taken to indicate (close association between quality and) equity (Govinda, 2009).

Is it for education system to discriminate between those from different social background? How is educational quality affected when education accommodates social differences? Is education to compensate for all kinds of inequalities (to shape for new possibilities that seem fairer)? The issue seems to be about deciding what is more just- treating the unequals equally or equals unequally?

Equality, in view of overall growth and to achieve educational aims may find justification. R.S. Peters questions, if an effort for common good, in tune with socio-political ideas, deserves to be judged by calculable standards? He has raised a question crucial to nature of education and how its decisions are to be taken.

Cooper helps us focus on similar core concern by raising the question if we can and should judge all schools on the same scale, without reference to their different functions as institutions. He argues that quality in education has to do with the capacity of a system to effect 'educational transformation'.. And to assess educational transformation, we need to decide 'what is it to be educated' (Peters and Warnock's views on it accepted). The quality-equality issue leads us to the question of meaning of education. It only shows that the notion of quality is inbuilt to the concept of education. It settles according to what we value in education in our context.

Quality education targeting equity comes back to the priority setting process, the questions it raises and the values it embodies. (Aspin et al1994, p 42)

Understanding the complexity of balancing the three- quality, quantity and equality in education, J.P. Naik suggests that the three may require different kind of attention as quality is internal to education, while the other two are not. A decision on quality in education is about educational values, which would and should be in tune with our socio-political values (egalitaritarian or inegalitarian values).

Closes Sec 3.

The quality cannot but reflect what we hold valuable in education. We have observed that the focus of quality has been towards outcomes more than equality, a concern for social justice. There is need to explore how quality is perceived. Perhaps quality in education presents what is held as most relevant/valuable in education.

What do these quality improvement drives address, if not equity, a social reform/justice ? What are the implications of measurable, minimal levels of learning that are pursued through quality discourse? Do they follow some ideology?

Discussing what should be the criteria for quality, NCF examines student performance at examination, physical resources, teacher resources, school ethos or child's experiences as criteria. The conclusion is that quality can be legitimately assessed with reference to educational goals. The goals cannot be away from "the larger perspective of the challenges facing humanity and the nation today" (ibid, p 8). "The greatest national challenge for education is to strengthen our participatory democracy and the values enshrined in the Constitution. Meeting this challenge implies that we make quality and social justice the central theme of curricular reform. Citizenship training has been an important aspect of formal education. Today, it needs to be boldly reconceptualised in terms of the discourse of universal human rights and the approaches associated with critical pedagogy. A clear orientation towards values associated with peace and harmonious coexistence is called for. Quality in education includes a concern for quality of life in all its dimensions. This is why a concern for peace, protection of the environment and a predisposition towards social change must be viewed as core components of quality, not merely as value premises.

New Ref

Sadgopal, A. 2006 Dilution, Distortion and Diversion A Post -Jomtien Reflection on the Educational Policy in Ravi Kumar's 'The Crisis of Elementary Educationin India' Sage Plublication, New Delhi,

O' Hear, A.(1981) Ch 6 Education and Society in Education, Society and Human Nature An Introduction to the philosophy of education, Routledge & Kegan Paul Ltd. London.

Sharma,A K (2002), NPE: Implementation in School Education in K.Sudha rao Educational Policies of Promise and Performance , NEIPA,

(Husen & Pstlethwaite… 1985)

Tilak, 2007 EPW

The 'quality' in education is defined in terms of two principles /objectives : first learners' cognitive development as the major explicit objective of all educational systems; the second emphasizes education's role in promoting values and attitudes that are judged necessary for good citizenship and effective life in the community (EFA Global Monitoring Report 2005, Education for All, The Quality Imperative, Summary, UNESCO Publishing, published in 2004).

Ensuring excellence of all with measurable learning outcomes achieved by all, especially in literacy, numeracy and essential life-skills ( DF, p8).

Some of the goals are : Ensuring access to and complete free and compulsory primary education of good quality ; improving every aspect of the quality of education, and ensuring their excellence so that recognized and measurable

learning outcomes are achieved by all, especially in literacy, numeracy and essential life skills (DF, p 17).

It seems evident that access and quality factors interact ( Govinda, p33)

Does 'quality' itself signify a valued attribute?

Depriving some from the possibilities of growth, exclusion of many groups of people is a concern at international level, Jomtien and Dakar conferences, The EFA goal remains unfulfilled if all do not access and complete the basic education level which correlates powerfully to poverty, health and many other aspects affecting their quality of life. All children must have the opportunity to fulfill their right to quality education ( DF p15). Quality must not suffer as access expands and that improvement in quality should not benefit the economically well-off at the expense of poor (DF p13). Fulfilling basic learning needs and ensuring excellence in terms of clearly stated outcomes is important (p15-17).

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