You are on page 1of 180

Journal of

Volume XXXX Number 4 February 2015


Editorial 3

Art at Home, School, University and in Public Life 5

Jatin Das

Usage of Facebook in Education 19


Writing Skills in English among School Children— 28

Gender Differences, Relationship with Class
Performance and with Speaking Skills
Raj Kumari Gupta, Prerna Joshi, Gunpal

A Comparative Study of Students of Government and 44

Non-government Schools in Reading and Writing of Mother Tongue
Sweta Dvivedi

Training of Teachers – Search for Appropriate Instructional Strategy 59

S. K. Mishra

Quality Concerns in School Education 65

Shankar Sharan

Development of Education in the North-Eastern States— 78

A Study in National Perspective
K. N. Pathak, J.S. Tomar
From Monologue to Dialogue— Interpreting Social Constructivism with 101
Bakhtinian Perspective
Rishabh Kumar Mishra

Spatial Factors of Social Exclusion and Inclusive Development in Manipur 113

Lophro Celina Sapruna

English Language Education Situation in India 131

Ramanujam Meganathan

Family Socialisation in Empowerment of Young Girls in Manipur 149

Chakho Kaya Mao

Disabled Children in Inclusive Classrooms: Behavioural Problems and 170

Behaviour Management Strategies
Farzana Shehla
Editor’s Note
The current issue of the Journal of Indian Education reflects our continued
endeavour to accrue to our anxious and conscious readers and researchers,
innovative papers on a variety of themes with rich contents based on experienced
reflections and the results of research studies to facilitate and enrich learning
in schools and the overall experiences of teachers. The papers reflect on various
issues concerning the working of our educational system like appreciation of our
rich cultural heritage; language in education; understanding social constructivism;
comparison of private and public school system; reading, writing and oratory in
relation to students’ performance; emerging influence of social media; teachers
preparation through Andragogy, issues related to girls, disabled children and
education in far flung regions.
The paper titled Art at Home, School, University and in Public Life is the written
text of NCERT Mahatma Gandhi Third Memorial Lecture delivered by an eminent
scholar Professor Jatin Das. Through the lecture he reflected on our rich heritage
and culture and shares his experiences about the ways this has remained
intermingled in our routine living, family practices and social interactions. This has
found expression in different kinds of rituals and art forms like music, paintings,
sculpture, murals and writings including poetry. In order to preserve and enrich
our heritage and culture, Professor Das suggests that schools need to carry out
this responsibility and have to make practical solutions for designing environment
and practices to link our heritage and culture with contemporary life.
In her paper titled Usage of Facebook in Education, Meena explores the
possibilities and makes a case for examining the use of social networking site
Facebook as tool for learning. The paper on Writing Skills in English among School
Children by Raj Kumari Gupta and her colleagues have studied the correlation of
writing skill with speaking skills and the class performance among girls and the
boys. A Comparative Study of Students of Governmental and Non-governmental
Schools in Reading and Writing of Mother Tongue by Sweta Dvivedi brings out the
factors that differentiate the students’ performance in different kinds of schools.
S. K. Mishra advocates the use of Andragogy for training of teachers which is
more appropriate for adults and suggests to restrict the use of Pedagogy to teach
Shankar Sharan shares his experiences which he gathered during his three-
month teaching assignment in a Kendriya Vidyalaya located in a small town of
Uttar Pradesh in Quality Concerns in School Education. In a reflective paper on
English Language Education, situation in India, R. Meganathan discusses about
the current situation in different types of schools and goes on to suggest measures
to improve the quality of English language education in the country.
In the paper From Monologue to Dialogue: Interpreting Social Constructivism
with Bakhtinian Perspective Rishabh Kumar Mishra provides the background and
limitation of the Vygotskian perspective in relation to social constructivist theory
 4 Journal of Indian Education February 2015

and discusses about the tenets of dialogic pedagogy in Bakhtinian perspective

to help transform the pervasive monologic discourse into dialogic discourse. In
her paper concerning the disabled children Farzana Shehla has reflected on the
behavioural problems of children with different kinds of disabilities in an inclusive
classroom and proposed strategies for accepting the challenging role in adverse
The Government of India is making concerted efforts to bring the North-
Eastern region at par with other parts of India in the context of education and
other developmental parameters. Three papers in the issue are related to NE
region. Pathak and Tomar in their paper analyse the overall status of education
in different North-Eastern states and suggest strengthening of need-based action
for improving the quality of education and to reduce regional disparities. The
family socialisation as tool for empowerment of young girls in Manipur has been
discussed in the paper by Chakho Kaya Mao whereas Lophro Celina Sapruna
talks about the spatial factors causing social exclusion and hindering the inclusive
development in Manipur.
The contribution by our learned authors is sincerely acknowledged and
it is hoped that the papers on various aspects concerning teacher and school
education shall provide some intellectual and aesthetic stimulus to the curious
and enlightened readers.
We wish a very happy new year to our readers.

Academic Editor
Art at Home, School, University
and in Public Life*
Jatin Das**

My generation imbibed the values of Gandhi’s thoughts. He impregnated the
whole nation with the ideas of dedication, non violence and freedom of speech.
With those fervours, while in schools, I joined Seva Dal and did volunteer work.
I grew up in a traditional Hindu family and participated in innumerable festivals,
puja and rituals, which inculcated in me, without my knowledge, with a sense
of arts and aesthetics as a way of life. My home and the town I lived in had the
basic components of various forms of art. Home as such is a sacred place. Art
was not a separate entity; it was a way of life, embedded in every activity. While
growing up, I painted, drew, swam, gardened, and never thought of art as a
profession or career.
I call my 50 years of work, I have done nothing but devote myself to my work
and teach. My childhood Boy Scout temperament is still in me somewhere. Hence
my indulgence and concern for art at home, in school, in the university and in
public life. This is why and how I made the collection of artefacts, antiquities and
handfans; to set up museums and collections for the future generations.
I have served in different committees, both governmental and private, raising
my voice, giving unsolicited advice for open-ended education, filled with arts
and aesthetics, and art in public life. When you look at the interior landscape of
Indian culture, there is a rich, holistic upbringing at home and in society. Our rich
cultural heritage still survives, but it is unfortunately not linked to contemporary
life. My concern is both at the micro and macro levels, beginning at home and
extending to public life.

* Written text of Mahatma Gandhi Third Memorial Lecture delivered on 9 February 2010 at NIE
Auditorium, NCERT, New Delhi by Professor Jatin Das
** Professor and  contemporary artist.
 6 Journal of Indian Education February 2015

Gandhi: Charity and Idealism parents lived together in a joint family,

India being an ancient country has a and their knowledge and expertise
rich cultural heritage. Great thinkers percolated down and nurtured little
and seers who went deep into every children, and the mother was the
aspect of life and then made treaties for nucleus. Mothers breastfed children,
high quality of human life, eventually children were massaged in oil, bathed
aspiring for salvation. There was a in water with turmeric powder heated
deep concern for all species of life in out in the sun. There were ceremonies
nature to survive together. Gandhiji for the first grain of rice put in the
imbibed the spirit of India and used it child’s mouth and the first time the
for modern times. People in India lived child held a chalk stick and made
together in cluster and proximity for a circle on the floor. This was the
sharing, comfort, and safety. beginning of the learning process.
Gandhiji was an evolved soul. My India had a tradition of oral
generation was born a little before learning and very few had access to
independence. So, the fervour of the manuscripts. The intangible intellect
freedom movement and its idealism was given as much importance as the
was embedded in our upbringing. tangible knowledge. The eldest were
Our parents were immersed in the role models for the little children who
freedom movement. The stalwarts imbibed everything like a sponge or
and the role models such as wet clay. Home is where everything
Gandhi, Tagore, Nehru and earlier stems: sharing with brothers and
Ishwarchandra Vidyasagar, Raja Ram cousins, sitting together for meals,
Mohan Roy, Subhash Chandra Bose, cuddling, playing with dogs and cats,
Sri Aurobindo, Jaikrishnamurti and where the mother keeps a vigilant eye
Vivekananda were the visionaries on the child and the child grew up not
who shaped this country. only with love, care and affection but
Way back in mid’50s when I was soaked in various rituals, puja, arati,
in school we reverred Gandhiji and chanting in the evening and festivals.
Congress Seva Dal. I enrolled as a My father named his children
volunteer in Seva Dal to distribute rice after Rabindranath Tagore and his
to flood victims. In our mindscape a brothers such as Rabindranath,
sense of idealism, commitment, and Sachindranath, Jatindranath,
dedication were engraved. Dhirendranath, Birendranath and my
sister Sarojini. My mother must have
Role Model and Parentage got married at 15 and discontinued
Art is an integral part of everyday life her studies. She came to Bombay
and not a separate entity. It starts at when my daughter Nandita was
home. born and she recollected that she
Home as an institution was used to draw in school and had been
very sacred. The parents and grand awarded a Japanese doll for it. She
Art at Home, School, University and in Public Life 7

didn’t continue drawing but wrote household helps, or crèches and day-
poems instead all her life. At every care centres. Of course, there is always
wedding whether in the family or an option for those who have children
in the neighbourhood she wrote a to plan to give up their job and stay
poem which was quickly printed and home until the children start school.
distributed during the reception. She Those first five years are crucial to the
wrote poems on little scraps of paper child’s development. Parents are to
or on a used envelope and put them participate in the children’s activities
under the mattress. and their wonderland by drawing,
dancing, singing with the children or
Home putting them to bed.
On the walls at home there were
prints of gods and goddesses such as Mayurbhanj and the Greenery
Jagannath, Saraswati, Durga, Kali We were lucky to be born in a tribal
and great men like Vivekananda, district, and erstwhile princely state.
Ishwarchandra, etc. Photographs However, a model town is semi-rural
of grandparents also adorned the with the advantages of both urban and
walls at home. The walls were white- natural ambience. There were acres
washed every year and nobody of land attached to the house, with all
brought shoes into the house. The kinds of vegetables and fruit bearing
gardens and the fields had all kinds of trees and groves. I had a fairly sizable
vegetables, fruits and flower bearing garden to myself and I used to look
trees and fish in the pond. The rice after it. My two younger brothers and
fields swayed and changed colour I brought buckets of water from the
from green to golden yellow in the well and watered the plants. I spent
winter. There was enough food for the all my time in the garden or near the
whole year. Nature, life and art were riverbed beyond the mango grove.
intermingled, which was a natural There was a Ranibagh– the
way of life. queen’s garden, may be 50 acres
Today a sea of changes has taken of land, with all kinds of fruits and
place not only in my home town but flowers, champa, nageshwar, and
in the rest of the country too. The magnolia were also there. There were
same house and fields are barren. Venetian ceramic stools to sit on and
The family buys even green chilies in there was a miniature steam engine
the market. train for children to ride. This was the
In urban living, children are childhood of wide range of experience
growing up in crammed concrete which was a way of life. All of this is
dwelling units, away from their gone, the mango grove has become a
ancestral homes and open spaces, housing colony, Ranibagh has been
spending their days with maids, plotted and sold.
 8 Journal of Indian Education February 2015

Achaar Vyavahar and Sanskar ate in large kansa thali with bowls
(Sense of Aesthetics and and each one of us had our names
Refinement) engraved on water glasses. We had
to eat neem leaves with every meal
Living in a large joint family with three
in the summer. In the evening, at
generations of people, I remember my
teatime suddenly the Chhau drums
grandmother saying ‘You pluck the
would vibrate like thunder, sending
flower to offer it to Krishna or for the
reverberations and shivers down
hair of a lady or to put it in a vase.
the spine, and one would leave the
Otherwise, let the flower be on the
snacks and rush to witness the
plant.’ She used to make pickles and
Chhau dancers.
badi in the winter, and many women
from the neighbourhood joined in. Many of us must have had similar
The process takes many, many weeks upbringing at home and some of us
and the pickle and the badi were dried might have been luckier than the
in the sun in large baskets. So, from others. In joint family we shared
the early childhood we had variety of everything and when the relatives
recipes and dishes which have stayed visited we shared our blankets.
on my palate. When 20 kg of fish was caught from
I love cooking for friends and the pond 10 kg were distributed to
I have done it in many parts of the the neighbours and relatives. From
world though I never learned how to all this and much more, a sense of
cook. The taste of the dishes I had at creativity stems.
home done by mother and sister is
retained on my tongue. Incidentally,
Music at Home
many artists cook all over the world, We had a large Philips radio and my
and cooking is the greatest art of all. sister would tune to classical music
I would even go further and say that so everyday in the house there was
anybody who has had tasty food at music. In the evening my sister-in-
home will be able to flourish in art. law would recite bhajans and we
We learned by simple observation would repeat. Wherever we were, we
to show our respect to the elders by had to rush at a particular time for
touching their feet and doing pranam. the evening prayers. At the same time
We did not have to be prompted by the Jagannath temple aarti orchestra
anybody to do so as children. For resounded in the neighbourhood. In
example, when my father was talking the town, during Saraswati, Ganesh
to his friends; we didn’t interrupt and puja, etc., there would be cultural
did not walk across between them. programmes for the whole week
and traditional music and dance
Meals at Home performed in front of the diety and
At meals we sat together on the we would sit through the night to
floor cross-legged on asthna and witness all of it.
Art at Home, School, University and in Public Life 9

In my home town there were many families cannot provide in smaller

temples, a church and a mosque, all dwellings. Hang a rope-swing to a tree
religions living comfortably together. and a child will enjoy it immensely,
As a matter of fact, my mother and there are many songs pertaining
adopted Sher Ali, the tailor, as her to jhula a teacher can sing. As a
son, and he would participate in all matter of fact, in our country there
our functions. This little town had a are folk songs for different seasons
large library with rare books, a council and different occasions.
hall with Italian marbles and light
fittings. There was a museum, a zoo, Festivals, Ceremonies and
and a municipality more than 150 Rituals
years old. The raja’s marble statues Coming from a middle class Hindu
carved in England were in place, and family every possible cultural
there was a lake full of lotus flowers. religious festivals of the season were
The memory of my childhood is still celebrated at home and in town—
fresh in my mind. Aesthetics was a Ganesh Puja, Saraswati Puja and
way of life, it was not studied. We Jagathdhatri and Durga Puja were
used to have an annual week-long celebrated. There were larger than
classical music concert to which life size murtis, first armature with
A.T.Kanan, V.G. Jog and Bade Gulam straw and then cladding different
Ali Khan and others were invited. I layers of clay and finally painted over
think I was ten or twelve years old, and the jewellery and the decoration
and my friends and I would carry in solarpit. We had witnessed the
musical instruments to the stage celebration of these icons in different
for them. Sanjukta Panigrahi was a seasons. There was a Pujaghar in
little girl and did Odissi dance, and the house and during the Lakshmi
Kalucharan Mahapatra was the guru Puja beautiful dhokra brass figurine
and Hari Prasad Chaurasia would came out of the bamboo basket and
accompany him on the flute. cleaned with tamarind and ash and
Even in an urban setting in Delhi, shine like gold. In the evening we
Mumbai and elsewhere, those who do all washed our feet and sat cross-
not have land to grow plants can do legged for aarti. The Pandit came
so living even in a flat.They can grow and opened the pothi on a carved
plants and vegetables in pots and bookstand and chanted shlokas from
children can see them being watered, Upanishads and Bhagatwad purana
grown and flowered. Frankly, plants and my grandmother and mother sat
and trees are very important. Children listening and I disappeared to the
should be taken to gardens and parks garden where I spent all my time.
to roll on the grass and see different Though I didn’t understand a word,
kinds of trees and flowers. This is the music of the chanting still rings
where schools can compensate what in my ears.
 10 Journal of Indian Education February 2015

My grandmother kept muslin Everyday, all over Southern India,

dhoti and angavastra twisted in women clean their front verandahs
wrinkles on the ulna and my father and the entrance floor and put a
and I occasionally went to the slurry of the cow dung and make
Jagannath temple bare feet and various patterns with rice flour
witnessed the trinity Jagannath, welcoming the Gods and the guests.
Balabhadra and Subhadra black,
white and yellow bodied minimal Tribal and Folk Architecture
large iconic sculptures. During the The tribal people in Mayurbhanj
aarti the musicians played their and other parts make beautiful
traditional instruments. mud houses with inner courtyards
and terracotta pictures with shining
Puja, Paintings and Murals bronze-like bodies. They paint their
During the Lakshmi puja all over Orissa walls in layers of different earth
and Bengal villages, women do ‘Chita’ colours.
and ‘jhuti’ with rice paste on freshly The Mayurbhanj district in
applied cow dung on mud walls. They Orissa, bordering Jharkhand,
were not formally trained in this art, Madhya Pradesh and Bihar, has large
but picked it up through their growing settlements of tribal people and they
years. My grandmother, mother and come to the town for work as daily
sister embellish the walls till late in labour and a large number come on
the night before the puja. The fist and different days of the week, bringing
fingers impression was the symbol of their vegetables, forest produced
Lakshmi pada and the illiterate people crafts, basketry and so on for sale
also understood the symbolism. This and on their way back they play
is a very ancient art form which is now drums and flute and sing.
gradually disappearing. The Saura A farmer comes back from the field
tribals in Orissa and Warli tribals in and after his meal spends time on the
Maharashtra do similar drawings verandah doing a craft work, and in
with earth colours on mud walls with the evening he takes mridhangam
rural stories. The Kachhi in Gujarat and sings. So, life and art overlap and
embellish their walls including one flows naturally into the other.
their granary with clay low relief. In our traditional holistic
In Madhubani, people make lovely upbringing, art was not treated as a
murals on their walls with fine lines separate entity from the day-to-day
with twigs, narrating everyday village life. Art was not just painting, dance
stories. or music. It was all in one. Each form
In a wedding the chittrakar comes of art shares aspects with the others
and does a mandala within which the because poetics and musicality are
bride and bridegroom are drawn with inherent in all aspects of art and
some symbolic designs. so is it in life. The so called modern
Art at Home, School, University and in Public Life 11

education system has created much Normally schools have a dedicated

division. Today, a dancer is not place for art class and art rooms
exposed to sculpture or painting and where there is coloured paper on the
the architecture student studies Le walls on which children’s paintings
Corbusier but has not seen different are put up, whereas, there should be
parts of India as per its diverse boards, which have neutral colours
climatic conditions. So, various forms on which the paintings stand out.
of arts are disjointed and completely Many schools that I have visited
divorced from life. A teacher in school only had art in their art class whereas
draws a mango instead of taking the all the school walls are naked and
student to a mango grove to smell, hungry for visuals. The schools should
draw, and then eat the mango. be designed in such a way that classes
can be held outdoors under the winter
My Guru sun because the concrete and cement
There was a head master who was is cold inside, the building instead
a sadhu. He was a learned man all of being like an army barrack block
in one. He was my guru. He sang should be a cluster of rooms around
bhajans, did clay modelling, painted the inner courtyard with a tree in the
pictures, and taught yoga. He was middle and benches to sit around.
the one who taught me yoga. He also The inner courtyard could be used
cooked wonderful dishes and grew as an extension to the classrooms.
vegetables and herbs in his little lush There should be a vegetable patch for
green garden. I have not met anybody children to see them grow and if it’s
like him since. a residential school then there could
A friend of my brother who studied be a cowshed for milk as well as a
art at Tagore Shantiniketan would gober gas plant for cooking and the
return home every summer. In the cow dung can be used as manure for
summer, while everybody had their the vegetable garden.
midday siesta, I would go to him in the
scorching sun to learn how to paint Art Class
flowers and birds. My eldest brother Varied forms of art could be taught in
used to study at the university and the schools. There should be a music
he used to bring Japanese oil pastels teacher, a dance teacher, a painting
for me. All my brothers and sisters teacher and also a traditional crafts
used to draw and paint but somehow person should be invited for stone
they didn’t continue. carving, clay modelling, block
printing, etc. There should be a
School Infrastructure carpentry section where children can
Every school, I believe, should have use pieces of wood to construct and
a sand and clay pit for children to make architectonic structures. When
make clay pinched toys and figurines. children go to kindergarten they miss
 12 Journal of Indian Education February 2015

home and the parents as well as their The Art Room

familiar environment. School has to Cheerfulness is the core of an art
be an extension of home. Amongst room. The room should be designed
the teachers there should be an older with large windows for natural light.
woman who the children could go to Little children can have low desks
cuddle and sit on the lap. Schools with drawers for the art material. Soft
should pay more attention to art pin-up boards should be put up all
than anything else playfully, like around the school walls for art work.
singing on the swing, painting on the There should be dedicated boards for
floor, and dancing to a rhythm from the drawings of the day, poems of the
a dholak. The teachers for painting, week, etc.
dance, and music should work
together in structuring the approach The Art Teacher in School
in a natural fashion and treating Humanities are given less importance
each day and each season differently. than science subjects. Some schools
Learning could be made a lot of do not have an art teacher. Art as a
fun. The upbringing at home and in subject has been abolished in some
primary school is the most crucial for states. But the fact is that art as
the child’s development. Therefore, a subject can help with the child’s
as much time as possible should be development and the child can
spent with plants, animals, puppetry develop through it more than from
and such other creative methods, other subjects. Art and science are
Teaching methods could be magical not only both sides of a coin, but also
so as to hold the child’s attention. like sugar mixed in coffee. The process
is science and the outcome is a piece
Seminars and Workshops for the
of art. There is art in nature. Every
Art Teachers activity in life involves art and science.
The art teachers of different schools The real creator is nature.
should be invited and/or exchange The art teacher can help all the
programmes for different schools other departments for visual aid.
so that the expertise, experience, Anybody who has done a course on art
observation of teachers can be does not necessarily become a good
shared. This alone brings freshness teacher. The parents’ role is taken
to the approach for the teacher over by the teachers in school and
and the school. The music teacher vice versa. The art teacher in primary
and the mathematics teacher can school is more important because he
work together in a structured has to inspire the children not only
mathematical, rhythmical cycle. It to draw, but to dance, sing and play
could be so arranged that while the with clay and sand. Little children are
children are painting there could be natural artists. If you provide them
soft music playing. with a blackboard, floor, wall or paper
Art at Home, School, University and in Public Life 13

they draw on it. Whatever comes their matter of fact, equal weightage to
way the teacher has to be vigilant, and the arts and to science makes the
not to guide them but to provide them growth of the child holistic. Our
with the material and inspiration. education system seems very dry
A little child puts his hand into the and does not make learning fun. I
ink, takes his palm impression, and is think visits to museums should be a
astonished with the print. That tactile part of the curricula so that children
experience is important. Sometimes can be exposed to crafts, sculpture,
they even draw on their clothes and get paintings, etc.
delighted. The teacher should also be At the university level, the syllabus
careful not to compare the children’s is very trite and regimented and there
work. Instead he or she should inspire is not much input of traditional art
and encourage all of them. form. There is hardly any concept of
Teachers should essentially be a visiting faculty and study of medium
part of the painting group along with and material. There should be more
the children. As a matter of fact the exposure to our own heritage like
art teacher should regularly paint, visiting museums and drawing after
sing, dance, and hold exhibitions the master pieces. A senior MFA
every year in the school. Quite often student does not even know how to
school authorities stop the teachers clean a brush properly. It seems that
from continuing their practice even the academy institutes have
whereas, I would like to suggest that now been commercialised. Most of
teachers have a studio adjacent to the institutions in our country do not
their art department. The teacher have a museum, gallery, or archive.
should never even correct any Students should be given a forum
painting on the surface of the child’s to exhibit their artwork inside the
work. The teacher should sometimes university and the market forces
take children to the garden and show should not be allowed to enter the
them trees, skies and clouds and educational institutions. The faculty
encourage the children to draw some should be practising individuals.
objects from memory, some objects There should be dedicated studios
by looking at them. within the institutions for them to
Take for instance objects like continue their own work, and even
banana or mango. The teacher should hold exhibitions and display teacher’s
bring these fruits for the children to works. The government should make
draw and offer them to eat so that the special funding for faculty to set up
experience is complete. the cluster of auditorium, library,
In higher schools, quite often museum, gallery and archive as a
children give up art and more must for all schools, universities, and
attention is given to science. As a colleges.
 14 Journal of Indian Education February 2015

Maxmuller Bhavan—Children’s relishes drawing and even a restless

Art Workshop child becomes calm for some time.
This is not only true for children
I did a workshop some 35 years ago
but for every human being. Writing
in Maxmuller Bhavan in Delhi where
is not drawing but still an art and
I insisted that with children their
a lot of people do not write letters
parents and all teachers participate.
anymore. They communicate by
We sat around a mango tree and
email and SMS, which to me seems
since it was the season for mangoes,
impersonal. This communication
baskets of raw and varieties of ripe
system seems mechanical, synthetic
mangoes were brought. Everybody
and dehumanised.
had the ripe mangoes and the raw
ones with salt. Some were circular Toys for Children
and others we scooped with a spoon
and the mangoes came in yellow and Children put everything in their
orange colour. I had asked a folk mouths because their experience is
singer to sing songs of the season tactile. The toy manufacturers in India
so we sat quietly under the mango have copied the western plastic toys
tree, looking at its branches and and the figuration is not Indian, toy
leaves, even noticing the bird’s nest guns are offered to children. The toys
on its top. Then everybody did the these days are not child friendly, in
drawing in pastels and water colours. fact they seem to have a negative and
The parents were first hesitant violent effect on the children. There
but then they were all suddenly are many colours for children that are
engrossed in painting and drawing. toxic whereas, in the entire world the
There was pin-drop silence. Even art material for children has to be non
the naughty children were busy and toxic and the garments for children
quiet. Recently, I met some of those has to be made in natural fibres. Yet
children’s parents and somebody in our country children’s clothes are
approached me, hugging me, and made out of synthetic polyester and
touching my feet, all the while talking the society and government have not
about the taste of mango still retained paid any attention to it. So, a child
in their mouth. is exposed to all kinds of pollution.
When we were children we were Now, there are designer clothes for
given khari, a soft stone like chalk, children with all kinds of writings on
to draw on the floor. This could be the front and back, making children
wiped enabling us to draw again. The look more adult.
floor was the space for the child. In In our country there is a variety of
the urban setting, with limited space traditional toys made out of organic
parents can put up a blackboard at a material in different parts of the
low height with different colour chalk country, which are very beautiful and
sticks for a child to draw. Every child child friendly. The Andhra lacquer
Art at Home, School, University and in Public Life 15

wooden toys, Benaras painted toys. used paper and be free to paint and
The only family left in Benaras who still draw what they like. The illustration
makes some only sells a few because of children’s books should be large
there are no takers and people have and simple with primary colours,
no interest in these traditional toys. local storage, and local flora and
The lacquer terracotta toys in Orissa fauna. The paper for the books should
that I grew up with are no longer be thicker. There should be no horror
available. There are only two families stories for toddlers.
in Orissa who still make them. These In the early 60s, in Bombay, Leela
toys are waterproof, child friendly and Naidu – the actress who died recently
harmless. My grandmother used to – and I did art classes for children.
take me to the fair and festival markets I recall one child who painted one
and used to get me terracotta toys page completely black with a dot in
which I kept carefully in my almirah the corner saying in Marathi “this is
and have continued collecting these bhoot and that dot is me hiding.”
toys for 40 years and I am working on Children are Godly innocent
a book on the subject. and have no lateral reference. They
The Barbie dolls, Spiderman, and are spoiled by their environment,
Superman toys are manufactured parents, society, television, toys and
in millions and have taken over the many objects of industrial produce.
markets all over the world. Chinese Mostly a child draws the father or
manufacturers have cleverly designed mother or the puppy or draws just
toys and guns, tanks for children, from inherited memory.
making it more attractive with lights
and mobility, run by battery, which Art Camps— Children’s Art
sell in large quantities, not realising Competition
their impact on children. I have been to thousands of children’s
The books that are produced in art competitions, art workshops
the west sometimes are sold by Indian and schools. I have seen beautiful
publishers mostly have a hard cover. paintings and drawings from the
Not only are they more expensive but dream world of children up to the
actually are not child friendly. There age of six or seven. However, older
are books with drawings of figures or children’s painting and drawing
animals with numbers in it to fill with become archaic and mechanical
colour into the area. This particular simply because the input is given
exercise is boring and limits the by teachers, parents, and books.
child from free expression. Frankly, Frankly, I think education really
for little children there should be destroys the creative pursuit and
no art books. They should be given natural growth of a human being.
borderless space such as a floor or a There are too many do’s and don’ts,
wall or a drawing board or sheets of unnecessary audio, visual, and
 16 Journal of Indian Education February 2015

intellectual information, and instead teach him anything about painting. I

of encouraging the natural process only gave him pastels pencil, crayon,
we are being regimented to right and ink, water colour, paper to draw and
wrong, good and bad. Hence ‘rubber paint. I don’t even disturb him when
stamped’ human prototypes are he is drawing. He is hooked on the
produced. Krishna and Ramayana story from
A child draws on whatever surface television and often he draws the
comes his or her way. Mama scolds Kalia, the snake and Krishna.
a child that he or she is drawing Children should be exposed to
on the sofa and spoiling the walls. nature and all of its elements, the sky,
Instead they could get a roll of paper the cloud, birds, animals, trees and
and stick it on the entire wall at the flowers and they pick up whatever
child’s height that would become the they fancy.
child’s universe to draw on. Parents Once there was an English lady, a
watch adult movies in front of the friend of mine, who came to my studio
children and expose them to visual with her son who was eight and I gave
pollution. The child is like a sponge him some paper to draw and he said
and wet clay, he absorbs everything ‘uncle Jatin I can’t draw.’ I asked
and gets automatically moulded to ‘Says who?’ He said my art teacher
not only what he hears but also what told me that my drawing is not good.
he sees. So, the teachers and parents can
I smoke a cigarette but I don’t be very cruel other than books and
smoke inside the house. I smoke in television.
the garden, hiding myself from my Colonial British organised
child. One day he observed that I was children art competitions with
sitting one leg on the other smoking awards. As I have mentioned I have
and flipping the cigarette. The next been to many of these but I insisted
day he sits exactly as I had and flips there should be no awards such as
his fingers, telling me he is smoking a first, second, third, and the horrid
cigarette. When he was five, one day, consolation prize. Little children’s
in my studio he saw me painting with paintings are wonderful. I sometimes
ink. I had a mug of ink, a broad brush envy their naivety, spontaneity and
and a thin brush. I had wiped the imagination. I have always insisted
broad brush on the edge of the mug to that all little children who paint
reduce the ink and painting. The eyes should be given a return gift of some
of my child lit up and he wanted to art materials.
paint. I gave him a sheet of paper and Now there are thousands of art
thin brush but he insisted on taking competitions in India, organised by
the broad brush and did exactly as I multinationals and other corporate
did to squeeze the brush and painted. houses where they give expensive
He is now six and half and I never awards such as televisions, watches,
Art at Home, School, University and in Public Life 17

cash, etc. to evade tax and there are to be threatened by political groups
some companies who print their logo for painting Sita; because the public
on three-fourth of the paper and at large has not been exposed to our
leave one-fourth for the child to draw sculptures, miniatures, and poetry. In
on. So, everything marketing. Some architectural studies, foreign modern
teachers in school put the name architecture is taught and there is
of the child and class on top of the not enough input of traditional Indian
painting and some teachers even sign architecture. During the colonial
and give marks to the paintings! period, the education system was to
make us clerks, and we haven’t given
Museums and Art in Public Space enough importance to art and culture
Museums in our country were as the backbone of our nation. Even
originally set up by the British and today, the folk, tribal, and classical
had become merely storehouses of art forms have survived but these
antiquity. They are not connected to rivers are flowing separately and
our education system even though drying up. Traditional artists, we call
students of all subjects can refer to craftsmen, and the modern artists
museums as a source of information, have taken the centre stage, though
especially art and architecture there is enough verve, strength and
students. Sixty-two years after richness in traditional art forms.
independence, we haven’t thought of There was a proposal for setting up
developing the concept of museum as district level museums, which has not
a learning centre, a resource centre, been implemented, and innumerable
and how to make it livelier. We have artifacts of our country have been
hardly set up five museums and the pilfered, stolen, and sold abroad.
National Craft Museum has about Pandit Nehru promulgated in the
10% of the Indian craft. The State Parliament that 2% of the total cost
Emporium is selling industrially of a building should be set aside for
produced figurines and there are works of art and decorations, which
not enough publications on the has never been followed. We have the
various forms of weaving, painting, Commonwealth Games, where billions
architecture, etc. We have economic are spent, but there is no concern or
and political history in our school any attention given to art in public
and university education, yet the life, such as murals, sculptures, etc.
cultural history of our tangible and We erect ugly sculptures of leaders in
intangible intellectual property has various parts of the nation leading to
never been exposed in our learning no space for piece of art for the public
process. Hence, engineers, doctors or to view, though there are millions of
politicians have no idea of the ethos sculptors and painters in the country.
and cultural heritage of our country. The Lalit Kala Academy brings out
This is how M.F. Hussein has come contemporary artists’ books, and
 18 Journal of Indian Education February 2015

colour reproductions but they are not students could be asked, to do

acquired by schools or colleges. Indra murals. The walls of all the buildings
Gandhi National Centre for Arts and facades are hungry for murals in
has numerous publications on art, a country where there is such a rich
unfortunately lying in the dark. The heritage of arts. The new airports are
Publication Division of Information mere reproductions of other airports
and Broadcasting Ministry has round the world, without any art in
similar publications. All this should them, or a display of traditional folk
be printed in large quantity, which art. We must wake up and not only
should reach the libraries of all make ourselves visible to the world
academic institutions. The metro but conserve our art form by making
stations have no works of art. Art our next generation interested in it.
Usage of Facebook in Education

The conventional set up of four walls with three dimensional teaching aids
or smart classrooms are shaking under the regime of Social Networking Sites
(SNS) where students are making connections with the unexplored outer
world. The educational relevance of the Facebook in contemporary educational
system is demanding our immediate attention. The undeterred task ahead for
teachers, students, policy makers and administrators is to take this challenge
on priority basis without ignoring the time gap that education and technology
will contour for the education of future generations. The present paper explores
the possibilities of usage of Facebook in education for teachers via case studies.
The positive results of the cases discussed here in the paper are encouraging
and motivating.

The usage of Social Networking Sites (SNS) has become an indispensable thing in the life
of youngsters. Now-a-days students are very much familiar with Web 2.0 technologies like
Social Network Sites, blogs, Wikis, Twitter, podcasts, virtual worlds, Snap chat, video and
photo sharing on Instagram, etc.

Social Networking Sites (SNS) and (3) view and traverse their list
Boyd and Ellison (2007) describes of connections and those made by
Social Networking Sites (SNS) as web- others within this system. Hitwise, an
based services that allow individuals Experian Company (2007) explains
to (1) construct a public or semi-public Social networking websites are online
profile within a bounded system, (2) communities of people who share
articulate a list of other users within interests and activities of others. They
whom they share a connection, typically provide a variety of ways

* Assistant Professor in Economics, Government College of Education, Sec 20-D, Chandigarh – 160020.
 20 Journal of Indian Education February 2015

for users to interact, through chat, 2. On the negative side of Social

messaging, email. Twitter, Facebook, Networking Sites
Friendster, MySpace, Cyworld, Bebo,
Raccanello’s (2011) study concluded
Orkut, Skype, SnapChat and many
that online social networking texts are
others are some examples of Social
superficial and embellished but also
Networking Sites (SNS).
representative of identities which are
Theoretical Perspective far away from real identities. Rosen
(2011) on the basis of the findings of
1. On the positive side of Social the studies discussed the potential
Networking Sites adverse effects of Social Networking
Works done by Yang (2003); Silverman Sites (SNS) as under:
(2007); Kord (2008); Helou and Rahim • Negative tendencies, anxiety and
(2010) and Swang (2011) revealed depression.
that the college students are frequent • Health issues.
users of online social networking sites, • Distraction.
however they use the sites more often
for general purposes rather than for Facebook as a Social
the academic reasons. Lavleen Kaur Networking Site
(2012), in her study on relationship Facebook is perhaps the largest
between Social Networking Sites online Social Networking Sites (SNS)
(SNS) usage and social skills of the for students and the general public.
pupil teachers, concluded that there It was created by Mark Zuckerberg of
exists significant relationship between Harvard University in 2004. The site
Social Networking Sites (SNS) and was originally developed for college
social skills of the pupil teachers. and university students as a way to
Walz (2009) suggested the use of connect with one another. Facebook
Social Networking Sites (SNS) which was opened to public in 2006. The
may benefit college students by number of technological features
increasing their sense of belonging makes Facebook more user friendly
and hence increase their proficiency and providing opportunities to share
in offline social and communicative more things frequently.
Crook and Harrison (2008) stated Facebook and Education
that little empirical research has been
Some Empirical Evidences
conducted on the value of Web 2.0
in education. However, few of them • A study by Baylor University
have specifically addressed its role (2014) claimed that although
in pedagogy (Charnigo and Barnett- some teachers may worry that
Ellis, 2007; Mathews, 2006; Mazer et social media distracts students
al., 2007; Selwyn, 2007; Towner and from legitimate learning, we
VanHorn, 2007). found that our Facebook group
Usage of Facebook in Education 21

helped transform students from in touch with their peer group

anonymous spectators into a through Facebook or what’s App.
community of active learners— and
this has important consequences Themes of the Cases
for student performance. The The selected theme of the following
research focussed on a class of cases deals with the usage of
218 students in an introductory Facebook in education:-
sociology class. The study found
that students, who participated in CASE I: FOR PLACEMENT CELL
the Facebook group scored higher SERVICES
on quizzes, wrote stronger papers Time Period: 2012-13 and 2013-14
and performed better in exams Target Group: M.Ed. and B.Ed.
than classmates who did not take students of the above said session
part. (The Economic Times, 2014). of Government College of Education,
• A survey conducted by the Tata Chandigarh were considered.
Consultancy Services (TCS) Objective: Opening Facebook account
between July to December 2013 and Group Formation for Placement
reported that 76% of teenagers Cell Services.
spread across 14 Indian cities
had a Facebook account in 2014, Initial Phase: Opening personal
though the figure was 86% in Facebook account.
2012. It said 87% of the high In February 2013, a personal
school students think social Facebook account was created by
media has made them aware of the investigator. All the aspects
current affairs (Daily Life, 2014). concerned with Facebook like Setting,
Privacy, Sharing of various Posts,
Need of the Study Pictures etc were studied thoroughly
The present paper tries to find out till June 2013. The investigator
whether Facebook can be used as a found Facebook, a more accessible
tool in education. tool for providing information related
• The investigator being in-charge with opportunities in jobs and
of the college Placement Cell higher education to the students
wanted a portal where latest job as compared to other traditional
openings and opportunities in the modes like telephoning or putting
higher education can be shared the information on Notice Boards/
with students for their benefit. Bulletin Boards etc.
• The students hardly visited the
college website (www.gcechd. Middle Phase: Personal CLOSE for information and latest Group Formation.
updates of the institution. A CLOSE GROUP was formed under
• Most of the students remain the name of Moving ahead with
 22 Journal of Indian Education February 2015

Purpose (https://www.facebook. a closed group PLACEMENT CELL,

com/groups/movingcandy). Ex GCE CHD (https://www.facebook.
students of session 2012-13 joined com/groups/placementgcechd20/)
this group for the information updates were open for ex as well as students
about the opportunities available in of the current session on 25 March,
jobs and higher education in India. 2014.
The investigator acted as ADMIN Any student who wants to join the
of the group whereas the students group is required to send the message
who joined were MEMBERS of this regarding their official name, roll no.,
group. They were clearly informed class and session to ADMIN for the
that anyone who violates this confirmation which will be tallied from
mandatory instruction is liable to the official data base of the college
lose the membership of the group. Placement Cell. The members of this
The students cooperated positively group can share or post their queries
in this regard by posting only that regarding JOB VACANCY or HIGHER
information which was totally related EDUCATION opportunities available
to the OBJECTIVE of the GROUP in the various educational institutions.
FORMATION. Till date the group has The discussions over personal matters
68 members where investigator is or postings are restricted. Malicious
acting as an ADMIN. and controversial content posting is
also strictly prohibited and will lead
Final Phase— Opening Facebook
to the cancellation of membership
account and Group Formation for
from the group. At present there are
Placement Cell Services.
67 members and the In charge of the
The successful formation of the Moving Placement Cell acts as an ADMIN in
Ahead with Purpose Group and the the group.
positive feedback received from the ex
students encouraged the investigator Outcomes
to initiate the whole process for the • Immediate dispensation of the
college Placement Cell Services also. information to all the members of
The permission for initiating this the group.
project was taken from the Head of • Quick disposal of the queries
the Government College of Education, forwarded by the members.
Chandigarh. The members of the • Various links concerned with
assigned committee rigorously gone employment and Universities
through the modalities and code of are LINKED so that updates
conduct that has to be followed while are available to members. For
using Facebook for Placement Cell. example: Government job India,
Finally the official Facebook account Government Jobs updates,
Placement Cell Gcechd (https://www. Employment News, Recruitment and Govt. Jobs India etc.
Usage of Facebook in Education 23

CASE II: FACEBOOK AS A TOOL POKES is not allowed and will lead
FOR TEACHING to cancellation of the membership
from the group.
Time Period: 2013-14
• Teaching content in the forms of
Target Group: Since the investigator LINKS, UPLOADS, POWER POINT
was teaching the following disciplines presentations can be posted by
to the B.Ed. students: the students.
Philosophical and Sociological Basis • The privacy of the student will be
of Education (Paper I) maintained in terms of messages
• Teaching of Economics sent by them to ADMIN.
• Distance Education and Open
Learning Outcomes: The name of
The students of the above said the group that was formed
disciplines were considered for is RAINBOW (https://www.
studying the usage of Facebook as
a teaching tool. The students who rainbowsaga) and till date it has
had either internet connection in 73 members.
their Personal Computers or mobile
• Teaching content in the forms of
phones opted to join the specified
Facebook group.
presentations were shared with
Objective: Using Facebook group students.
as a tool for teaching. • Students put forward their
queries related with the teaching
Instructions to the Students: The content which were followed by
objectives to join the group were the feedback from ADMIN.
made clear by the investigator to all • Language was now not a barrier
the students along with the following to communicate. Students are
instructions:- free to choose English/Hindi/
• It is not mandatory to all the Punjabi language.
students to join the group. They • Students interacted and connected
had full discretion over their with each other and feeling of WE
choice to join the group or not. generated among members. It
• Any student who does not want gave them a comfortable ZONE
to use his/her personal Facebook where students found that they
account to join the group, can are a part of the learning system.
create another Facebook account Since privacy of the group was
so that he/she feel safe in terms CLOSED, it gave the students, a
of privacy and security. sense of security.
• Students have to message their • Each member student got an
Roll No to join the group. opportunity to express his/her
• Bullying in the form of COMMENTS, opinion/ideas/suggestions in the
 24 Journal of Indian Education February 2015

teaching learning process which views. The teacher has to provide

sometimes is not possible in the LOGIC and RATIONAL ATTITUDE
limited working hours of the time towards their opinion even if he/
table. she disapproves certain things.
• Over the course of the time, • All the activities done on Facebook
students (members) began to must be in professional terms
post links, pictures, queries and and to be used only for teaching
events they wanted to share. related activities.
• The students kept track on the • FRIEND’S REQUEST and
outgoing activities of the classroom FOLLOW links must be disabled in
even when they inadvertently the privacy settings. COMMENTS,
missed their classes. LIKES, SHARE all these should
• Facebook group acted as an be disabled for general public to
efficient mode of interaction avoid unnecessary things which
between ADMIN and students on may derail the whole purpose
a daily basis. of forming Facebook group for
• The whole activity created a teaching related activities.
dynamic vitality in teaching
methodology of the teacher. Limitations of the Case Studies
• Facebook group allowed posting • Qualitative methods like case
images, videos, podcast, links studies and observations were
which are directly accessible used to analyse the outcomes.
to students. It also acted as a • The cases discussed in the paper
Bulletin Board and forum for were practicable only at higher
discussions also. education level.
• M.Ed. and B.Ed. students of the
Precautions Taken for selected institution (Government
Functioning of the Facebook College of Education, Chandigarh)
Groups were considered.
• No sensitive information like
awards or marks scored during Educational Implications
internal examinations is to be • There are number of applications
posted or shared. and groups available on Facebook
• One of the important things is like Courses, Cite Me, Book
the COMFORT ZONE which the Tag, Acceptly FBap, Calendar,
teacher has to provide to the Knighthood, Mathematical
students. They must be given Formula, Used Textbooks group,
TRUST, FAITH and COURAGE to Webinairia, JSTOR Search,
say the things. They must not be Homework Hep, Word of the
CONDEMNED and RIDICULED Day, Zoho Online Office, Notely,
for their different opinions or Language Exchange, Typing
Usage of Facebook in Education 25

Test, Quiz Monster, Notecentric, • Improves command over language

Slideshare, WorldCat, Hey Math and communication skills.
! Challege, Flashcardlet etc which • Facebook can be used for
a teacher can use for improving RESEARCH purposes as
teaching-learning process. questionnaire or opinionnaires
• Facebook usage provides an can be get filled easily by the
opportunity for teachers to teach respondents.
students how to be safe, polite • Saves paper and environment.
and effective when using social
media tools. Suggestions for Teachers
• Classroom activities and events • Different courses or classes
can be managed and organised must have different GROUPS
efficiently via Facebook calendar. so that things remain focused
• Motivational content can be to the ideology behind group
shared with students as it can formation.
boost their morale. • Refraining strategy to be adopted
• Facebook can be used for CAREER by teachers on unnecessary
GUIDANCE and COUNSELLING controversies.
CELL. • Make clear cut policies on social
• The Students can FOLLOW OR media. These must be prepared
LIKE various pages which can along with the help from fellow
provide updates and important teachers, students, parents,
information. For example:- Head of the institution and
Newspapers; publications by administrators. All the activities
various agencies like WTO, concerned with Facebook must
World Economic Affair; Groups adhere to Code of Conduct.
based on various issues/ • Keep personal and professional
themes: Government job India, boundaries space on Facebook
Government Jobs updates, separate. Personal information
Employment News, Recruitment like pictures, videos etc must not
Govt. Jobs India; Books; be shared either by students or
Movies; Museums; Motivational teachers. Teachers must avoid
Quotes; Films; Songs; Games; making students in FRIEND’S
Art Galleries; Public Figures; LIST.
Celebrities; Politicians/Leaders at • Never compromise with anyone’s
the local, state and international privacy. Name calling, sexting,
level. threats, gossip, teasing, insults,
• Students can get exposure to rumours, lies, mean words etc
Facebook group discussions, must be avoided and students
Brain storming sessions, social should be made aware about
media etiquette or skills. these issues.
 26 Journal of Indian Education February 2015

• CYBER BULLYING must be dealt practical terms via usage of Facebook

with serious consideration from in education. The quietest student
the institution. will certainly get a voice but teacher
• Content filtering and strong will also get an opportunity to touch
malware protection must be there the cores of the student’s heart by
for the computers. removing more barriers of formal
• Teachers must create awareness structure of education. The platform
among students about the Time Social Networking Sites (SNS) are
Management Skill when using opening to the society will eventually
Facebook. transform social, cultural, political,
• Workshop/ Seminar/ Lectures on economical and educational set up of
IT Acts and CYBER LAWS must all nations. The usage of social media
be conducted from time to time. in education is not a Pandora’s box
but a WINDOW where a teacher has
Summing Up to act as a guardian and guiding force
Technology gives the quietest student for their students so that this window
a voice.--------Jerry Blumengarten can be opened with courage to look at
(2013) the sky (taming virtual opportunities
These echoing lines not only to achieve the goal of all round
sums up the present paper but also development) without losing their
gave the insight to the investigator firm stand on the ground (ignoring
to initiate the work on these lines in the virtual risks and threats).

Blumengarten, J. 2013. April 26, 2013.
Boyd, D. M. and N.B. Ellison. 2007. Social Network Sites: Definition, history and
Scholarship. Journal of Computer Mediated Communication. 13 (1), Article 11.http://
Charnigo, L. and P. Barnett-Ellis. 2007. Checking out The impact of a
digital trend on academic libraries. Information Technology and Libraries, 26, 23-34
Crook, C. and C. Harrison. 2008. Web 2.0 technologies for learning at key stages 3 and 4:
Summary report. In
Daily Life. 2014. Facebook most preferred social networking medium for urban teens. In
Daily Post. June 19, 2014.
Gupta, N. 2014. Teacher in age of social media. In The Sunday Tribune Spectrum. May
18, 2014.
Helou, A. M. and N.Z.A. Rahim. 2010. The influence of social networking sites on students’
academic performance in Malaysia. International Conference on Internet Studies,
September 8-10, Kuala Lumpur,
Usage of Facebook in Education 27

Hitwise, an Experian Company. 2007. The impact of Social Networking in the UK. http://
Kord, J.I. 2008. Understanding the Facebook generation: a study of the Relationship
between online social networking and academic and social integration and intentions
to re-enroll. http://
Lavleen Kaur. 2012. ‘Relationship between Social Networking Sites and Social Skills of the
Pupil Teachers’. M.Ed. Dissertation, Government College of Education, Chandigarh.
Mathews, B. S. 2006. Do you Facebook? Networking with students online. College
and Research Libraries News, 37, 306-307. In
Mazer, J. P., R.E. Murphy and C. J. Simonds. 2007. I’ll see you on ‘Facebook’: The effects of
computer-mediated teacher self-disclosure on student motivation, affective learning,
and classroom climate. Communication Education, 56, 1-17. In
Raccanello, P. J. 2011. Social networking texts among college students: identity and
imagination online.
Rosen, L.D. 2011. Poke Me: How Social Networks can both help and harm our kids. In
APA, 119th Annual Convention, Washington D.C., August 4-7, 2011. http://www.
Selwyn, N. 2007. “Screw blackboard…do it on Facebook!” An investigation of students’
educational use of Facebook.” Presented at the Poke 1.0 – Facebook Social Research
Symposium, University of London. In
Silverman, S. C. 2007. Creating community online: the effects of online social networking
communities on college students' experiences. How can student affairs professional’s
best respond to this emergent phenomenon? http://
Swang, M. D. 2011. From Facebook to grade book: an examination of the relationship
between teen use of social networking sites and academic achievement. http://
The Economic Times. 2014. Facebook can help students learn better:Study. http://
Towner, T. and A. Van Horn. 2007. Facebook: Classroom tool for a classroom community?
Presented at the Annual Meeting of the Midwest Political Science Association, Chicago,
Illinois. In
Walz, O. 2009. The relationship between college students' use of social networking sites
and their sense of belonging.
Yang, H.-L. 2003. Effects of social network on students’ performance: a web-based
forum study in Taiwan Journal of Asynchronous Learning Networks, Volume 7, issue
3 September 2003.
Writing Skills in English among
School Children
Gender Differences, Relationship with Class
Performance and with Speaking Skills
Raj Kumari Gupta*
Prerna Joshi**

Present study focuses on gender differences in writing skills, relationship of
writing skills with oral skills and with class performance. A sample of 90 boys
and 90 girls from fourth grade were selected to study gender differences. A
set of 70 students of seventh grade were assessed for relationship of writing
skills with oral skills and with class performance. Writing was assessed on a
set of familiar topic and spelling and speaking on seven familiar questions. For
class performance, scores of half yearly exams and two unit tests were taken.
Girls outperformed boys in writing skills and writing skills were significantly
correlated with speaking skills and with class performance.

In today’s modern world, English has and half decades of British rule in
emerged to occupy position of lingua India, no regional language or Hindi
franca in areas of business, education, has been able to replace it. Most
information sharing, computer work Indians get used to a particular style,
and life in general. Much of literature pronunciation, nuances, phonology,
is written in English. It is the most grammar and other emphases laid
often spoken language. Even after six on various aspects of their mother
* Professor, Department of Education, Punjab University, Chandigarh, 160014
** Former M.Ed. General Student, Punjab University, Chandigarh, 160014
*** Former M.Ed. ET Student, Punjab University, Chandigarh, 160014
Writing Skills in English among School Children— Gender... 29

tongue. Confusion begins when they their speaking skills and class
begin to learn English which has performance.
a different pattern and set of rules.
This happens all the more when Hypotheses
they start to learn English late in (1) The performance of girls on
childhood. Thus, the importance of writing skills will be significantly
examining development of learning better than boys.
various aspects of this language viz (2) Writing skills of students in
writing, speaking, spellings, class English will significantly be
performance etc. in school life can correlated with their speaking
never be overestimated. skills in English.
Writing is a complex language skill (3) Writing skills of students are
which requires planning, organizing, significantly correlated with their
recalling spellings, translating and class performers.
reviewing. These processes involve
demands on cognitive processes. Operational definitions of the
The exercise of writing task begins terms used
as early as a child gets admitted
Writing Skills: This included
to the school. The ability to write
expressive writing skills and spelling
correctly and effectively is one such
performance. Expressive writing skills
thing, whose foundation is laid in the
were assessed by having children to
school. School authorities provide
ample opportunities to the pupils write on a number of familiar topics.
so that they develop a capacity to Spelling performance was assessed
write and express their thoughts by a standard diagnostic tool on
independently. spellings.
Writing skill is important for life of a Gender differences: In this study,
person more specially during student gender differences mean differences
life. The National Commission on in performance of boys and girls in
Writing (2003) points out if students both expressive writing and spelling
have to learn, they must write. performance.
Class Performance: Class
Objectives Performance was an average of
(1) To identify the gender differences academic performance in half yearly
in writing skills in English exams and two unit tests in English.
language among students at Speaking skills: These were
school level. assessed by having subjects to answer
(2) To explore the relationship of seven questions to obtain around 15-
writing skills of students with 20 spoken sentences.
 30 Journal of Indian Education February 2015

Methodology validity and content validity was

For investigating questions of interest, established in this test. Split half
descriptive research method was used. reliability and criterion validity of
test are .92 and .82 respectively.
Sample • Another set of ten topics for
expressive writing were used for
Ninety boys and 90 girls from fourth
assessing expressive writing in 7th
grade (class IV) of government and
graders. These are; 1. My school,
private schools from Chandigarh
2. A holiday, 3. My parents, 4. My
were selected for studying gender
teacher, 5. Cricket, 6. Trees, 7.
differences in writing skills.
My hobby, 8. My country, 9. My
Another set of 70 students
best friend, and 10. My favourite
of seventh grade (class VII) were
selected randomly from Government
• To know the level of speaking skills,
schools of Chandigarh for assessing
a set of seven familiar questions
relationship of (a) writing skills and
mentioned in were asked from
speaking skills (b) writing skills and
class performance. The idea of taking students. The idea was to get a
students from a higher class to sample of 15-20 sentences from
assess relationship between variables each of them. These questions are
was to have students with reasonably given below:
developed speaking skills. • Tell me something about
Schools and subjects (students) yourself.
both were chosen randomly in both • Tell me something about your
the cases. school.
• Briefly narrate your daily
Tools schedule from getting up in
• Ten topics familiar to students the morning till going to bed
were used to examine expressive in night.
writing among 4th graders. • Tell me how will you spend
• These topics are 1. My family, your Sunday.
2. Myself, 3. My School, 4. My • Which subject you like the
friend, 5. My favourite sport, 6. most and why?
Chandigarh, 7. My favourite actor, • Which teacher you like the
8. My favourite television serial, 9. most and why?
My teacher, and 10. Morning walk. • Who is your best friend and
• To assess spelling skills, why?
Diagnostic Spelling Test (Gupta Scores of half yearly exams
and Narang, 2005) was utilised. and two unit tests were taken
This test has 35 words’ spellings. into account. An average of these
It has been standardised on third scores was calculated to mark class
and fourth grades. Discriminating performance in English.
Writing Skills in English among School Children— Gender... 31

Procedure Review of Related Literature

Fourth grade subjects were to select 1. Gender Differences in Writing
any three topics from Appendix I to Skills
write six lines on each of those. Scoring Verbal performance and verbal
was done by using Developmental cognitive processing between boys and
Sentence Scoring Key (Lee, 1974). girls have been found to be different
Seventh grade subjects were to (Emanuelson and Stevenson, 1990;
choose any two topics from Appendix Halpern, 1992). Subsequent to, and
II to write about fifteen sentences in prior to this, there have been many
all. Scoring was done on a ten point researches indicating that differences
scale keeping in mind the following: exist in writing performance as well
number of complete meaningful between both of them (Swan, 1992;
sentences, spellings and grammatical Denton and West, 2002; Bannon,
mistakes. To prevent subjectivity, 2004;
another scorer also scored the same Justice, Invernizzi, Geller, Sullivan
performance. An average of the two and Welsch, 2005; Hanna, 2005;
scores was used for analysis which Mead, 2006; Berninger, Nielsen,
were significantly correlated (r=0.52; Abbott, Wijsman and Raskind, 2008;
p< .01). Parker, 2010).
For speaking skills, a set of Levy and Heller (1992) pointed
questions suited to class seventh out that language areas in brain
was asked to generate about 15- which process reading and writing
20 spoken sentences. These are located in different brain sections
sentences were recorded and later among girls and boys. In males, these
transcribed. Scoring was done on a functions are taken care of primarily
ten point scale keeping in mind the by left hemisphere. However, in
following: the number of complete females they are spread in both the
meaningful sentences, pronunciation hemispheres. The authors suggested
and fluency in speaking. Again, to that girls are able to better integrate
prevent subjectivity, another scorer learning for writing.
also scored the same performance. Halpern and La May (2000)
An average of these two scores was suggested that gender differences
used which were significantly inter- exist in some of the tests of cognitive
correlated (r=0.59; p< .01). abilities. While males were found to
For class performance, scores of have an edge over females in their
students in English were obtained ability to manipulate visual images
from the school authorities. An in working memory, the females had
average of half yearly exam and two an advantage in retrieving from long
unit tests was calculated to mark term memory store and acquiring
class performance in English. and using verbal information.
 32 Journal of Indian Education February 2015

Gurian and Stevens (2004) described in simple manner, other

inferred from their researches that four descriptions under two gender
the girls have, in their temporal lobe guises, each of these guises had
stronger neural networks than boys further two options— description to
do. These networks facilitate more a male or to a female. Discriminant
detailed memory storage and better analysis showed that words used
listening skills. They can discriminate by respondents in man’s guise was
in tones of voice better than boys. Girls different from that in woman’s guise,
can put all this to their advantage for supporting gender linked language
details in writing works. schemata. Findings corroborated
Mckenzie (2007) mentioned that new gender linked language model.
the differences in writing abilities Serholt (2012) investigated the
of males and females was visible overall frequency in which Swedish
in a young age and this difference advanced learners of English used
increased as they grew in years. The epistemic modality to express doubt
girls were ahead in 70% of the tasks. (hedges) and certainty (boosters) in their
Beard and Burrell (2010) analysed academic writing; and if there seemed
three aspects viz. imaginative, to be gender-related differences. A
narrative and persuasive of writing of comparative analysis of 20 randomly
9 to 10 year old subjects for gender selected C-essays written by Swedish
differences. The texts produced by students of English at several
children were analysed using test universities was therefore conducted.
guidelines and genre-specific rating Slight indications were found
scales. Girls were found to be better suggesting that girls offered stronger
in writing achievement. Analysis of commitments to the propositional
five parts of writing showed that girls information they produced than boys
scored significantly higher in four in besides some other findings.
both the years. A subgroup of the Troia, Harbaugh, Shankland,
highest-achieving children contained Wolbers and Lawrence (2013)
lesser number of boys. Textual examined a convenience sample of
effectiveness, content or language use 618 subjects selected from Class
did not reveal any gender variations. 4th through 10th, except Class
Anthony, Giles, Bradac and 8th. Subjects were administered a
Palomares (2013) proposed a new measure of writing motivation and
explanation of Gender Linked activity scale. They also submitted
Language Effect. They tested this a time bound sample of narrative
explanation that each gender writing. Teacher’s judgment of
has socialised schema of how s/ writing ability of subjects was also
he normatively communicates by obtained. Results indicated that girls
getting subjects to describe five and older subjects wrote qualitatively
photographs. First one was to be better fiction. This was also true for
Writing Skills in English among School Children— Gender... 33

subjects having better level of writing performance. If Levy and Heller’s

skill as per teacher’s rating. More indication (1992) is to be believed,
frequent writing work was done by then females are at an advantageous
girl students, higher level writers, position for writing. Halpern and
and students younger in age. Path La May (2000) and Gurian and
analysis showed that writing activity Stevens (2004) also suggest similar
changed with grade and gender. advantage. More recent findings also
Gender, teacher judgment, and suggest quantitative and qualitative
writing activity had effect on some differences in boys and girls in favour
aspects of writing motivation. of latter.
Gurpreet (2013) investigated oral
skills and writing skills among fifth 2. Speaking Skills
graders. She found that there were All individuals learn to speak,
no gender differences in written whichever language. According to
word points, written sentence points, Myklebust (1960), auditory expressive
written compound sentence points language is evidenced in speech
and written errors, though the sample which emerges at around one year of
size in this study was small ( 14 age which is for the language most
males and 19 females). In this study, spoken in presence of child. Speaking
significant gender differences in oral is universal and inevitable part of
skills in English language were found human environment. Everybody
to exist in favour of girls. (barring children with severe
Kaur (2014) examined writing hearing impairment, severe speech
skills in Punjabi among boys and impairment and cerebral palsy) can
girls of urban schools. She found speak at least one language. A child
that girls perform significantly better learns speaking with no conscious
in spelling accuracy, word points effort and conscious instruction.
and meaningful sentences. Also boys Developing such speaking skills
scored significantly higher in spelling in second language such as English
errors. is not that effortless. This requires
‘Girls outperform boys yet again’ planned instruction and conscious
was the report carried by Indian effort.
Express (Goyal and Dhillon, 2014) Normally audience looks at
which indicated results of class the speaker while listening to
tenth exam of CBSE board. All these him/her. Standing in front of an
performances were based on writing audience can often give stage fright
of various types, some creative, to a novice speaker. S/he may be
some based on memory and some on worried about making mistakes,
analysis. being scrutinised and criticised
It appears certain that males by listeners or embarrassment in
differ from females in writing presence of other students. This may
 34 Journal of Indian Education February 2015

lead to a lot of mistakes or a situation Dallimore, Hertenstein and

of total silence. Besides learner Platt (2008) investigated effect of
inhibition, lack of motivation, lack of participation practices on development
knowledge of subject matter, lack of of communication based skills.
good vocabulary, lack of confidence, participation practices were used as
anxiety, inadequate listening, family an instructional technique. Results
background, shy nature etc. (Latha showed evidence of effectiveness
and Patella, 2012) would make or of instructional technique. Active
mar a performance in speaking skills. preparation on part of students and
Research in oral skills has active participation in discussion in
received extensive attention in class contributed in improvement
many areas: achievement and class in both spoken and written
room talk (Flanders, 1970); oral communication skills. Findings
communication and critical thinking suggested that class discussion can
skills (Noblette and Lynette, 2010); prove to be beneficial to both types of
oral fluency and dyslexia (Gupta and programmes: cross cultural courses
Randhava, 2012); oral skills and and stand alone courses.
classroom behavior (Singh, 2013); Catherine and Hutchison (2009)
gender differences in spoken English predicted about effect of a four
among children with English as a first week long programme of telephone
language (Aquini, 2014) to mention a mediated language intervention, on
few. young children’s recontextualisation
processes in narrative expression.
3. Writing Skills and Speaking Findings showed that experience
Skills of telephone mediated language
Following is a brief account of intervention affects both written and
literature on relationship of above oral narrative expression.
two aspects of language: Hale (2010) examined efficacy
Wilkinson (1965) pointed out that of thematic units for struggling
the development of oral skills would readers in oral language in receptive,
lead to enhanced skills in reading and expressive and written vocabulary
writing as language users become areas. They used these thematic units
increasingly proficient. Oral language in small groups. The attitudes and
plays a role in literacy development. effects on students regarding their
According to Cregon (1998) participation were evaluated. Results
speaking, reading and writing aspects depicted positive associations.
of language depend on each other Taylor, Greenberg, Daphne and
and on a common set of phonological, Laures (2012) found that there was
semantic and grammatical structures, a correlation among oral language
as well as some common processes or skills, written language skills and
goals. reading comprehension.
Writing Skills in English among School Children— Gender... 35

Puranik and AlOtaiba (2012) test for students admitted in courses

assessed development of beginning of three different stages. A correlation
writing skills among children was calculated among scores in
studying in kindergarten school. 242 speaking and writing performance.
children were administered tests Results indicated a fairly strong
in cognitive, oral language, reading correlation between the two skills
and writing areas. Two elements i.e. among students. A weaker correlation
handwriting and spelling contributed between the two was seen when
significantly to expression in writing.. performance in each of the groups was
Oral language and reading skills were analysed individually. Some students
not found to contribute to writing showed more proficiency in writing as
significantly. compared to speaking; some others
Puranik, Cynthia, Lonegan and showed an opposite trend, and still
Christopher (2012) examined whether others were equally proficient in both
children with reading impairments the skills.
also experience writing difficulties. Majority of researches and
They worked on a group of 293 pre- literature mentioned above indicate
schoolers and inferred that children an association in speaking and
having weak oral skills lagged behind writing skills.
their class peers in terms of their
skills related to writing. 4. Class Performance
Gurpreet (2013) examined oral Performance in schools, majority of
skills in relation to writing skills times, is assessed by writing, few
among fifth graders. It was found times by oral methods and rarely by
that no co-relation existed in oral and methods involving doing. In language
written word points, oral and written subjects, writing assumes more
sentence points, and oral and written importance because doing is almost
compound sentence points. However, irrelevant and oral assessment,
a significant co-relation was found in though necessary, is individualistic
oral and written errors. These points in nature hence time consuming and
were earned by subjects in dictated does not yield complete picture. Hence,
writing of sentences and words, and it does not find itself used often to
expressive speaking. The sample evaluate. Based on this practice, class
in this study as pointed out earlier, performance in this study is assessed
since was small, the findings need by written component of achievement
verification. in English. A comprehensive
Hubert (2013) examined the approach was adopted to get as close
development of efficiency in speaking as possible to the picture of students’
and writing in Spanish as a foreign performance in English. Scores of
language by carrying out an interview half yearly exams and two unit tests
in oral proficiency and writing skills were taken into account. An average
 36 Journal of Indian Education February 2015

of these scores was calculated to by subjects, and it functions to

mark class performance. It may be elevate academic performance.
noted here that class performance in Southern Regional Education
this research is on routinely studied Board (2008) emphasised the
matters whereas expressive writing is importance of reading and writing
not done on commonly studied topics skills in both education and career.
(though subjects are familiar with The objective was to integrate reading
them) and spelling performance is on and writing skills along the range of
a standardised test. curriculum in academic, career and
technical courses. It was done in ways
5. Writing Skills and Class that improved student achievement in
Performance reading and writing and in the subject
Since writing is used in every subject content areas. It is mentioned that
during evaluation in school systems, if students could not read and write
it appears rational to assume that for learning, they would struggle and
students, who are adept at writing, potentially fail. This would obviously
will perform well in general in class in affect their academic achievement.
English language. Previous literature Harrison (2009) examined literacy
tends to support this. profiles of undergraduates (UG)
Bangert-Drowns, Hurley and having writing difficulties who were
Wilkinson (2004) conducted meta- academically at risk by administering
analysis of 48 school programmes. cognitive, word-level reading, spelling
The objective of these programmes and writing measures. He compared
was to examine effect of an the performance in these areas with
intervention named ‘writing to learn’ their regular counterparts. The areas
on academic attainment. The meta- of lower performance of at risk UG
analysis indicated that writing skills students were: sight reading, lexicon
can exercise a small, positive effect decision, alpha RAN, making rhyming
on dependent variable. The increased decisions for words which varied in
length of intervention predicted visual and orthographic similarity. At
increased academic achievement. risk learners also wrote miss spellings
The use of metacognitive prompts that were orthographically less
also predicted enhanced impact of plausible, and made more spelling
intervention. When intervention was errors. Findings have been discussed
implemented in Grades 6–8 and longer in relation to the importance of word-
writing assignments were given, it specific knowledge for skilled writing
led to reduced effect on academic which in turn influenced the class
achievement. Reasons suggested performance.
for the enhancement are as follows: Prat-Sala and Redford (2012)
writing approximates human speech, studied the relationships of
it supports learning strategies used performance of subjects in a) essay
Writing Skills in English among School Children— Gender... 37

writing and b) self-efficacy measures was whether performance in test on

in reading and writing . This was done augmentative writing was co-related
in an assessed written coursework. with a) assessments in inferential and
145 freshmen and sophomores argument analysis, b) syllogism and
studying Psychology formed the c) academics. The latter was taken
sample. The results point out that from high school achievements and
both self efficacy measures were two admission tests’ performance.
related to writing performance. Also Findings indicated that the data
results demonstrated the significance obtained from analysis of writing
of self efficacy in reading and writing and thinking performance was in
in relation to subjects’ performance. consonance with that obtained from
Kingir, Geban and Gunel (2012) academic assessments.
investigated the influence of the Many centers around the globe
intervention named Science Writing which administer programs to
Heuristic (SWH) approach on enhance academic achievement,
achievement. Four intact classes of provide training in writing skills,
grade nine which were taught by 2 besides other components (www.
chemistry teachers were selected.
This yielded two experimental and academicahievement; www.20.
two control groups. Subjects in the csueastbay. edu/ library/scaa/
experimental group were told to use workshops- wst-info.html both
SWH approach whereas those in retrieved on June 5th, 2014).
the control group were given routine As far as development of language
traditional instruction. Analysis is concerned, proficient writing skill is
was conducted by using ANCOVA. ultimate among all its aspects. To be
It emerged that the Science writing able to acquire it would be to enable
heuristic approach contributed oneself to communicate any academic
to subjects' test performances ideas to peers, evaluators, teachers,
significantly more than the traditional parents and any other consumers,
approach. Also, low and middle be it any subject-informative, logical
achievers in the treatment group and mathematical, or language. The
performed significantly higher than following is hypothesised on the basis
those in the control group during the of above literature and arguments.
post-test stage.
Preiss, Castillo, Flotts and Martin Results
(2013) investigated educational To describe data, mean, standard
correlates and gender differences deviation, have been used. To examine
of writing and critical thinking in gender differences, t-test has been
higher education. A group of 452 used. To assess relationships, Product
freshmen from Chile comprised the Moment Method of correlation has
sample. The question of interest been used.
 38 Journal of Indian Education February 2015

Gender Differences present findings. When details were

Following table reflects the average, examined, the sample from the latter
variability, in both girls and boys (though small) was taken only from
for expressive writing and spellings one school, where children belong
performance. It also shows t-ratio to educated families and extremely
to indicate significance of gender caring environments. The scoring
differences in both expressive writing has been different also, it counted
and spellings. word points, sentence points and
This table shows that mean compound sentence points whereas in
score on expressive writing is higher this part of present study, scoring has
among girls with higher variability. been with the help of Developmental
The mean score on spellings is also Sentence Scoring Key (Lee, 1974).
higher among girls but the variability When means were examined, girls do
is slightly lower as compared to boys. score higher in Gurpreet’s study but
The gender difference in mean score not significantly. Probably more data
in expressive writing is significant as in that study would throw more light
shown in table (t=40.38, p<.01 with on this issue.
df of 178). This difference is in favor of In case of spellings also, the mean
girls. This finding is corroborated by score in case of girls is significantly
findings from other research studies higher as compared to boys (t=12.4;
(Swan, 1992; Denton and West, p<.01 with df of 178). Earlier
2002; Bannon, 2004; Hanna, 2005; researches lend support to this
Mead, 2006; Berninger, Nielsen, finding also (Daisy, 2000; Martin and
Abbott, Wijsman and Raskind, 2008; Hoover, 1987; Allerd, 1990). These
Kaur, 2014). However, another study findings confirm hypothesis no. 1 of
(Gurpreet, 2013) does not support this study.

Table 1
Mean, S.D., t-ratio, Degrees of Freedom, p value in Expressive Writing and

Mean Standard t- Degrees of p value

Deviation ratio Freedom

Expressive Boys Girls Boys Girls 40.38 178 .01

Writing 34.67 46.38 15.84 21.12
Spellings 27.56 28.8 7.32 7.02 12.4 178 .01
Writing Skills in English among School Children— Gender... 39

Table 2
Correlation of writing skills with speaking skills and with class performance
Correlations Value of Df p value
In r

Writing skills and 0.67 68 .01

Speaking skills
Writing skills and 0.60 68 .01
Class Performance

Correlations of Writing Skills study’s sample was taken from

with Speaking Skills and with kindergarten class. As the children
Class Performance grow, nature of various aspects of
language keeps on attaining more
Table 2 presents values of correlations
stability. Their measures of writing
of writing skills with i) speaking skills
were also different: handwriting and
in English among children and ii) total number of words. Nature of oral
class performance in English and skills examined in study conducted
their p values. by Puranik and AlOtaiba have not
The value of correlation found been explicitly stated. Moreover, oral
in writing skills and speaking skills skills of kindergarten children are not
is significant (r= 0.67; p<.01 with a as well developed as those of VII grade
df value of 68). This result confirms subjects of this study. Methodology
hypothesis no. 2. and sample differences could have
Present finding is corroborated by lead to inconsistency in findings from
findings from studies of Dallimore, the two studies.
Hertenstein and Platt (2008), The correlation in writing skills
Catherine and Hutchison (2009), and class performance has been
Taylor, Greenberg, Daphne and found to be significant(r=0.60; p<.01
Laures (2012) and Hubert (2013). with a df value of 68). This finding
However, Gurpreet’s study (2013) gets support from earlier researches
only partly supports present findings; (Harrison, 2009; Prat-Sala and
a significant correlation was found Redford, 2012; Kingir, Geban and
by her in oral and written errors but Gunel, 2012). This finding confirms
not in oral and written word points hypothesis no. 3. It is too natural
and sentence points. Once again this to expect such a relationship given
study needs revalidation because of our system of education and written
small number of subjects. Puranik evaluations in every field of endeavour
and AlOtaiba’s study did not find and at every level. Oral evaluation
significant contribution of oral skills to and evaluation by doing find little
written expression. This experimental scope in evaluation in Indian schools.
 40 Journal of Indian Education February 2015

General Discussion latter can induce an improvement in

class performance since it is based on
Children start developing language
by listening to words spoken by writing skills in most of the evaluative
others during early years. Oral skills situations in class room. Hence,
in life develop before commencement oral skills may have the potential
of development of writing skills. This of benefiting in multiple ways.
applies to languages other than Findings from co relational studies
mother tongue also. The process offer immense benefit in planning
and sequence remain the same. experimental studies.
Also, when children join school, This suggests an implication to
where they are required to do serious school teacher and parent that oral
writing, they have, by and large, skills bear one of important keys to
already acquired reasonably good class performance. This study has
skills in speaking. Whenever, there is implications for researchers in the
a need to write, human brain sends area of language development. An
instructions for the same. Quality experimental study to this effect will
of an instruction issued to write will throw light on this. Play time which
depend on quality and richness of is so naturally available to children
acquired oral language which has to can be utilised for oral skills. Attempt
get translated into written form. This can be made to study inculcation of
applies to situations where children oral skills via play way method, story
do not have to write on topics method and/or other natural methods
crammed by them. The chosen topics since ‘Reading and writing float on a
for both writing and speaking in this sea of talk’ according to Britton (1983).
study have been familiar to children. If the study is longitudinal, one can
They have heard about those topics examine whether administration
in their environments. The situation of intervention develops better
required natural attempt, recalling at writing and class performance later
best, but no cramming. That implies in comparison to those who were
that the correlations obtained in not. If there are any intervening
the study indicate natural and real variables, between intervention in
relationship. oral skills and resultant change in
The results of this study appear to class performance, those can also
be very interesting and encouraging be identified and examined. This
for students. The findings suggest study has also prepared ground for
that an intervention in the oral experimental study to know whether
skills of the students, who are poor boys and girls respond to and utilize
in writing skills, can firstly bring a intervention in oral skills differently.
positive change in oral skills and Do they require intervention of
secondly a concomitant improvement different durations for benefits to
in their writing performance. The accrue? Another question worth
Writing Skills in English among School Children— Gender... 41

examining is whether children of these skills and ultimately also in

different age groups, as have been class performance.
taken in this study, will learn and Acknowledgements: Authors wish
respond to intervention in speaking to express gratitude to Ms. Sonia
skills differently. Chopra, Research Fellow, Department
Alternatively, simultaneous of Education, Panjab University for
intervention in written and oral skills help at various points of writing this
may bring improvement in both of paper.

Allerd, R. A. 1990. Gender differences in spelling achievement in Grade 1 through VI.
Journal of Educational Research, 83, 187-193.
Aquini, L. 2014. Oral communication skills in English among children with English as
first language. Unpublished Masters Dissertation, Panjab University, Chandigarh,
Anthony, M. 2012. The linked language effect: An empirical test of general process model.
Language Sciences, 38 (1), 72-83.
Bangert-Drowns, R.L., M.M. Hurley and B. Wilkinson. 2004. The Effects of School-Based
Writing-to-Learn Interventions on Academic Achievement: A Meta-Analysis. Review of
Educational Research, 74(1), 29-58.
Bannon, M. E. 2004. The two sexes: growing up apart, coming together. Belknap Press,
Beard, R. and A. Burrell. 2010. Writing Attainment in 9- to 11-year-olds: Some Differences
between Girls and Boys in Two Genres. Language and Education, 24 (6), 495-515.
Berninger, V., K. Nielsen, R. Abbott, E. Wijsman and W. Raskind. 2008. Gender differences
in severity of writing and reading disabilities. Retrieved on 12 Feb, 2008 from www. EJ 786050.
Britton, J. 1983. Writing and the Story of the World. In B. Kroll, and E. Wells (Eds.),
Explorations in the development of writing theory, research and practice (pp. 3-30).
Wiley, New York.
Catherine, C. and L. Hutchison. 2009. Telephone mediated communication effects on
young children’s oral narratives. First Language, 29(4), 347-371.
Cregon, A. 1998. Developing Language and Literacy: the role of the teacher. In G. Shiel,
and U. Ni Dalaigh (Eds.), Developing Language and Literacy: The role of the teacher
(pp 3-15). Reading Association of Ireland, Dublin.
Daisy, M. 2000. Gender differences in spelling achievement. M. A. Research project.
Kean University, New Jersey.
Dallimore, E. J., J. H. Hertenstein and M.B. Platt. 2008. Using Discussion Pedagogy to
Enhance Oral and Written Communication Skills. College Teaching, 56(3), 163-172.
Denton, K. and J. West. 2002. Children’s reading and mathematics achievement in
kindergarten and first grade. National Center for Education Statistics, Washington DC
Emanuelsson, I. and A. Svensson. 1990. Changes in intelligence over a quarter of a century.
Scandinavian Journal of Educational Research, 34, 171-187.
 42 Journal of Indian Education February 2015

Flanders, N.A. 1970. Teaching behaviours, academic learning, time and student
achievement. (Final Report of Phase III- B, Beginning teacher evaluation study). Far
West laboratory for educational research and development, San Francisco.
Goyal, D. and G.S. Dhillon. 2014. Girls outperform boys yet again. Indian Express, June
3rd, 2014, p 4.
Gupta, R. and S. Narang. 2005. Diagnostic Spelling test. National Psychological
Corporation, Agra.
Gupta, R. and S. Randhawa. 2012. Phonological retrieval as a predictor of Dyslexia. A
project funded by Research Cell of Panjab University, Chandigarh.
Gurian, M. and K. Stevens. 2004. With Boys and Girls in Mind. Educational Leadership,
62, 3.
Gurpreet. 2013. Oral Skills in relation to writing skills among 5th Graders. Unpublished
Masters Dissertation, Panjab University, Chandigarh, India.
Hale, S.L. 2012. Efficacy of Thematic Units on Language and Literacy: A Collaborative
Study of a Shelter Unit Intervention with Struggling First Grade Readers. Retrieved
from on 23rd July, 2014
Halpern, D. and M. La May. 2000. The Smarter Sex: A critical review of sex differences in
intelligence. Educational Psychology Review, 12, 229-246.
Hanna, M. 2005. Elements of spelling and composition- Studies on predicting and
supporting writing skills in primary grades. Centre for Learning Research, Department
of Psychology, University of Turku, Turku.
Harrison, G. L. 2009. The Component Reading and Writing Skills of At-Risk Undergraduates
with Writing Difficulties. Learning Disabilities: A Contemporary Journal, 7 (2), 59-72.
Hubert, M.D. 2013. The Development of Speaking and Writing Proficiencies in the
Spanish Language Classroom: A Case Study. Foreign Language Annals, 46 (1), 88–95.
Kaur, S. 2014. Comparative study of writing skills in Punjabi among boys and girls of
urban schools. Unpublished Masters dissertation, Panjab University, Chandigarh,
Kingir, S., O. Geban and M. Gunel. 2012. How Does the Science Writing Heuristic Approach
Affect Students' Performances of Different Academic Achievement Levels? A Case for
High School Chemistry. Chemistry Education Research and Practice, 13 (4), 428-436.
Justice, L., M. Invernizzi, K. Geller, A. Sullivan and J. Welsch. 2005. Descriptive
development performance at risk pre-schoolers on early literacy tasks. Reading
Psychology, 26, 1-25.
Latha, M.B. and R. Patella. 2012. Teaching English as a Second Language: Factors
Affecting Learning Speaking Skills. International Journal of Engineering Research and
Technology, 1(7).
Lee, L. 1974. Developmental Sentence Scoring (DSS). In Roy A. Koenignsknecht (Ed.),
Developmental Sentence Analysis. North Western University Press, Illinois.
Levy, J. and W. Heller. 1992. Gender differences in human neuropsychological function.
Sexual Differentiation: Handbook of Behavioural Neurobiology. Plenum Press,
New York.
Writing Skills in English among School Children— Gender... 43

Martin, D. and H. Hoover. 1987. Sex Differences in Educational Achievement: A

longitudinal study. The Journal of Early Adolescence, 7(1), 65-83.
Mckenzie, C. 2007. Boys fail to make the grade. National Education Monitoring Project,
Otago University.
Mead, S. 2006. The truth about boys and girls. Education Sector, Washington DC.
National Commission on Writing. 2003. The neglected R: The need for a writing revolution.
Retrieved on 16 Nov, 2008 from
Parker, P.D. 2010. Gender differences in written expression Curriculum based
measurement in third through eighth grade students. Unpublished Master’s thesis
submitted to Appalachian State University, North Carolina.
Preiss, D., J. Castillo, P. Flotts and E. Martin. 2013. Assessment of argumentative
writing and critical thinking in higher education: Educational correlates and gender
differences. Retrieved on 28thNovember, 2013 from
Pret-Sala, M. and P. Redford. 2012. Writing Essays: Does Self-Efficacy Matter?   The
Relationship between Self-Efficacy in Reading and in Writing and Undergraduate
Students' Performance in Essay Writing. Educational Psychology, 32(1), 9-20.
Puranik, C. S. and C. J. Lonegan. 2012. Early writing deficits in pre-schoolers with oral
language difficulties. Journal of Learning Disabilities, 45 (2), 179-190.
Serholt, S. 2012. Hedges and Boosters in Academic Writing - A Study of Gender
Differences in Essays Written by Swedish Advanced Learners of English. Retrieved on
27th November, 2013 from
Singh, D. 2013. Oral skills in English in relation to class room behavior. Unpublished
Masters Dissertation, Panjab University, Chandigarh, India.
Southern Regional Education Board. 2008. Reading and Writing are Essential Skills for
All Educational and Career Pathways. Retrieved from
g+skills+and+academic+achievementandpg=4andid=ED504584 on 21st June 2014.
Puranik, C.S. and S. Alotaiba. 2012. Examining the contribution of handwriting and
spelling to written expression in kindergarten children. Reading and Writing: An
Interdisciplinary Journal, 25 (7), 1523-1546.
Swann, J. 1992. Girls, boys and language. Blackwell Publishers, Cambridge.
Taylor, N.A., D. Greenberg and G. Laures. 2012. Exploring the syntactic skills of struggling
Adult Readers. Reading and Writing: An interdisciplinary Journal, 25 (6), 1385-1402.
Troia, A., G. Harbaugh, R. Shankland, K. Wolbers and A. Lawrence. 2013. Relationships
between Writing Motivation, Writing Activity, and Writing Performance: Effects of
Grade, Sex, and Ability. Reading and Writing: An Interdisciplinary Journal, 26 (1),
Wilkinson, A. 1965. The concept of oracy. DOI: 10.1111/j.1754—8854.1965.tb01326.x; retrieved on June 5th,
2014. retrieved on June 5th,
A Comparative Study of Students of
Government and Non-government Schools
in Reading and Writing of Mother Tongue
Sweta Dvivedi*

The quality of education and its determinants remain a topic of attention since
the beginning of formal education. Though there are a number of factors which
determine the quality of education, the most vital one that attracts the attention
of all is the level of achievement. For any nation of the world these levels of
achievement are so important that they need to be known periodically to keep
a tab on the general health of the education system. But there is a big gap in
the level of achievement in different types of schools. Factors, such as semi
qualified teachers, very high student-teacher ratio, inappropriate teaching-
learning materials and out-dated teaching methods result in a low quality of
education. As a result, there are many students who even after completing
primary schooling lack even in rudimentary reading and writing skills.
Governing body of the schools is also other prominent factor for this. In India
a large population of children study in the government schools and researches
indicate that the outcome of the government schools is not up to the mark.
The following paper investigates this perception in the context of reading and
writing skills of children in their mother tongue.

Introduction the global meeting in Dakar in year

In the area of primary education a 2000. It introduced renewed urgency
rapid growth has been seen since into the international movement to

* UGC Post Doctoral Fellow, Faculty of Education, Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi-10.
A Comparative Study of Students of... 45

provide basic education for every private schools provide a better quality
child in the world. Keeping the appeal of education than the public ones
of Jomtien, some countries made as many findings show that student
progress in reducing disparities of achievement has been considerably
their countries in the distribution of higher in non-Government schools
educational opportunity which were (Bedi and Garg, 2000; Corten and
based on gender, disability, ethnicity, Dronkers, 2006; Braun, Jenkins and
residential area and income of family. Grigg, 2006; Muralidharan, n.d.). The
These disparities can be easily Probe Team sought to answer this
seen in developing and undeveloped question by visiting, unannounced,
countries. More well as large 195 government schools and 41
numbers of children are out of private schools in 188 villages of four,
schools than developed countries. In educationally backward states. In
South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa, half of the government schools they
fewer than three out of four pupils found no teaching activity at all at
reach Grade 5 (Final Report Dakar, the time of the visit. Moreover, this
2000). Situation of education is not pattern of idleness ‘is not confined to
very much dissimilar now these days a minority of irresponsible teachers–
also. Although in the classes number it has become a way of life in the
of students has been increased but profession’ and is characteristic even
they are not getting good quality of of government schools with good
education. Also in India condition infrastructure, adequate books and a
of primary education is not well and relatively low pupil/teacher ratio. In
maximum numbers of students are contrast, they found a ‘high level of
getting a poor quality of education. teaching activity in private schools,
Achieving a real change in the even makeshift ones where the work
situation of primary education is environment is no better than in
really a much more demanding task government schools’ (Probe Team
in the country (Drèze and Sen, 1995). 1999; Willmore, 2004).
Government schools cater Also in rural areas of country
education to a large population. preference for non-government or
But several recent papers point private schools is increasing. Studies,
out, private fee-charging schools present results from nationally
increasingly cater to a substantial representative samples of rural India
fraction of the primary-schools going to show that 28% of the population
population in India (Muralidharan, of rural India has access to fee-
n.d). The main cause of attraction charging private primary schools
of parents for private or non- (Muralidharan and Kremer 2006,
Government schools is poor quality and the Pratham, 2005). At present
of education in Government schools. every parent wishes to enrol his child
A number of researchers believe that in non-government schools/private
 46 Journal of Indian Education February 2015

schools but low income of family is differ from students of Non-

like a barrier for it. Every child is not government primary schools in
in position to enrol in private schools proficiency of writing of mother
(Hawley, 1995). tongue?
To uncover the status of quality
of education in primary schools Objectives of the Study
of India researcher has done this • To study the level of proficiency
study. Language is prime factor in mother tongue reading and
to understand other subjects. In writing at the end of the class.
the absence of language (reading, • To study the differences in
writing and symbolic) no one can proficiency in reading of mother
go on smoothly. So the investigator tongue in the government and
has tried to explore the proficiency Non–government primary schools.
of students in their mother tongue. • To study the differences in
Basically there are nine basic skills proficiency in writing of mother
in language: listening, speaking, tongue in the government and
reading, writing, comprehension of Non–government primary schools.
ideas (through listening and reading),
functional grammar, self-learning,
and language use and vocabulary 1. Tools
control. First four competencies are As per objectives of this study
related to the four language skills mainly two tools were developed by
that are universally known and well the investigator to determine the
established. So researcher tried to proficiency of the students in reading
assess the competencies of students and writing of mother tongue.
especially in reading and writing Reading test has two sections;
which are major two competencies of section-A which was related to prose
first four competencies. and section-B which was related to
poetry. Same as there are two sections
Research Questions of mother tongue writing section-A
• Whether the students of primary and section-B which were related
schools are proficient in reading to prose and poetry respectively.
and writing of mother tongue? The last paragraphs and stanzas of
• Whether the students of the last chapter of prose and poetry
Government primary schools were taken to assess the reading
differ from students of Non- and writing competency of students
Government primary schools in because all types of diacritics
proficiency of reading of mother (matarayen) were included and the
tongue? difficulty level increased with each
• Whether the students of chapter; the last chapter being the
Government primary schools most difficult. After selection of the
A Comparative Study of Students of... 47

paragraph for reading the researcher from these schools. Students of Class
proceeded to select difficult words, IV were selected for the study.
for which students face problems in
reading and writing. A pilot test of 3. Data Collection and Analysis
reading ability and a dictation test for For the study four types of schools
writing ability was conducted on 40 were selected by the investigator
students. There were 45 items in the for the collection of data. The
mother tongue reading test and 50 tests of reading and writing were
items in the mother tongue writing administered on 80 students of
test, which broadly covered all types government schools (Hindi medium),
of diacritics (matarayen). Test items 58 students of government schools
were made according to the syllabus (English medium), 80 students of
prescribed by NCERT. non – government schools (Hindi
medium) and 44 students of non-
2. Sampling
government schools (English
There were four types of schools medium).
selected for the study; these schools The reading and writing mother
were broadly related to the different tongue proficiency test which
categories which are as follow; consisted of 45 and 50 items
Government schools (Hindi respectively were scored by allocating
medium) 1 mark for each correct answer and
Government schools (English 0 mark for each incorrect answer.
medium) Subsequently, the mean, SD and ‘t’
values of the scores were computed
Non-government schools (Hindi
as per need of the study.
The analysis and interpretation
(iv) Non-government schools (English of the results are presented and
medium) discussed below:
For the study an appropriate Table 1 indicates about the
number of students were selected performance of students of all

Table 1
Mean Performance of all Students in Reading and Writing of Mother Tongue

N Reading Writing

Mean SD Mean SD
262 34.07 10.62 26.54 12.80
 48 Journal of Indian Education February 2015

schools in reading and writing of whereas mean of writing of mother

mother tongue. There were total tongue at the end of Class IV found
262 students from different types of to be 26.54 with standard deviation
schools which are government Hindi 12.80. It shows that students were
medium schools, government English more proficient in reading of mother
medium schools, non-government tongue than writing of mother
Hindi medium schools and non- tongue. We learn speak or read first
government English medium schools. rather than writing. It may be a factor
Total number of words which were that students were more proficient in
read by these students correctly, were reading rather than writing.
8926 out of 11760 words and total Table 2 indicates about the
number of words which were written achievement of students of different
by all students, were 6953 out of type of schools in reading of mother
13100 words. These were 75.90 per tongue. It shows clear picture of
cent and 53.08 per cent respectively. students’ achievement in reading.
The mean of reading of mother tongue Students who stand between the
at the end of Class IV found to be range of 0-5 were 13, 3 students fall
34.07 with standard deviation 10.62 within the interval of 5-10 and 10-15,

Table 2
Scores of Students in Reading of Mother Tongue
Number of Children in Different Types of schools Total number of
Score Students
1 2 3 4

0–5 13 00 00 00 13
5 – 10 03 00 00 00 03
10 – 15 03 00 00 00 03
15 – 20 07 00 00 00 07
20 – 25 10 00 00 03 13
25 – 30 08 00 10 01 19
30 – 35 13 03 18 08 42
35 – 40 18 24 24 14 80
40 – 45 05 31 28 18 82
Total 80 58 80 44 262

1. Government Schools (Hindi Medium) 2. Government Schools English Medium

3. Non- Government Schools Hindi Medium 4. Non- Government Schools English Medium
A Comparative Study of Students of... 49

7 students stand between the interval were unable to read any single word
of 15-20. 13, 19 and 42 students fall of their mother tongue in the end of
within the interval of 20-25, 25-30 the class. In comparison to students
and 30-35 respectively. 80 students of government Hindi medium
stand between interval of 35-40 and schools there was not any student of
82 students which were maximum government English medium schools,
in any range, stand between class non-government Hindi medium
interval 40-45. schools and non-government English
When we see the reading medium schools scored zero and
proficiency of students according to stands in the interval of 0-5. As well as
their schools, table 2 indicates that the there was no any student who stands
condition of students of government in the class interval of 5-10, 10-15
Hindi medium schools was worst. 13 and 15-20 whereas, from government
students fall in the interval of 0-5. Hindi medium schools 3 students
The mode of ungrouped data of this scored between 5-10, 3 students
category was zero, which shows that scored between 10-15 and 7 students
in this category maximum number of scored between 15-20. Performance
students scored zero. These students of students of government English

Table 3
Scores of Students in Writing of Mother Tongue
Number of Children in Different Types of Total number
Score schools of
1 2 3 4 Students

0–5 23 00 00 01 24
5- 10 08 01 00 01 10
10- 15 10 00 04 03 17
15- 20 12 03 14 05 34
20-25 10 03 07 08 28
25-30 08 08 17 03 36
30-35 04 12 12 09 37
35-40 04 10 12 10 36
40-45 01 17 12 02 32
45-50 00 04 02 02 08

Total 80 58 80 44 262
1. Government Schools (Hindi Medium) 2. Government Schools English Medium
3. Non- Government Schools Hindi Medium 4. Non- Government Schools English Medium
 50 Journal of Indian Education February 2015

medium schools is best than their among all. From government Hindi
counterparts. Students of non- medium schools 23 students scored
government Hindi medium schools between 0-5 and 1 student from
showed better competency in reading non-government English medium
of mother tongue than students of schools scored zero. No one student
government Hindi medium schools of government English medium and
and non-government English medium non-government Hindi medium
schools. schools was in this group. Between the
Reading proficiency of students of range of 5-10; 8 students were from
different types of schools is not up to government Hindi medium schools,
the norm of NCERT. : Kurien’s (1991); 1 student from government English
Jangira (1994); also found in their medium schools, 1 student from
studies that 80 per cent students non-government English medium
didn’t achieved 80 per cent of their schools and none of student was
syllabus of Reading. This is also from non-government Hindi medium
consistent with finding of Shanbhag schools in this group. As reading
(1992); UNESCO (2001) and Pratham test of mother tongue students of
(2006-10) in which they found poor government English medium schools
reading ability of students. also performed best in the test of
Table 3 shows the writing writing of mother tongue than their
proficiency of students in mother counterparts. Only 1 student from
tongue. Collectively all students government Hindi medium schools
performed better in reading than stands in the range of 40-45, 12
writing. Table also shows overall students from non-government Hindi
performance of students in writing medium schools and 2 students from
of mother tongue of all four type of non-government English medium
schools. 24 students scored between schools stand in this group. Between
0-5, 10 students scored between the interval of 45-50 no one student
5-10, 17 students scored between 10- is from government Hindi medium
15 and 34 students scored between schools. In this range two students
15-20. There were 28, 36, 37, 36 and were from non-government Hindi
32 students fall in the class interval medium schools, 2 students were from
of 20-25, 25-30, 30-35, 35-40 and non-government English medium
40-45 respectively. Only 8 students schools and 4 students were from
scored between 45-50; which is very government English medium schools.
low than their performance in reading Table indicates that the students of
of mother tongue. government Hindi medium schools
When we see students’ performed worst and students of
performance as their schools wise, government English medium schools
students of government Hindi performed best in writing of mother
medium schools performed worst tongue.
A Comparative Study of Students of... 51

Table 4
Mean Performance of Student’s of Class- IV Studying in Different types of
Type of Groups Scores
Reading Writing
1 N 80 80
Mean 24.80 15.26
SD 13.85 11.65
2 N 58 58
Mean 40.10 35.48
SD 2.68 8.48
3 N 80 80
Mean 37.09 30.05
SD 5.23 9.48
4 N 44 44
Mean 37.48 28.86
SD 5.87 10.6

1. Government Schools (Hindi Medium) 2. Government Schools English Medium

3. Non-Government Schools Hindi Medium 4. Non- Government Schools English Medium

Proficiency of students in writing types of schools in reading and

of mother tongue is not up to the norm writing of mother tongue of students
of NCERT. Kurien’s (1991); Dave in different types of schools. In
(1988); Roy, Mitra, Ray (1995); Bhatia government Hindi medium schools
(1997) also found in their studies mean of reading mother tongue
that 80 per cent students didn’t is found to be 24.80 and mean of
achieved 80 per cent of their syllabus writing mother tongue was 15.26 with
of language. This is also consistent standard deviation 13.85 and 11.65
with findings of Shanbhag (1992), respectively. Scored mean of students
Ramkalyani (1993), Ved Prakash et al of government English medium
(1999); UNESCO (2001) and surveys schools in reading of mother tongue
of Pratham (2006, 20007, 2008, 2009 is found to be 40.10 with standard
and 2010) in which they found poor deviation 2.68 and 35.48 with
performance of students in language. standard deviation 8.48 in writing of
Table 4 specifies about mean mother tongue. Mean proficiency of
performances of students of different students of non-government Hindi
 52 Journal of Indian Education February 2015

medium schools in reading is found different groups in reading of mother

to be 37.09 with standard deviation tongue. It is clear by the table that
5.23 and in writing mean is found in the proficiency of students in
to be 30.05 with standard deviation reading mother tongue there was
9.48. Mean score of students of non- significant difference between
government English medium schools government Hindi medium schools
in reading of mother tongue is found and government English medium
to be 37.48 and SD was 5.87. In schools at 0.05 level. A significant
writing of mother tongue mean of difference was also found between
non-government English medium government Hindi medium schools
schools is found to be 28.86 with SD and non-government Hindi medium
10.60. schools as well as non-government
Students of each type of schools English medium schools at the same
showed more proficiency in reading of level of significance. Table exposes
mother tongue than writing of mother that a significant difference was
tongue. Before writing a child learns found between government English
to read first and it may be a cause of medium schools and non-government
better performance of students of all English medium schools. There was
type of schools in reading of mother also significant difference between
tongue. government English medium schools
Table 5 indicates towards and non-government Hindi medium
significant difference between schools. No significant difference was

Table 5
‘t’ Value of Proficiency of Students of Different types of Schools in
Reading and Writing of Mother Tongue
‘t’ Value at Government Non- Non-Government
0.05 Level of Competency Schools Government Schools English
Significance English Schools Hindi Medium
Medium Medium
Government Reading 9.81 7.49 7.12
Schools Hindi
Medium Writing 11.69 8.76 6.49

Government Reading 4.63 2.92

English Writing 3.49 3.37
Non- Reading 0.32
Schools Hindi Writing 0.64
A Comparative Study of Students of... 53

found only between non-government all other cases except between non-
English medium schools and non- government Hindi medium schools
government Hindi medium schools. and non-government English medium
Table 5 also explains about the schools.
significant difference in achieved Table 6 indicates towards
score in writing of mother tongue difference in reading proficiency
by students of all four types of in mother tongue of students of
schools. This result was same as government schools and non-
result of reading of mother tongue. government schools. This table
A significant difference can be seen presents a clear difference between
between students of government students of government schools
Hindi medium schools and students and non-government schools in
of government English medium reading. In the range of 0-5 there
schools. Same difference can be seen were 13 students and in the range
between students of government of 5-10, 10-15 and 15-20; 3, 3 and
Hindi medium schools and non- 7 students were respectively but
government Hindi medium schools there was no one student of non-
and also between government Hindi government schools from the range of
medium schools and non-government 0-5 to 15-20. Between the intervals
English medium schools. The of 20-25 there were 10 students from
significant differences can be seen in government schools and 3 students

Table 6
Scores of Students of Government Schools and Non- Government Schools in
Reading of Mother Tongue
Number of Children in Different Types of schools
Government Schools Non-Government Schools

0–5 13 00
5- 10 03 00
10- 15 03 00
15- 20 07 00
20-25 10 03
25-30 08 11
30-35 16 26
35-40 42 38
40-45 36 46
Total 138 124
 54 Journal of Indian Education February 2015

from non-government schools. From The performance of students of

government schools, 8 students fell government Hindi medium schools
in the range of 25-30 and in the was very poor.
same range 11 students fell from Table 7 shows the mean
non-government schools. In the next performance of students of
interval which was 30-35; 16 students government and non-government
were from government schools and 26 schools in reading of mother tongue.
students were from non-government There were total 138 students from
schools. Maximum numbers of government schools and 124 students
students of government schools were from non-government schools. Mean
in the interval of 35-40. There were score of reading mother tongue of
total 42 students of government students of government schools is
schools stand in this range where found to be 31.23 with standard
as from the non-government schools deviation 6.90 and mean score or
maximum numbers of students reading mother tongue of students
were in the range of 40-45 which of non-government schools is found
was highest range of mother tongue to be 37.23 with standard deviation
reading. The number of students 5.44. The‘t’ value of groups was
of non-government schools in this 4.93 at the 0.05 significance level
range was 46 whereas 36 students which is clearly indicating that there
of government schools were in this was significant difference between
highest range. students of government schools and
Students of government English students of non-government schools
medium schools performed best but in the reading of mother tongue.
due to the performance of students Students of non-government schools
of government Hindi medium performed significantly better in the
schools this result was occurred. reading of mother tongue.

Table 7
Mean Performance of Students of Class IV Studying in Government and Non-
Government Schools in Reading of Mother Tongue
Type of Schools Groups Scores ‘t’ Value Level of Significance

Government Schools N 138

Mean 31.23
SD 6.90
Non-Government N 124 4.93 0.05
Schools Mean 37.23
SD 5.44
A Comparative Study of Students of... 55

Table 8
Scores of Students of Government Schools and Non-Government Schools in
Writing of Mother Tongue
Number of Children in Different Types of schools
Government Schools Non-Government Schools
0–5 23 01
5- 10 09 01
10- 15 10 07
15- 20 15 19
20-25 13 15
25-30 16 20
30-35 16 21
35-40 14 22
40-45 18 14
45-50 04 04
Total 138 124

Table 9
Mean Performance of Students of Class IV Studying in Government and Non-
Government Schools (Writing)
Type of schools Groups Scores ‘t’ Value Level of Significance
Government Schools N 138
Mean 23.76
SD 14.44
Non-Government N 124 3.87 0.05
Schools Mean 29.63
SD 09.86

The main focus of the study was two types of schools. There is only one
to find out the difference in learning student of non-government schools
level between students of government scored marks in the range of 0-5
schools and non-government schools whereas 23 students of government
in terms of reading and writing of schools fall in this range. Only one
mother tongue. Table 8 discloses the student of non-government schools
remarkable contrast between levels stands in the range of 5-10 and 9
of learning between students of these students of government schools
 56 Journal of Indian Education February 2015

stand in the range of 5-10. As score Findings

is increasing number of students The major findings of this study are
of non-government schools is also as follows:
increasing whereas with increasing • Students of Government Hindi
score of writing of mother tongue medium schools performed least
number of students of government and students of Government
schools is decreasing. It shows that English medium schools
the performance of students of non- performed best in reading and
government schools is better than the writing of mother tongue.
students of government schools. But • There was significant difference
in the highest interval of 45-50 only between students of government
4 students from both type of schools and students of non-government
stand in this range. schools in mother tongue reading.
Table 9 shows the mean • There was significant difference
performance of students of between students of government
government and non-government and students of non-government
schools in writing of mother tongue. schools in mother tongue writing.
Table indicates that there were
138 students from government Suggestions
schools and 124 students from non-
government schools. The mean score The findings of the study show, that
of students of government schools the students of government schools
is found to be 23.76 with standard Hindi medium performed worst
deviation 14.44 and mean score of in reading and writing of mother
students of non- government schools tongue. So many students of these
is found to be 29.63 with standard schools were not capable to read or
deviation 9.86. write a single word of their mother
As per above table the t value of tongue correctly. So here is a need
writing test of mother tongue is found of regular inspection of these schools
to be 3.87 on 0.05 level of significance; and a mid-term assessment of
which is indicating that there is a students of these schools in severely
significant difference in proficiency needed. As well as a monitoring
of writing mother tongue between committee should be to monitor the
students of government schools and teaching style and technique as well
students of non-government schools. as other behaviour of teacher in the
According to mean and standard classroom. In the absence of ability
deviation of both groups’ students of of reading and writing a child cannot
non-government schools performed study other subjects also. Thus it
better than students of government should be ensured that students can
schools in the writing of mother read or write at the end of primary
tongue. schooling.
A Comparative Study of Students of... 57

Bedi, A. S. and A. Garg. 2000. “The Effectiveness of Private versus Public Schools: The
Case of Indonesia. Journal of Development Economics, 61 (2) 463-494
Bhatia, K. 1997. Fractions a Hard Spot of Learning at the Primary Stage, Glimpses.
A Quarterly Journal of (NDO, DPSEE, NCERT) of Pre-Primary and Elementary
Education, 2 (2) 122-128.
Braun, H., F. Jenkins and W. Grigg. 2006. National Centre for Education Statistics:
Comparing Private and Public Schools Using Hierarchical Linear Model. NCES 2006-
461. Retrieved from http://www.edpubs.or.
Corten, R., and J. Dronkers. 2006. Schools Achievement of Pupils from the Lower Strata
in Public, Private Government-Dependent and Private Government-Independent
Schools: A Cross-National Test of the Coleman Hoffer Thesis. Educational Research
and Evaluation, 12 (2) 179 – 208
Dave, P. N. et. al. 1988. A Comprehensive Evaluation of Project Primary Education
Curriculum Renewal (PECR). National Council of Educational Research and Training,
New Delhi.
Dreze, J. and A. Sen. 1995. India: Economic Development and Social Opportunity. Oxford
University Press, Oxford and New Delhi.
Hawley, Willis D. 1995. The False Premises and False Promises of the Movement to
Privatise Public Education. Teachers College Record, 96(4) 735-742.
Jangira, N. K. 1994. Learning Achievement of Primary Schools Children in Reading and
Mathematics. Research based on Intervention in Primary Education, The DEPEP
Strategy. New Delhi: NCERT.UNESCO, New Delhi. (2001). Education for Street and
Working Children in India. UNESCO, New Delhi.
Kurien. 1991. MLL in Language and Mathematics at the Primary Stage. Centre of
Learning Resource, Pune.
Muralidharan, K. and M. Kremer. 2006. Public and Private Schools in Rural India.
Retrieved from
Muralidharan, K. (n.d.). Public-Private Partnerships for Universal Quality Education.
Retrieved from
Pratham. 2005. Annual Status of Education Report (Rural): Provisional. New Delhi.
. 2006. Annual Status of Education Report (Rural): Provisional. New Delhi.
. 2007. Annual Status of Education Report (Rural): Provisional. New Delhi.
. 2008. Annual Status of Education Report (Rural): Provisional. New Delhi.
. 2009. Annual Status of Education Report (Rural): Provisional. New Delhi.
. 2010. Annual Status of Education Report (Rural): Provisional. New Delhi.
Probe Team. 1999. Public Report on Basic Education in India. Oxford University Press,
Oxford and New Delhi.
Ramakalyani, K. 1993. Mastery of Minimum Levels of Learning in Mathematics for the
Terminal Stage of Primary Education by Students at the Upper Primary Levels.
(Unpublished Master Dissertation). University of Mysore, Mysore.
 58 Journal of Indian Education February 2015

Roy, S., S.D. Mitra and S. S. Ray. 1995. Achievement Level of Primary Schools Children
at the End of Class IV. Indian Statistical Institute. Calcutta, on SCERT, West Bengal
Shanbhag, S. 1992. A Critical Study of the Minimum Levels of Learning Mathematics at
the Terminal Stage of Primary Education. M.Ed. Dissertation, RIE (NCERT), Mysore
University, Mysore.
Ved Prakash. 1999. An Appraisal of Students Achievement during Mid Term Assessment
Survey under DPEP. Paper Presented in International Seminar on Researches in
Schools Effectiveness at Primary Stage. Organized by NCERT, New Delhi.
Willmore, L. 2004. Basic Education as a Human Right. Institute of Economic Affairs.
Blackwell Publishing, Oxford.
Training of Teachers – Search for
Appropriate Instructional Strategy

Presently the training of both prospective and practising teachers is very weak.
One of the main factors contributing to this situation is that teachers are trained
in a way that students in schools are taught. This is based on the premise
that learning behaviour of both adults and students is the same. This is an
erroneous assumption. There are researches which now reflect that children
and adults learn in fundamentally different ways. There are now two sciences–
Pedagogy and Andragogy. The former is the art and science of helping children
to learn and the latter stands for art and science of helping adults to learn. For
an effective training of both prospective and practising teachers, Andragogy
needs to be used failing which the human and material resources invested
would not result in expected dividends. Adults’ training needs to be based
on six (6) principles. Teacher educators should adhere to these principles
while training teachers. One of these principles is that training of teachers
should be problem centred rather than subject centred. This is based on the
fact that adults possess vast knowledge and experience when they come to
the training situation. They want to invest these experiences in the teaching
learning process. If they are subjected to lecturing, they hardly take interest in
the learning experiences. Further, like children adults also learn in number of
ways rather than in one way. Adults also need physical comfort in the learning
situation. The relationship between an adult learner and adult trainer has to
be different from that of a student and teacher in a school.

* Principal, Delhi Teachers’ Training College, 340-Deenpur, Najafgarh, New Delhi-110043.

 60 Journal of Indian Education February 2015

How do Human beings Learn? that children and adults learn in

How does an individual learns, no- fundamentally different ways. The
body is certain? This is because that ways in which adults learn has
the learning process is invisible. It is been an area of interest to scholars
possible to assess the learning, i.e. and educators. This is because that
learning outcomes only on the part of once the way in which adults learn
an individual. In the pre-service teacher is determined, the quality of training
education programme, prospective of pre-service and in-service teachers
teachers are exposed to learning can be improved upon substantially.
theories such as trial and error, It would be possible to optimize
operant conditioning, learning through teachers’ (both pre-service and in-
insight, constructivism and ‘sit and get’ service) learning potential. Malcom
approach. Learning theories describe Knowles has done a lot of work in the
how the information is perceived, area as to how adults learn. If we look
processed and retained by an individual into the history as to when the theory
learner. Prospective teachers are of adults learning was developed, we
equipped with different instructional find that andragogy as a study of
strategies, methods, approaches and adult learning originated in Europe
techniques constituting pedagogy – the in 1950's and was then pioneered
art and science of helping children to as a theory and model of adult
learn. learning from the 1970's by Malcolm
Knowles - an American practitioner
Do Children and Adults Learn in and theorist of adult education, who
the Same Way? defined andragogy as "the art and
Earlier, it was visualised that children science of helping adults to learn"
and adults learn in the same way. As (Zmeyov 1998; Fidishun 2000).
a consequence, pedagogic methods,
approaches and techniques which were Principles of Adult Learning
used for helping children to learn, have Malcom Knowles identified six
been or are even being used presently principles of adult learning. These
in the training of prospective and in- are:
service teachers. Practising teachers • Adults are self-directed;
undergoing professional development • Learning through Collegial
programmes often report overtly that Problem Solving;
pedagogic techniques used by resource • Learning is facilitated when New
persons for transacting the training. Information is connected to the
Vast Background of Knowledge
Children and Adults Learn in and Experience that Adult Learner
Fundamentally Different Ways brings to the Learning Situation;
Presently, there is thinking among • Information is Received and
scholars and educational researchers Processed in more than One Way;
Training of Teachers – Search for Appropriate Instructional Strategy 61

• Trainees are Provided ample therefore, be problem centred rather

Opportunities to Reflect on than subject centred.
Gained Experiences; and Knowles further mentions that
• Experiential Learning adults learn most effectively when
engaged collaboratively with peers.
Adults are Self-directed Therefore, collaboration is the key for
Adult learners resist learning effective training of both pre-service
when they feel others are imposing and in-service teachers. Adults
information/ ideas/action(s) on them learning styles need to be recognised.
(Fidishun, 2000). A teacher-educator Teaching/training strategies of adults
in a college of education should not must match their learning style.
impose information on their learners.
She/ He should rather foster among Learning is Facilitated when New
them internal motivation to learn. Information is Connected to the
He/ She should encourage them Vast Background of Knowledge
to use resources such as library, and Experience that Adult
journals and internet. According Learner Brings to the Learning
to Knowles, while children are Situation
dependent, adults see themselves It is considered that children come
as self-directing. Children have to classroom with blank state. On
questions which they want to be other hand, adults bring with them
answered by someone else. On the vast background of knowledge and
contrary, adults perceive themselves experience. The knowledge possessed
to be capable of answering a part of by an adult is a valuable asset to the
their questions. Children expect to learning environment. But a group of
be told as to what they need to do; adults is more heterogeneous than
adults have their own notions and a group of young students. Adults
viewpoints as to what they want to want their teacher to connect new
do and learn. Children put a low information to what they already
value on their experience. know. Adults want to invest their
knowledge and experience into the
Learning through Collegial
teaching–learning process. They
Problem Solving
therefore, like to be given opportunity
According to Knowles, adult learning to use their existing foundation of
occurs through problem solving. knowledge and experiences gained
Most of the adults engage in learning from life experience, and apply it to
activities with the hope of solving their new learning experiences.
a problem rather than with the On the other hand, teachers’
intention of learning a particular earlier experience is also a double
subject. The training of both pre- edged sword. It can be rich resource
service and in-service teachers must or an impenetrable defence against
 62 Journal of Indian Education February 2015

new learning. Trainers therefore, units of mental functioning. Gardner

need to focus on gaols, to use labels these units as intelligences.
effective questioning and counselling They spring from different areas of
skills and to maintain a facilitative the brain’ (Gardner, 1983). Based
relationship with learners. Otherwise, on these units, there are 8 pathways
learners may use their experience in to learning. As such, human beings
defensive ways. learn in 8 different ways rather than
in one way. This is based on the theory
Information is Received and of multiple intelligences developed in
Processed in more than One Way 1983 by Howard Gardner – Professor
All over the world, teachers teach of Education, Harvard University in
in such a way that students, who USA. Gardner highlights that these
are endowed with highly developed intelligences are - Linguistic, Logical
linguistic and logical mathematical Mathematical, Spatial, and Bodily
intelligences learn the best. These kinesthentic, Musical, Interpersonal,
who are endowed with less developed Intrapersonal Intelligence and
the said intelligences do not learn Naturalist.
properly. These students are often
labelled as ‘learning disabled’. This Eight Pathways to Learning
was based on the premise that Everyone is born with all the eight
students learn in one way only. intelligences. But these are not
It was believed that intelligence is equally developed in an individual.
a unitary concept (g) as advocated by This means that different individuals
Binet (1914). Now there is thinking are strong in two or three different
that a human being is bestowed with intelligences and weak in other
eight intelligences (8gs) instead of one intelligences. Given below are
general intelligence ‘g’. ‘Human beings sketches of brains of two different
therefore, possess eight distinct persons. ‘This manifests clearly that

Sketch 1 Sketch 2
Training of Teachers – Search for Appropriate Instructional Strategy 63

each person’s brain is different’. there are eight potential pathways to

(Huggins and Others, 1997) Sketch-1 learning. Students do not learn only
manifests that the person is strong through traditional linguistic or logical
in Logical Mathematical and Musical ways of instruction. They also learn
intelligences and weak in other through pictures, music, physical
intelligences. Similarly Sketch-2 experience, social experience, self-
manifests that the person is strong reflection and experience in the
in spatial logical mathematical and natural world.
Linguistic Intelligences and weak in
other intelligences. Trainees are Provided Ample
Gardner claims that these Opportunities to Reflect on
eight intelligences rarely operate Gained Experiences
independently. Rather these During the period of trainees, trained
intelligences are used concurrently need to be provided adequate time
and typically complement each to reflect on the gained experiences.
other as individuals solve problems. Each day in the beginning, trainees
For instance, a surgeon undertakes need to be asked as to what they
operations. For undertaking learnt on the previous day. Reflection
operations, he/she requires at least throws the light on our experiences
three highly developed intelligences- back into minds to consider what
Bodily kinesthentics, Spatial and the experience was and what it
Interpersonal to undertake the meant. It facilitates internalisation
operations. Similarly a dancer uses of the experiences. There should be
three highly developed intelligences- a cycle of experience and reflection.
Bodily kinesthentic, Musical and The continuous interplay between
Interpersonal. the learner and what is being
Each individual has different sets learnt by him/her hardly need any
of developed intelligences. Thus an emphasis.
individual has unique set of intellectual
strengths and weaknesses. This is Experiential Learning
commonly referred to as learning Experiential learning means that
style of an individual. Different learning through experience.
strong intelligences of an individual Experiential learning can be defined
determine his/her learning style. as process whereby knowledge is
Therefore individuals with many created through transformation of
learning styles are in a learning experience. According to the theory of
situation. These sets of intelligences experiential learning, teachers, need
determine how easy or difficult it is to be provided tasks and assignments
for an individual to learn information and engaged in activities through
when it is presented in a particular which they should gain the necessary
manner. According to Gardner, knowledge.
 64 Journal of Indian Education February 2015

Implications of Andragogy for reinforcement is more effective

Training of Teachers in skill building than training
that does not provide these
• Training of both pre-service opportunities;
and in-service teachers needs • An adult learner needs physical
to be based on the principles comfort in the learning situation;
of andragogy and not on • Early activities in a training
pedagogic principles. Andragogic programme need to allow
techniques include discussion, maximum participation by
field experiences, simulation learners so that they can invest
exercises and problem solving their experiences and values in
cases. Pedagogic techniques the learning process; and
such as lectures, audio-visual • At the school level, the relationship
presentations, and self-reading between a teacher and her/his
should not be used. students is that of a dominant
• Andragogy need to be included teacher and the dependent
in the curricula of M. Ed. and M. learner. Such a relationship is
Phil in Education courses; not workable between an adult
• Skill building is an important learner and the adult trainer.
aspect of teacher education The adult trainer is required to
programme. Training that be friendly and courteous to the
provides practice, feedback, and adult learner.

Fidishun, D. 2000. Andragogy and technology: Integrating adult learning theory as we
teach with technology. [Conference Paper]: 5th Annual Instructional Technology
Conference. Retrieved April 4, 2007, from Middle Tennessee State University
Gardner, H. 1993. Multiple Intelligences: The Theory in Practice. Basic Books, New York.
Zmeyov, S.I . 1998. Andragogy. Origins, developments and trends. International Review
of Education. [electronic version] 44(1) p.105. Retrieved on April 4, 2007
Quality Concerns in School Education
Shankar Sharan*

This paper is based on the observations and experiences gathered during
a three-month teaching assignment at a Kendriya Vidyalaya in a small
town of eastern India. It was precisely the quality concerns that repeatedly
troubled this author, since the school being a Kendriya Vidyalaya it had all
the necessary amenities that anyone can ask for in a secondary school. It is
even more troubling because the prevalent educational discourses devote more
time to material requirements for education and little to the quality/ essence
of education.

I consider that the great national sin is the neglect of the masses, and that is one of the
causes of our downfall. No amount of politics would be of any avail until the masses in
India are once more well educated. (Swami Vivekanand)

The first thing that caught the which points to some serious
author’s attention was the school problems with teachers.
environment. Nothing was amiss It had something to do with
outwardly – beautiful locale, clean teachers’ lackadaisical attitude
surroundings, proper ventilations, towards students. Whether all of them
safe drinking water, adequate rooms, are really fit to handle students’ needs
playground, well-timed assembly, remained a nagging question during
prayers, notices and speeches, school the whole three months observation
bells, routine wise classes, cultural because the living example of a
activities, regular tests and score teacher is more important than his
cards. It was observed that all 1500 knowledge. Therefore, finding a real
odd students in the school looked teacher is the first task of education.
much happier than their teachers, But during selection process the
* Professor, Department of Political Science, Faculty of Arts, The MS University of Baroda,
Vadodara- 390002
 66 Journal of Indian Education February 2015

schools should carefully take into scholars as the most essential part in
account the thoughts, mindset and educational efforts. Everything else
character of the prospective teacher. should be done next to it. However,
Many job seekers do merely for a in practice our educational enterprise
living with little understanding of works the other way round. Budget,
what it takes to be a good teacher. infrastructural supplies and other
Worse, many of them show no intent issues remain all through in the
to learn also. As a result after being centre of almost all discussion and
employed they carry out their duty policymaking process. Appropriate
as an ordinary job with little regard selections and ways to find good
for one of the most crucial tasks for teachers remain a peripheral concern
students in the world. The ill-will of and hence adversely affect the quality
many teachers indicates a missing of education.
link in our education as many of them This is the reason why, when
lack the character or will to be a good one looks closely at the faces and
teacher, yet are manning the schools. behaviours of teachers in the school,
(Administrative and bureaucratic it gave the impression that something
pressures also affect even a good is missing. Do they lack affection,
teacher’s conduct, a point we skip for regard, devotion and sensitivity to
the moment.) the needs of children? Such elements
have little to do with monetary and
Quality of Teachers material supplies. Somewhat of
One cannot but to recall here the spiritual nature, it is found only
great educational philosopher in those people who have the right
Rabindranath Tagore. He was not only feelings for being a teacher. Quality
a great thinker but an active teacher concerns for school education have
as well. Hence his observations to address this issue in all earnest.
should have been taken even more Without real teachers, who work
seriously. Discussing the Problem of more for love than for money, even
Education (1906), he wrote: “When world class infrastructures cannot
making plans for some work for public ensure good education.
welfare that we have undertaken, we Many incidents in KV proved
concentrate on the preliminaries, this assumption right. As already
such as house and furniture, and mentioned, the school had no
we get many headaches over what scarcity of material supplies.
they will cost, although they are Teachers were well paid. Sufficient
mostly superfluous. The tendency to rooms, furniture, toilets, drinking
care more for inessentials than for water, games and sports etc. were
essentials is now seen in every aspect all there. Yet the copybooks and
of our life.” He considered finding answer books of students did show
the real teachers, the gurus and the many shortcomings. Poor language,
Quality Concerns in School Education 67

in general, was the most prominent of poor teacher material. All these are
indicator. Even some teachers made indicators of sub-standard education,
glaring mistakes. For instance, a despite no lack of funds for a school.
language teacher wrote on blackboard Such cases are reported in thousands
incorrectly even the title of the lesson of other schools in our country. The
he was teaching. What he taught point here is that such problems
was also below the mark. He spent have no remedy even after providing
much time scolding the children more funds or making strict rules for
for not bringing the textbook, being teachers.
inattentive and so forth. Moreover,
copybooks of children had several Wrong Orientation
linguistic errors which were left Another stumbling block is that
uncorrected, even after the teachers teaching and learning in schools has
had gone through and signed it. become mainly examination oriented.
Either the teacher had seen the copies Despite tall talks about aims and
carelessly or he/she himself has poor objectives of education or curriculum,
command over the language. Some the education remains merely score
teachers lack in adequate knowledge centric. Teachers, parents as well
of English language and literature, as students all seem concerned
English/American life and thought, mainly with test grades and scores.
yet they are the teachers to whom It was, therefore, no surprise that
we trust our children’s introduction the National Curriculum Framework
to English learning. A serious (NCF) 2005 as such has never figured
concern about quality education is in their formal or informal talks. The
that teachers knowing neither good impact of the document must be
English nor good Hindi (or Bangali, hidden through the course contents
etc.) cannot do justice with teaching. made after it. But there was a snag
It results in bad quality of learning here too.
for children, many quite talented, in For various reasons, many
the most important subject. Teachers students and teachers do not use
are expected to have good command standard textbooks. Unavailability of
over the medium of instruction, most textbooks, occasional use of difficult
importantly because only through and complicated language and
language one learns almost all others. tendency to study only for writing
Then, many teachers were obvious exams are said to be the reasons
slackers. They go late to class without for opting for easy question-answer
preparation, talk irrelevant topics, type help-books. Although teachers
and do not attend the questions and parents have high regard for
of students with due care, etc. NCERT textbooks yet they were not
Beating children, sometimes quite very enthusiastic and willing to use
unnecessarily, was another evidence them, as the whole teaching-learning
 68 Journal of Indian Education February 2015

being score-centric make guide- only before the examination day.

books more in demand among the Whatever is retained in memory after
students. Though help-books are not this, he writes in the test and then
always accurate in contents, yet they forgets it later. He studies regularly
contain syllabi based questions and only Maths, Physics, Chemistry and
short answers usable for examination sometimes English. This must be
purposes. Hence its popularity is the same case with large number of
on par with, if not more than, the students. My own experiences there,
textbooks. especially in higher classes, made me
think that teaching social science and
Textbooks and Helpbooks humanities for the sake of learning
Examination centric education and knowledge, not for scoring in
and popularity of guidebooks exams, is less popular with students.
seem interlinked. If abilities Most of them take social science as
like comprehension, capacity of extra burden. In other words, social
expression, character and personality science is studied merely for passing
development are not given due the exam with good grade, and not for
importance, at least in comparison developing a sound understanding of
to getting good scores in scholastic the contents.
subjects, then run of the mill help- It means that the whole range
books make sense. It helps students of lofty goals set in our discourses
obtain better marks with modest and educational documents remain
effort. It is futile to criticize them. Of largely neglected in practice. Other
course, the examinations and tests than becoming good technicians
can also be so structured as to test and professionals in different fields
the genuine abilities, scholastic and a large part of our new generation
non-scholastic, of a student. But lack in their literary, ethical, social
frequent and mass scale testing is and national perceptions. Many of
not always so arranged. Usually them become good moneymakers but
test questions make a set pattern. not a poor human being and citizen.
Publishers and professional writers They have not received education in
accordingly produce suitable help- true sense, the education in actual
books, thus making it more attractive sense of the word that cultivates
than the textbooks. refined sense and thoughts – the
The result is particularly harmful qualities developed through reading
for learning language and social great books of literature, philosophy
science subjects. A fairly intelligent and history. (When a boy or a girl
student of Class X said forthrightly reads something for pleasure, such
that he never study social science as a story, fable or biography, his/
books. He takes up a help-book her capacity for reading increases
of the subject and cram for hours imperceptibly and his/her power of
Quality Concerns in School Education 69

comprehension, assimilation and locations it would be hard to find

retention grows stronger in an easy anyone or anything helpful to make
and natural manner.) But these very one understand such unfamiliar
subjects, clubbed as humanities issues. It is not used even in media
and social sciences, are taken as discussion. This, in addition, means
burden by students and parents. it has little to do with fundamental
Hence, social science teachers are concepts of social science the growing
accordingly given less importance children should learn first. Load of
than the teachers of natural sciences. such complex contents makes the
subject more burdensome.
Contents of Social Science As the great Political Scientist
Some reason for this “burden” feeling Ernest Barker emphasised, we
is also attributed to contents in social must not expect children to
science textbooks, as all teachers turn out complete citizens from
constantly grumbled. Frequent school. We should be content with
changing of contents, syllabi and children to have only rudimentary
textbooks in social science subjects understanding of political issues –
was also a complaint. “Look, there is understanding fundamentals of some
one combined book for Science and political concepts and institutions
three for Social Science in class VII. should suffice. ‘Learning fewer but
Why make it so burdensome, that better’ should be our goal in social
too for underage students?” It is sad sciences. If we aspire prematurely
that even those who campaigned for for more, then we are putting the
‘learning without burden’ could do children in danger and leading them
little to ease the problem. Sometimes to intellectual dishonesty. The young
it is just the opposite that happens. minds would accept and proclaim
Besides, it is certainly difficult to unrealised generalisations, unrelated
explain so many complicated concepts to their experience. This should be
to young students who find it beyond avoided at all cost while teaching
their ability to comprehend, especially social sciences, especially history and
the concepts that are heard little even political science.
in academic discourse and not found There is another reason for such
in standard dictionaries. For instance: caution as political science and
‘majoritarianism’. The term has a history are tricky subjects. Even
derogatory connotation and still has familiar concepts such as justice,
to be accorded a meaning with wide freedom, law, rights, diversity or unity
acceptance among scholars. A school can be taught with entirely different
textbook has little scope to present meanings because politics is also a
it in detail to be understood even by battleground of various interests.
teachers, let alone by children. Even Interests of nations, classes, races,
in thousands of small towns and rural parties, groups are part of the subject.
 70 Journal of Indian Education February 2015

Children must be spared in fighting this event, all that children could do is
this battle, otherwise we would do rote memorisation of the text without
them great harm. proper understanding, with the same
A quality education in social result (in Tagore’s words) “as that of
sciences, therefore, must first of swallowing food without chewing it.”
all try to generate interest among In any case, complex notions and
the learners. Interest is the basis phrases are not explained enough
of concentration. Lessons must in class, thus making it trickier for
be taught with child’s attention. If students. Many do not bring the
interested, he/ she would much prefer relevant textbooks in social science
to get to the end of the subject rather class; the reason cited being the heavy
than leave it unfinished. Starting with weight of all the textbooks required
terms like ‘majoritarianism’ does just for a day in school. Some students
the opposite. It is not an exceptional do not even have the textbook.
case. In a single Political Science Instead they keep the help-book for
textbook for secondary students one a social science subject. In fact, some
can find many terms that is difficult children did not seem to have any
to understand even by teachers. sense of difference between textbook
Terms like ethnicity, Maronite Sect and guide-book. To the command
of Catholic Christians, Sunni and ‘open your textbook’ in the class
Shia Muslims, ‘coming together’ some children innocently open their
federations and ‘holding together’ guide-book. These ground realities
federations, ‘regular’ rules, Civil need to be taken into account while
Rights movement in the USA, The discussing different approaches in
Black Power movement, Dalit and education.
Dalit activists, Apartheid, Migration, The respect for NCERT textbooks
Roma people, Feminist movement, in social sciences seems to have
gender division of labour, patriarchy lost ground. Though traditional
and patriarchal society, caste admiration for the NCERT textbooks
hierarchy caste system, urbanisation, is still intact, yet they are not always
occupational mobility, Maoism, used in social science class. I have
pressure groups, partisanship, seen a teacher consulting an ordinary
morality and politics, economic guide book, not the NCERT textbook,
growth, etc. are some examples cited when a question came up about
from just one book. A secondary stage what the ‘April thesis’ was (another
student is given to handle several abstruse term!). He did it as a matter
social science textbooks. With his/ of course, not as some provisional
her limited resources even a teacher recourse. Obviously he too considered
has great difficulty to fully understand textbooks as any other books not
such terms himself / herself, let alone different from helpbooks published
explaining it to children with ease. In by sundry publishers.
Quality Concerns in School Education 71

From informal talks it seemed students. Sometimes the meaning

that repeated controversies and of a given passage eludes a common
frequent changing of textbooks, reader. New terms and technical
replacing whole topics in social phrases are used in the textbook
science textbooks have not gone well in a way as if they are commonly
with teachers and parents. Teachers understood by all. That is also why
call and compare social science even some teachers take the easy
textbooks by the label of ‘Congress route to keep question-answer help
made’ and ‘BJP made’, lowering the books to cover the course to prepare
esteem of the contents. It shows that students for exams.
our textbooks, for whatever reasons,
are losing respect accorded to precise No Detention Policy
texts one turns to for authentic The practice of ‘no detention up to
knowledge. class VIII’ is also an issue for quality
A teacher recalling some old concerns. From East India to South
books of political science published India similar complaints are made
by NCERT said that he could never by teachers. That it increases the
figure out why they were discarded. number of slackers among students.
Nor he found any explanation According to a teacher, it helps in
about it. A parent directly accused turning “good students into average,
some passage in a social science average into poor and poor into totally
textbook of ‘blatant prejudice’ that is careless ones”. They have no fear of
certain to ‘provoke quarrel between failing in exams and whether they
communities’. Some teachers and study or not, they know that they
parents have the feeling that there will pass and be promoted to next
is politicisation behind changes in class. Strange as it is, it also makes
social science textbooks. It reminds little sense for conducting exams.
one to be careful about the casual, What is the point if all will pass and
political or bureaucratic approach in move to the next class? It cannot
making and unmaking educational be just to ascertain the progress of
documents and textbooks. It affects students because generally teachers
general regard towards our textbooks. and parents have an idea about
Linguistic and printing errors are their charges. Secondly, this practice
also a frequent complain to which no produces bizarre spectacle as some
explanation would do. Quality is at students in class IX are found with
stake here, and complacency would no ability to write even a single
not help our publications anymore. sentence correctly in any language.
Another point against social What kind of education they received
science textbooks is made about its after spending eight valuable years
language. Teachers as well as parents in a school? Whose fault is this?
find the language not suitable for These questions demand urgent and
 72 Journal of Indian Education February 2015

thorough consideration. It is time an apparent change in educational

our policy makers and educationists development. The tuition/ coaching
come out of populist/cosmetic centres are becoming the new centres
measures just to show off progress in of what is now called ‘education’. It
education. is no use just denouncing them.
Some teachers and students Obviously they are providing
also complained that unscrupulous something for which even most
teachers use CCE as a handle to ordinary parents are willing to pay
coerce students to take private for their children. What is it, and why
tuitions. Some others complained of it is not available in formal schools?
CCE as another load as it compels Perhaps, the term education itself
them to fill long charts for hundreds has undergone some change in the
of students regularly for which they process. To understand these issues
have hardly any time. Along with systematic studies are required.
completing the course in different
classes, checking copybooks and Language Education
assignments of hundreds of students Education of language and language
regularly, conducting extra curricular of education is the most important
activities and other duties given by aspect of quality concerns. In fact, it is
the administration from time to time the most important aspect. Almost all
teachers are hard pressed for time, if educational activities are transacted
they try imparting quality education. not only through language, but also
On the other hand, some teachers do because language is the medium
not even take attendance themselves, through which a person find his own
and pass it on to monitors or other self. Therefore, a sound learning of
students. Such teachers would hardly language should be the very core of
do the additional work for the CCE. school education.
However, it is not so in practice. My
Tuition and Coaching Centres recent experience in the school was a
Burgeoning tuition/coaching centres painful one. According to a teacher,
for high school education in all towns many students in secondary level
of our country is another point to are not able to write their own names
mull over. Comparative study of these correctly in Hindi. That does not mean
centres vis-à-vis the formal high that they are better in English, neither
schools is required to understand had it meant that the students are
the scenario. Also, there are no social all stupid. It simply means that we
science tuition/ coaching at high are not adequately careful about the
school level anywhere. Why are the importance of language education.
subjects unimportant or everything It reflects in the fact that even some
about it is self-understood? The printed question papers, in school
proliferating tuition centres show tests, had spelling, grammatical and
Quality Concerns in School Education 73

conceptual errors. Such incidents to hear even a sentence in English

are taken so lightly that teachers and outside classrooms other than for the
administrators do not always bother little time in their classrooms. That is
to come into the examination room not sufficient because for ‘practical’
and make corrections for the benefit purposes the classroom transaction
of examinees. It is natural then that is done in mixed language. English
during examining copybooks also a language is not spoken or heard in
number of linguistic errors committed the area although it is recognised as
by an examinee remain unattended. the standard language for instruction
A copybook is checked and marking in school. What a pitiable situation
duly done, but without underlining or it is for young learners that many
correcting all the linguistic mistakes educationists, teachers and parents
made by the examinee. Resulting in have no idea about it! For one, it
the situation students would never means that even otherwise intelligent
know the difference between correct children are made cripples in the
and incorrect words and sentences. defining ability of a human being, the
Sometimes students make different linguistic ability, for no fault of theirs.
errors while writing the same word I have seen several such students
on the same page. He has little idea just in one school. They are great
of linguistic correctness. This kind in sense, observation and even oral
of perceptual poverty is not only or expression. But no sooner they start
always a student’s fault. Liability for writing their linguistic deficiency
such a situation also lies with the become agonisingly apparent. Worse,
education planners at large, since they they have no idea of their own cripple
seem not careful enough to ensure state. Neither the teachers can do
best efforts for language education. much to alleviate the situation.
English being the medium of Because many of them are not able
school education even in muffasil themselves on neither this score nor
and small towns it is affecting it is in the priority list they have been
children’s education, neglecting the handed over by the higher ups.
first language. Close observation On this issue, English being
reveals painful realities on this score. the language of instruction even
More and more schools are now in remote areas the followings
being affiliated with the CBSE. It are some of the facts which also
requires them to adopt English as the demand consideration: (i) in local
language of education, even for those bookshops neither elementary
schools situated in remote areas. Not English storybooks are available nor
only is it a cruel denial of children’s are there any periodical for the young
fundamental right to receive learners. It is difficult to find even
education in their own language, it good dictionaries; (ii) finding good
also means that children never get teachers, capable of teaching in good
 74 Journal of Indian Education February 2015

English, are difficult in such schools; urban children. However, it is evident

(iii) curriculum and study design from the language and illustrations
is not conducive particularly for used in textbooks and other reading
literature studies, which is another materials for children. They are
barrier in learning good language, almost exclusively metro-centric
because literary interest is essential lingo, illustrated with examples and
for knowing good language – any incidents taken from western scenario
language. Thus from the beginning also. It betrays a naïve mindset,
most children are likely to be affected unconcerned if those examples,
by language problem which is the illustrations and phrases would be
very basis of all education. Their understood by millions of Indian
personality development and thinking students and even by teachers. If an
capacity also will be adversely affected English Reader for children contains
for lack of writing and expressive a story about a large ball party or a
abilities. However, the people are quarrel that Charlie and Katie had
unable to do anything about all of when they were snowballing. These
it, as people in general do not even narrations recount incidents familiar
recognise the dire situation. Besides, to British/American children,
how can they help about a language interesting and enjoyable to them.
that they do not understand? Such stories rouse no memories in
Policy makers, educationists and the minds of our children; unfold
government leaders do not seem no pictures before their eyes. Our
to be aware of these realities. Their children, even those living in Delhi or
interactions remain largely confined Bangalore, simply grope about in the
to a narrow circle with metro-centric dark when reading such books.
middle class experiences about the Not only in literature but in social
problems of schools. For all practical science books for children obscure
purposes the rural situations are foreign contents are numerous.
not taken into account. If at all, it I have seen teachers baffled by
is just imagined to be so and such illustrations in textbooks. Why are
imaginations hardly match up with the examples, illustrations, pictures
the realities. Such conclusion is etc. used in textbooks not taken from
evident when one compares academic common Indian scenario? All kinds of
concerns noted in documents and examples, from social to geographical
papers with the actual situation, as to political, are available in Indian
mentioned above. events as well. If school textbook
Few educationists seem writers seem indifferent in choosing
concerned about the language issue, a native or foreign scenario, it shows
especially if English is helping or they are insensitive to its effect on
hindering the general education of ordinary children. In most cases, such
rural and even non-middle class writers cater to the metro-centric
Quality Concerns in School Education 75

middle class populace, insensitive circumstances. If the general damage

to the situation of the largest section is not even acknowledged, the reason
of students and teachers in semi- is that our country being so big, even
urban, rural areas, and their need to (say) 5% school children escaping the
learn the basics of social science and ill-designed fate ultimately produces
humanities. Teachers and students a large technical work force for our
living in a corner of any district in the country and the world. This absolute
country can hardly consult anyone to number of good students, coming out
understand a foreign cartoon or an year after year from urban schools and
old news item from a Latin American supplied to scientific and business
country. They must feel stupid or institutions, result in producing
helpless. How it affects children’s hundreds of thousands technical
education and self-image is a point hands regularly. It conceals the poor
few elite care to mull over. fate of a huge number of equally or
There is yet another indicator to more bright children whose progress
perceive the situation on language suffer from an unfriendly language
issue. Many textbooks, help-books barrier. They fall behind and remain
and other reading materials meant poorly educated for no fault of theirs.
for children at the same time contain Their immediate society is powerless
a number of linguistic mistakes, in helping them precisely because it
botched expressions and convoluted can do anything in its own language.
sentences. This also means that the English thus makes the otherwise
materials are made and supervised concerned society utterly helpless to
by those who little understand the assist its children. In fact it effectively
importance of good, correct and cuts them off from taking regular
meaningful language for reading care of what the children are learning
material meant for children. The or not learning in schools. Such
reason is not due to lack of money, issues are hardly ever noticed by our
but those in charge preparing educationists, even though they are
reading materials are unaware of the very real.
fundamental significance of language
learning. Three Conclusions
Thus, for many known and In all, from my experiences in the
unknown reasons, even the sensible school I have come to three tentative
children are deprived of learning conclusions. Conclusions I could not
good language itself by so elaborate reach but for the direct experiences I
arrangements of education in English. had in a remote school. They are also
Luckily a small percentage of children relevant for the quality concerns in
still escape the inadvertently designed education:
fate, thanks to private efforts, family 1. One can help in education
situation and other fortuitous meaningfully only by directly
 76 Journal of Indian Education February 2015

engaging in teaching and school teaching community from the

educational work. No outside actual decision makers. This seems
effort, howsoever useful, can be a to be a miscalculation going on for a
substitute for this. long time. School timings, textbooks
2. Ground realities at small and far contents, syllabi size, examination
away places are very different design, mid-day meal business,
from what we imagine at academic engaging teachers for sundry non-
places in the metros and high educational works, etc. could be
places. Sometimes those realities examples of such decisions. These
are not even noticed by higher issues are decided without taking into
ups. account the views of the teachers,
3. Language of education is one and without considering every related
serious issue we have not aspect of an impending decision.
adequately addressed so far. It It is time we stop being self-
is affecting adversely so many congratulatory about our own
aspects of children’s education, declarations and paper-achievements,
sometimes permanently. The without actually taking the trouble
power of thought and the power of assessing whether it has changed
of imagination, indispensable something in practice. Or has it
for discharging the duties of life, changed for positive or negative
are dependent on good learning results? Educational planners and
of language and literature. “We academics usually devote much time
cannot do without those two to their pet theoretico-ideological
powers if want to live like real men. concerns, collecting all kinds of issues
And unless we cultivate them in and slogans in a document, while
childhood we cannot have them some fundamental questions do not
when we are grown up.” (Tagore) get adequate hearing in deliberations.
Therefore, to help quality education Going through such documents
a sensible and constant effort is gives an uneasy feeling. Sentences,
required. Such effort cannot be made paragraphs, descriptions, data and
only by educational bureaucrats, box declarations seem quite without
assorted university professors and harmony, unrelated to one another.
highly placed intellectuals. Many of The successive sentences, pages and
them have never been to a school chapters seem like accumulating
classroom after leaving their own building materials without building
high schools. It is no big secret that anything. Mere inclusion of phrases,
many directives and decisions about notions and issues seem sufficient,
school education are formulated and as if just mention of them in a
taken by those who are neither a document is like an achievement.
teacher nor a serious educationist. Our documents have a long
There seem to be a total separation of tradition of a self-satisfied attitude.
Quality Concerns in School Education 77

Phrases like ‘neighbourhood school’, substantially. Before publishing the

‘evening school’, ‘socialistic pattern’, final version of a reading material for
‘inclusiveness’, ‘constructivism’ children, comments should be invited
etc. come and go without affecting from a large number of readers
anything in practice as far as the including teachers, students and
whole country is concerned. At no parents, and discussed honestly.
time those ideas or jargon-ridden In any case the making of
papers chemically fuse with our educational materials should not
surroundings or lives. be a hasty exercise. Social science
It appears, social participation textbooks should be thoroughly
in framing educational goals, in revised in view of our knowledge
finding ways to achieve them, and needs, and not after the political
in curriculum making exercise fashion of the time. Finally, there
should be vastly increased. should be serious and multiple
Teachers’ involvement in textbook studies about the effects of English
making should also be increased medium education with all its facets.
Development of Education in the
North-Eastern States
A Study in National Perspective
K.N. Pathak* J.S.Tomar**

The development in education sector in the North Eastern (NE) states of India in the
last 67 years since independence needs to be reviewed. Government of India has been
providing financial support to North Eastern States through various schemes. However, in
spite of that, the pace of development under different sub sectors of education has been
uneven. Four NE States namely Tripura, Meghalaya, Arunachal Pradesh and Sikkim
have made significant (>25%) improvement in raising the literacy rate. An analysis of
Pupil - Teacher Ratio (PTR) in different NE states over the given 20 years period reveals
that while the PTR has changed adversely in case of Manipur and Meghalaya, it has
improved significantly in Assam, Mizoram and Tripura. Teachers’ training scenario at
primary stage is very pathetic in Nagaland, Manipur, Arunachal Pradesh and Mizoram.
In only three of eight NE States (i.e., Assam, Sikkim and Tripura) more than 50 % primary
school teachers are trained. The scenario in case of Middle/Senior Basic Schools is more
or less the same as that of the primary stage. Keeping in view the trend of achievements
in terms of GER for girls at upper primary level, the States of Nagaland, Tripura and
Sikkim would have to make concerted efforts for success of Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan(SSA),
particularly through the focus on upper primary level. An encouraging trend is observed
in the expansion of colleges in the North Eastern States. However, the States of Mizoram
and Nagaland were still not having a single engineering college till 2008-09. Over two
decades’ period, the number of medical colleges in the NE region grew up to 18. However,
the State of Mizoram and Nagaland still remained deprived in term of medical education
also. In order to reduce the regional disparity and for mainstreaming of the entire North
Eastern region, emphasis should be laid on strengthening the institutions as well as
quality of education at every stage of education i.e., from Primary to University level.
* Joint Advisor, Project Appraisal and management Division, Planning Commission, Yojana Bhawan,
Sansad Marg, New Delhi – 110001.
** Deputy Director, Central Statistics Office, MoS and PI, 25, K.G.Marg, J.P.Building, 9th Floor,
New Delhi 110001.
The views expressed in this paper are those of the authors and not of the institution to which they belong.
Development of Education in the North-Eastern States— A Sudy in... 79

Introduction above national average of (74.04%)

In last 67 Years of independent India, as per 2011 Census, which provides
there has been tremendous progress a good pool of educated human
in the field of education. Beginning resources in the region. It is however
with the emphasis on universalisation observed that in spite of the Central
of elementary education, the Government’s efforts to provide
Government has stretched its efforts proportionate funding to all the NE
to development of higher and technical states, the pace of development under
education in the country. To ensure different sub sectors of education
a balanced pace of development has been uneven. Disparity in
across the country, the Government educational development among the
of India has been providing financial NE States may have been because of
support to North-Eastern States for their fiscal constraints or geophysical
various schemes. It may be noted compulsions. Moreover, inter-state
that with a view to provide balanced variations in respect of educational
development, Government of India developments among NE States may
decided to earmark 10% of the entire be due to priorities accorded by the
Central Government plan fund for respective State Governments to the
the North Eastern States. Setting up specific sub sectors of education
of the Department of North Eastern and allocations accordingly. As it is
Region (DONER) by Government was known, the standard norms adopted
an effective step in this direction by Government of India for funding all
which mainly aimed at expediting the Centrally Sponsored Schemes for
the pace of development in the entire all the NE States is in the proportion
North Eastern region of the country. of 90:10.
From the available data, it is Analysis of development in
observed that except Arunachal various sub sectors of education
Pradesh and Assam, the other North among different NE States brings
Eastern States are educationally forth interesting observations. By
advanced States of the country as analysing the progress made in
far as the literacy scenario in India different sub sectors of education in
is concerned. It is noted that all the NE States over the last two/three
North Eastern States have made decades, we can develop a comparative
very good progress in increasing the framework to help us in assessing
literacy rate in the period between the outcome of measures taken by
2001 and 2011. respective State Governments and
It is interesting to observe that also the impact of central assistance
the NER is a highly literate region. through various centrally sponsored
Except for Arunachal Pradesh (66.95) schemes for which 90% of the fund is
and Assam (73.18), all the other provided by Central Government. For
States have literacy rates of about or systematic development, any State
 80 Journal of Indian Education February 2015

Table 1
States wise literacy rate over 1991 to 2011

Literacy Rate: (as per Census)

India/NE States 1991 2011 % increase over two


India 52.2 74.04 21.84

Assam 52.9 73.18 20.28

Arunachal 41.6 66.95

Pradesh 25.35

Manipur 59.9 79.85 19.95

Meghalaya 49.1 75.48 26.38

Mizoram 82.3 91.58 9.28

Nagaland 61.6 80.11 18.51

Sikkim 56.9 82.20 25.30

Tripura 60.4 87.75 27.35

Source: Population Census, 1991, 2011, Office of Registrar General of India and Census Commissioner.

requires its people to be educated. literacy rate in two States namely,

Literacy is the first step towards Assam (73.18) and Arunachal
educational development. To begin Pradesh (66.95) is still below the
with, we could make a comparative national average (74.04). Hence these
study of improvement in literacy rate two States need to make additional
in these states between two decades efforts in this direction.
i.e.; 1991-2011. To ensure that the entire gamut
From the above table, it is observed of population in the concerned age
that the four NE States(namely group has access to education; the
Tripura, Meghalaya, Arunachal State is required to create basic
Pradesh and Sikkim) have made infrastructure facilities. Pupil-
significant (>25%) improvement in Teacher Ratio is one of the key
raising the literacy rate in the period indicators of educational progress.
over two decades i.e., 1991-2011. The available data in this regards is
However, it is observed that the given in the following tables:
Development of Education in the North-Eastern States— A Sudy in... 81

Pupil-Teacher Ratio (PTR)

Table 2(a)
Pupil-Teacher Ratioat Primary/Junior Basic School Stage
India/NE States 1987-88 2008-09 %Change over
Two Decades
India 42 44 2
Assam 48 36 -12
Arunachal 29 22
Pradesh -7
Manipur 19 33 14
Meghalaya 32 40 8
Mizoram 26 17 -9
Nagaland 24 25 1
Sikkim 14 14 0
Tripura 30 27 -3
Sources: (i) Selected Education Statistics, Department of Education, MHRD, GOI, 1987-88. (ii) Statistics
of School Education (Abstract) 2008-2009, Bureau of Planning, Monitoring and Statistics, MHRD,
GOI, 2010.

Table 2(b)
Pupil-Teacher Ratio at Middle/Senior Basic School Stage
India/NE 1987-88 2008- %Change over Two
States 09 Decades
India 33 34 1
Assam 31 17 -14
Arunachal 24 25
Pradesh 1
Manipur 17 22 5
Meghalaya 17 12 -5
Mizoram 11 8 -3
Nagaland 22 17 -5
Sikkim 15 14 -1
Tripura 25 18 -7
Sources: (i) Selected Education Statistics, Department of Education, MHRD, GOI, 1987-88. (ii)
Statistics of School Education (Abstract) 2008-2009, Bureau of Planning, Monitoring and Statistics,
MHRD, GOI, 2010.
 82 Journal of Indian Education February 2015

An appropriate Pupil-Teacher Ratio of good education is laid at primary

facilitates a conducive teaching- stage. Hence, having appropriate PTR
learning environment. From the point at this stage is all the more necessary.
of view of perception of students, a In case of this segment (i.e. Middle/
classroom with 30-35 students may Senior Basic School Stage) by and
be treated as appropriate. Keeping large there has been improvement in
this in view, it is observed from the PTR except for the States of Arunachal
above table 2(a) that at the All India Pradesh and Manipur, where it has
level, necessary steps are required for increased by 1 and 5 respectively.
having a proportionate Pupil - Teacher In case of PTR at High school
Ratio (PTR). However, an analysis of stage, while the achievement in case
PTR in different NE states over the of Sikkim and Assam reflect better
given 20 years’ period indicates that performance, the State of Arunachal
while the PTR has changed adversely Pradesh has maintained status-quo.
in case of Manipur and Meghalaya, it However, it has changed adversely
has improved significantly in Assam, in case of Nagaland, Manipur,
Mizoram and Tripura. In fact, the Meghalaya and Mizoram. In case of
States of Meghalaya, Assam and these States adequate steps need to
Manipur would need to take concrete be taken to provide quality education
steps for appointing requisite keeping in view the fact that a sizable
number of teachers for introducing number of young people enter the
appropriate PTR. Further, it is work force after completing education
important to note that the foundation upto this stage only.
Table 2 (c)
Pupil-Teacher Ratio at High/Post Basic School Stage
India/NE States 1987-88 2008-09 %Change over
Two Decades
India 29 32 3
Assam 28 20 -8
Arunachal Pradesh 23 23 0
Manipur 21 27 6
Meghalaya 24 28 4
Mizoram 10 11 1
Nagaland 21 30 9
Sikkim 18 8 -10
Tripura 23 25 2
Sources: (i) Selected Education Statistics, Department of Education, MHRD, GOI, 1987-88.
(ii) Statistics of School Education (Abstract) 2008-2009, Bureau of Planning, Monitoring and Statistics,
MHRD, GOI, 2010.
Development of Education in the North-Eastern States— A Sudy in... 83

Teacher’s Training The Scenario at Middle/Senior

The outcome of education depends Basic School Stage is more or less
mainly on the content and quality the same as that of the primary stage.
of teaching. To ensure good quality At this stage also, the percentage of
teaching, it is necessary that every trained teachers in case of Nagaland,
teacher at every stage of education is Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur,
appropriately trained. The proportion Meghalaya, Sikkim and Tripura was
of trained teachers in NE States in below 50% in 2008-09. Only the
the two reference years i.e., 1987-88 State of Assam(having 90% of trained
and 2008-09 in the following tables teacher) was closer to national
presents a comparative view. average.
Through the review of the teachers’ It is observed that at High/Post
training scenario at primary stage, Basic School Stage, only the States
it is observed that the situation is of Tripura and Sikkim had more than
very pathetic in Nagaland, Manipur, 50% of trained teachers in 2008-09.
Arunachal Pradesh and Mizoram. In At this stage also, the percentage of
only three of the eight NE States (i.e. trained teachers is abysmally low in
Assam, Sikkim and Tripura), more case of Nagaland (25%), Assam (29%),
than 50% primary school teachers Meghalaya(36%), Arunachal Pradesh
are trained. However, even these (37%) and Manipur (42%).
States are far behind the national Thus, a comparative view of the
average (i.e.,90%). trained teachers at different stages
Table 3(a)
Percentage of Trained Teachers at Primary/Junior Basic School Stage
India/NE 1987-88 2008-09 %Change over
States Two Decades
India 88.41 90.00 1.59
Assam 61.00 64.00 3.00
Arunachal 41.03 11.00
Pradesh -30.03
Manipur 67.00 36.00 -31.00
Meghalaya 42.00 45.00 3.00
Mizoram 50.85 39.00 -11.85
Nagaland 88.00 24.00 -64.00
Sikkim 48.46 68.00 19.54
Tripura 38.56 74.00 35.44
Sources: (i) Selected Education Statistics, Department of Education, MHRD, GOI, 1987-88.
(ii) Statistics of School Education (Abstract) 2008-2009, Bureau of Planning, Monitoring and Statistics,
MHRD, GOI, 2010 .
 84 Journal of Indian Education February 2015

Table 3(b)
Percentage of Trained Teachers at Middle/Senior Basic School Stage
India/NE States 1987-88 2008-09 %Change over
Two Decades
India 90.10 91.00 0.90
Assam 25.00 90.00 65.00
Arunachal 38.66 17.00
Pradesh -21.66
Manipur 51.00 35.00 -16.00
Meghalaya 33.00 36.00 3.00
Mizoram 53.87 50.00 -3.87
Nagaland 51.30 19.00 -32.30
Sikkim 36.80 42.00 5.20
Tripura 40.78 47.00 6.22
Sources: (i) Selected Education Statistics, Department of Education, MHRD, GOI, 1987-88.
(ii) Statistics of School Education (Abstract) 2008-2009, Bureau of Planning, Monitoring and Statistics,
MHRD, GOI, 2010.

Table 3 (c)
Percentage of Trained Teachers at High/Post Basic School Stage
India/NE States 1987-88 2008-09 %Change over
Two Decades
India 86.49 89.00 2.51
Assam 23.00 29.00 6.00
Arunachal 39.76 37.00 -2.76
Manipur 33.00 42.00 9.00
Meghalaya 31.00 36.00 5.00
Mizoram 45.63 40.00 -5.63
Nagaland 63.00 25.00 -38.00
Sikkim 41.35 55.00 13.65
Tripura 46.92 63.00 16.08
Sources: (i) Selected Education Statistics, Department of Education, MHRD, GOI, 1987-88.
(ii) Statistics of School Education (Abstract) 2008-2009, Bureau of Planning, Monitoring and Statistics,
MHRD, GOI, 2010 .
Development of Education in the North-Eastern States— A Sudy in... 85

of school education in the North of elementary education, which

Eastern States presents a gloomy Government is trying to ensure
picture. For mainstreaming the entire through Sarva Siksha Abhiyan(SSA).
North Eastern India, it is necessary The GER at the Primary and Upper-
that we train all the teachers at high Primary stage in NE States in
school level also which will help the comparison with the all India GER is
youth across these States in availing given in the following tables:
best possible opportunities in the The main inferences drawn from
job market. However, it would be the two above mentioned tables are
inappropriate or illogical to expect as follows:
good quality education without having
trained teachers. Hence, teachers’ (a) Changes in GER at Primary
training at High/Post Basic School Stage (Class I-V) 2007-08 over
should be accorded top priority in the 1987-88 (i.e two decades)
entire NE region. It is observed that the highest
achievement, i.e 90.89 in terms of
Gross Enrolment Ratio (GER) GER, has been in case of Meghalaya,
GER is one of the basic parameters to whereas the lowest i.e., -25.77 has
assess the success of universalisation been in case of Nagaland.
Table 4(a)
Gross Enrolment Ratio (GER): Class I-V(6-10 years)
India/NE 1987-88 2007-08 %Change
States Boys Girls Total Boys Girls Total over Two
in case of
India 113.13 81.75 97.86 115.26 112.58 113.97 16.11
Assam 112.22 98.78 105.71 106.04 106.15 106.09 0.38
Arunachal 110.06 75.54 92.91 149.05 136.62 142.97 50.06
Manipur 125.53 104.79 115.29 175.95 170.30 173.18 57.89
Meghalaya 102.29 99.01 100.64 193.47 189.54 191.53 90.89
Mizoram 139.59 134.17 136.94 176.07 165.66 170.95 34.01
Nagaland 118.82 117.73 118.28 92.50 92.52 92.51 -25.77
Sikkim 127.99 105.42 116.81 149.31 146.71 148.02 31.21
Tripura 142.81 118.09 130.66 149.37 146.15 147.79 17.13
Sources: (i) Selected Socio-Economic Indicators of North-East States of India, Directorate of Economics
and Statistics, Govt. of Assam, 2007-08. (ii) Selected Education Statistics, Department of Education,
MHRD, GOI, 1987-88.
 86 Journal of Indian Education February 2015

Table 4(b)
Gross Enrolment Ratio (GER): Class VI-VIII (11-13 years)
India/NE 1987-88 2007-08 %Change
States Boys Girls Total Boys Girls Total over Two
in case of
India 68.87 40.62 55.14 81.48 74.36 78.06 22.92
Assam 60.19 44.76 52.75 92.04 90.47 91.27 38.52
Arunachal 47.87 26.55 37.47 100.88 87.69 94.36 56.89
Manipur 82.69 60.93 71.96 107.57 100.92 104.31 32.35
Meghalaya 61.95 53.46 57.66 99.71 107.00 103.32 45.66
Mizoram 71.13 70.24 70.69 86.30 84.97 85.65 14.96
Nagaland 60.72 52.44 56.68 58.93 61.34 60.08 03.40
Sikkim 59.06 49.35 54.37 67.63 81.91 74.62 20.25
Tripura 76.51 57.95 67.40 88.01 87.60 87.81 20.41
Sources: (i) Selected Socio-Economic Indicators of North-East States of India, Directorate of Economics
and Statistics, Govt. of Assam, 2007-08. (ii) Selected Education Statistics, Department of Education,
MHRD, GOI, 1987-88.

(i) It is also observed that change in

(iii) Incidentally, in terms of
the GER in the two States namely achievement for girls in GER, the
Nagaland and Assam have been states of Nagaland and Assam
below the all India average. On are lagging behind. However, the
the contrary, the GER in all other highest achievement has been
NE States is above the all India observed in case of Meghalaya
average. (90.53) followed by Manipur
(ii) It has been widely perceived (65.51).
that Sarva Siksha Abhiyan(SSA) (iv) In case of GER for boys also, the
can be made successful only if achievement has been lowest in
the enrolment of girl children case of Nagaland (-25.77) and
is brought at par with those of Assam (0.38).
the boys. From table 4(a), it is
observed that while there has (b) Changes in GER at Upper-
been significant improvement in Primary Stage (Class VI-VIII)
all India average of GER of girls 2007-08 over 1987-88 (i.e two
as compared to GER of boys, it decades)
has gone up by 30.83 for girls in (i) It is observed that the achievement
comparison to 2.13 for boys. in terms of GER at all India level
Development of Education in the North-Eastern States— A Sudy in... 87

increased by 22.92;while the four by Meghalaya (45.66). On the

NE States namely Arunachal contrary, the States having
Pradesh, Meghalaya, Assam lowest achievement in terms of
and Manipur have the GER rate GER are Nagaland (3.4) followed
above the all India average. On by Mizoram (14.96).
the contrary, remaining four NE (iii) In case of GER for girls at upper-
States namely Nagaland, Mizoram, primary level, it is observed that
Sikkim and Tripura had the GER the achievement at all India
rate below all India average. This level has been 33.74 which are
implies that additional efforts are interestingly higher than those
needed to be made in the said four for boys (12.61).
States having GER rate below the (iv) In case of NE States the trend
all India average. Those four States of achievement in terms of GER
need to take necessary steps to for girls at upper-primary level
enhance the enrolment of students is same as that of total GER.
and also strong then the ways and Here also, the States namely
means to ensure their retention. Nagaland, Mizoram, Tripura
(ii) It is observed that Arunachal and Sikkim had the GER rate
Pradesh has the highest below all India average. Thus,
achievement (56.89) followed it leads to inference that before
Table 5(a)
Dropout Rate: Class I-V
India/NE 1987-88 2008-09 %Change
States over Two
Boys Girls Total Boys Girls Total Decades in
case of Total
India 43.28 49.42 46.97 26.68 22.90 24.93 -22.04
Assam 51.59 59.47 55.01 NA NA NA NA
Arunachal 58.75 58.43 58.63 41.80 39.71 40.84
Pradesh -17.79
Manipur 71.35 72.04 71.67 39.55 41.19 42.31 -29.36
Meghalaya 31.43 33.40 32.35 60.77 56.95 58.87 26.52
Mizoram 37.28 38.72 37.98 39.98 40.08 40.03 2.05
Nagaland 37.22 33.43 35.45 21.40 15.71 18.70 -16.75
Sikkim 60.19 58.50 59.86 41.97 31.55 36.95 -22.91
Tripura 59.14 58.02 58.63 24.64 20.07 22.49 -36.14
Sources: (i) Selected Education Statistics, Department of Education, MHRD, GOI, 1987-88.
(ii) Statistics of School Education (Abstract) 2008-2009, Bureau of Planning, Monitoring and Statistics,
MHRD, GOI, 2010 .
 88 Journal of Indian Education February 2015

taking up the issue of promoting been considerable decline in the

education at secondary school drop-out rate (i.e.22.04) at lower
stage these states of NE region primary stage (class I-V).
would be required to make (ii) In case of Mizoram, the drop-
concerted efforts for making SSA out rate has increased by 2.05%
successful, particularly through and surprisingly, there has been
the focus on upper-primary level. a steep rise (26.52%) in case of
Meghalaya. This needs to be
Dropout Rate examined meticulously and calls
Dropout rate is one of the indicators for effective remedial measures
reflecting the effectiveness of for ensuring the success of SSA
any programme of education. A in these two States.
comparative view of dropout rate at (iii) It is observed that at Primary Stage,
different stages of education in 1987- in terms of all India average, there
88 vis-a –vis 2007-08 is as follows: has been considerable decline
(i) From the above table 5(a), it is in the drop-out rate (26.52%)
observed that in term of all India in case of girls. However, the
average in the above mentioned decline in Meghalaya (+23.55),
two decades period, there has Mizoram(+1.36), Nagaland(17.72)

Table 5(b)
Dropout Rate: Class I-VIII
India/NE 1987-88 2008-09 %Change
States over Two
Boys Girls Total Boys Girls Total Decades
in case of
India 58.80 67.55 62.29 44.89 38.86 42.25 -20.04
Assam 70.91 74.45 72.44 68.21 68.35 68.28 -4.16
Arunachal 75.20 75.91 75.44 44.87 43.31 44.16
Pradesh -31.28
Manipur 76.58 87.86 77.90 42.92 44.94 43.90 -34
Meghalaya 66.42 61.60 64.22 79.61 75.75 77.69 13.47
Mizoram 45.35 42.49 43.98 64.18 61.61 62.97 18.99
Nagaland 58.15 55.13 56.90 31.81 31.03 31.43 -25.47
Sikkim 63.83 60.11 62.51 52.99 39.41 46.41 -16.1
Tripura 73.95 75.96 74.83 49.49 45.53 47.61 -27.22
Sources: (i) Selected Education Statistics, Department of Education, MHRD, GOI, 1987-88.
(ii) Statistics of School Education (Abstract) 2008-2009, Bureau of Planning, Monitoring and Statistics,
MHRD, GOI, 2010 .
Development of Education in the North-Eastern States— A Sudy in... 89

and Arunachal Pradesh(18.72) stage of education before they join

is below the all India level and workforce of the country.
hence requires necessary steps
(iii) The decline in dropout rate at
to be taken for bringing it at par elementary stage (class I-VIII) in
with the National average. case of Sikkim (16.10) is below all
(i) From the above table, it is India average (20.04). However,
observed that in term of all India the same in case of Assam is
average in the above mentioned only 4.16%. It implies that the
two decades’ period there has Government of Assam needs to
been considerable decline in lay focus on reducing the dropout
the drop-out rate (i.e.20.04) at rate and bring it at least at par
elementary stage (class I-VIII). with all India average.
(ii) In case of Mizoram and Meghalaya It is observed that the dropout rate
the drop-out rate has increased by for class I-X over the said two decades
18.99% and 13.47% respectively. in terms of all India average has
In case of these two States, declined by 19.42 %. Interestingly, in
effective corrective measures are the entire NE States it is only Arunachal
required to ensure that children Pradesh where the decline in dropout
reach at least up to the secondary rate for this stage has been 29.97%.

Table 5(c)
Dropout Rate: Class I-X
India/NE 1987-88 2008-09 % Change
States over Two
Boys Girls Total Boys Girls Total Decades
in case of
India 72.14 80.06 75.30 55.82 55.95 55.88 -19.42
Assam 78.07 81.88 79.73 78.47 79.55 78.97 -0.76
Arunachal 83.03 85.75 83.92 63.39 62.43 62.95
Pradesh -20.97
Manipur 75.69 77.68 76.61 58.91 57.06 58.03 -18.58
Meghalaya 89.46 89.62 89.53 77.03 75.77 76.40 -13.13
Mizoram 75.95 79.04 77.45 70.16 66.45 68.41 -9.04
Nagaland 81.71 82.90 82.21 68.34 66.84 67.61 -14.6
Sikkim 87.89 91.39 89.37 81.99 82.53 82.26 -7.11
Tripura 77.33 77.55 77.42 71.68 70.33 71.04 -6.38
Sources: (i) Selected Education Statistics, Department of Education, MHRD, GOI, 1987-88.
(ii) Statistics of School Education (Abstract) 2008-2009, Bureau of Planning, Monitoring and Statistics,
MHRD, GOI, 2010.
 90 Journal of Indian Education February 2015

However, the decline in dropout rate at States leads to inference that there has
this stage in other NE States is below been 45.20 % growth in the primary/
the all India average. The example of junior basic schools at the all India
Assam, Tripura, Sikkim and Mizoram level. In case of NE States; Mizoram,
may be cited as special cases which Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya and
have less than half of the achievement Sikkim have shown the growth rate
at all India average. This implies higher than that of all India average.
that the larger number of NE States; However, the growth in case of
particularly, the above mentioned Nagaland, Assam and Tripura has
four States need to go into the depth been far below the all India average
of reasons underlying such a lag. The while in case of Manipur it has been
Government of India may consider negative. It needs to be examined
helping these NE States for taking up whether such a wide variation in
necessary corrective measures as per terms of growth of primary/junior
their specific situation. basic schools among the NE States is
related to the population of children
Development of Infrastructure in the school going age or it is because
A review of institutional development of the other constraints faced by
at elementary stage in case of NE concerned States.

Table 6 (a)
Development of Infrastructure at Elementary Stage:
India/NE Primary/Junior Basic Middle/Senior Basic Schools
States Schools
1987-88 2008- %Change 1987- 2008- %Change over
09 over Two 88 09 Two Decades
India 543677 789444 45.20 141014 336638 138.73
Assam 26670 31042 16.39 5181 13023 151.36
Arunachal 1036 1721 219 813 271.23
Pradesh 66.12
Manipur 2777 2579 -7.13 436 792 81.65
Meghalaya 4158 6618 59.16 670 2259 237.16
Mizoram 1033 1783 72.60 477 1253 162.68
Nagaland 1270 1662 30.87 343 465 35.57
Sikkim 489 769 57.26 123 215 74.80
Tripura 1927 2120 10.02 418 1059 153.35

Sources: (i) Selected Education Statistics, Department of Education, MHRD, GOI, 1987-88.
(ii) Statistics of School Education, MHRD, GOI, 2010.
Development of Education in the North-Eastern States— A Sudy in... 91

In case of middle/senior basic The said analysis of Ministry

schools, the growth rate at all India of HRD also informed that like
level was 138.73 %. While Arunachal infrastructure, most of the States
Pradesh, Meghalaya, Mizoram and in the North Eastern Region were
Assam had the growth rate higher better placed at upper primary level
than the all India level in this with regard to teachers’ indicators
segment of elementary education; compared to primary level1.
the performance of Manipur, Sikkim
and Nagaland was below the national Access to Secondary School
average. Since this level of education Education
is main link between primary and Regarding schooling facilities at
tertiary sector, it is necessary to secondary stage provided by the
strengthen this segment in the three Government, the available data
said States. indicate that Tripura is the best,
In an analytical report on where more than 90% schools
elementary education in India are Government Schools while
conducted by Ministry of HRD in the Meghalaya is the worst wherein about
document “Educational Development 95% secondary schools are private
Index”, it has been observed that schools. It is interesting to note that
among the North Eastern States, in Arunachal Pradesh and Sikkim
Sikkim outperformed the other also 80% of secondary schools are
States in the region at primary and Government schools. The NUEPA
composite primary and upper primary Occasional Paper also observed that
(Elementary) levels of education. within the North Eastern Region,
Sikkim is placed 13th amongst all the Mizoram has the best access to
35 States and UTs of the country in secondary schooling facility while
case of composite, primary and upper Arunachal Pradesh has lowest access
primary level of education. to the same and hence the need for
In case of infrastructure set of opening more secondary schools in
indicators at primary level, it was Arunachal has been suggested to fill
observed that Sikkim had highest EDI the gap with respect to the demand
(0.764) and 0.833 at upper primary for secondary education2.
level. Sikkim was followed by Mizoram
with an EDI of 0.653. The lowest EDI Female Teachers
(0.350) in this region was observed Regarding the availability of female
in Meghalaya. Meghalaya was also teachers, it has been observed that
found to have lowest infrastructure at secondary level, the North Eastern
index (0.490). It was also observed Region had about 30.74% female
that Arunachal Pradesh having EDI teachers which were quite less than
(0.432) at primary level ranked 33 out the percentage of female teachers
of 35 States included in the analysis. in the country (i.e. 40.69%). Only
 92 Journal of Indian Education February 2015

two of the States in the NE region states of Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur

i.e. Meghalaya (43.40%) and Sikkim and Nagaland were sanctioned
(41.41%) had higher percentage of 176,165 and 126 computer rooms
female teachers than the national respectively. However, while Sikkim
average3. was sanctioned 52 computer
As regards the trained teachers at rooms, Meghalaya was sanctioned
secondary stage, it is observed that 13computer rooms in the said period.
as against 82% of trained teachers at In addition to that, it is also observed
the secondary level in the country, the that in the 11th Five year plan ( 2007-
NE region had only 27.19% trained 2012), states were provided financial
teachers. This speaks of the challenge assistance to procure computers and
faced by the States of the NE region other ICT related infrastructure. In
in terms of the quality of education the 11th Five Year plan (2007-12) a
imparted at secondary level. total of Rs 59.79 crore was released
To enable our Schools run to NE states covering 3094 schools
smoothly, it is necessary to have under ICT @School scheme. The
requisite number of teachers. As per maximum advantage under this was
the available information, though 6 availed by the states of Assam (1881
North Eastern States were accorded schools) and Tripura (682 schools)
sanction for recruitment of new followed by Meghalaya (316 schools)5.
teachers under Rashtriya Madhyamik Due support was also provided to
Shiksha Abhiyan (RMSA), only three 1,731 secondary schools of NE states
states had recruited some teachers for setting up libraries. While Assam
by 2012.While Manipur recruited 503 was sanctioned 838 libraries, Tripura
teachers out of 830 (ie about 606%) and Mizoram were sanctioned 211
of the sanctioned number), Tripura and 195 libraries respectively. The
recruited 210 teachers out of 415 remaining three NE states sanctioned
(i.e., about 50.6% of the sanctioned less than 100 libraries each were
teachers) and Mizoram could appoint Manipur (95), Sikkim (98) and
only 180 out of 532 (ie, About 34.6% Meghalaya (14 )6.
of the sanctioned number) up till The growth of institutions at
June, 20124. secondary stage at all India level
To ensure proper development has been 124.75 %. Interestingly,
of education and IT based learning the states of Arunachal Pradesh,
1775 secondary schools in the North Mizoram, Nagaland and Meghalaya
Eastern region were sanctioned have made better achievements than
computer rooms under RMSA in the the national average. On the contrary,
11th Five Year Plan (2007-2012). the performance of Assam, Sikkim,
About half of these schools were in Manipur and Tripura has been below
Assam (860) followed by Mizoram the national average.
(199) and Tripura (186). Similarly, the As regards the institutions at
Development of Education in the North-Eastern States— A Sudy in... 93

Table 6 (b)
Development of Infrastructure at Secondary Stage
India/NE States High/Post Basic Schools Pre-degree/ Junior Colleges/
Hr. Secondary Schools
1987- 2008- %Change 1987- 2008- %Change
88 09 over Two 88 09 over Two
Decades Decades
India 54845 123265 124.75 16460 60383 266.85
Assam 2380 5215 119.12 371 755 384
Arunachal Pradesh 55 171 210.91 38 109 186.84
Manipur 349 704 101.72 35 120 242.86
Meghalaya 292 676 131.51 - 98 -
Mizoram 162 502 209.88 - 86 -
Nagaland 111 337 203.60 4 69 1625
Sikkim 54 118 118.52 14 55 293
Tripura 255 430 68.63 126 301 138.89
Sources: (i) Selected Education Statistics, Department of Education, 1987-88 MHRD, GOI, 1989.
(ii) Statistics’ of School Education, MHRD, GOI, 2010.

Pre-degree/Junior Colleges/Hr. available in more than 60 per cent

Secondary Schools, it is observed secondary schools of the country
that expansion has been notable in but this facility is provided only in
case of Nagaland. Since the data is about 38 per cent schools in the
not available regarding the number of northeastern region. In Sikkim, more
institutions for education at this level than 70 per cent secondary schools
in 1987-88in Meghalaya and Mizoram, have lavatory. However, in Assam this
the progress over two decades may facility is available only in 24 per cent
not be reviewed. However, from the secondary schools and that is the
preliminary observation, it is noted lowest in the north-eastern region.
that the expansion at this stage in Urinals for girls are available
the North Eastern States has been in about 68 per cent secondary
by and large higher than the all India schools in the country but in the
average. north-eastern region this facility is
In terms of infrastructure the available in about 52 per cent schools
situation in NE States is pathetic only. In the North-Eastern states,
particularly regarding lavatory Nagaland has the highest percentage
facilities and urinals for girls. As of secondary schools having girls’
sighted in the occasional papers urinals while Mizoram has the lowest
of NEUPA, the lavatory facility is percentage of such schools. Girls’
 94 Journal of Indian Education February 2015

lavatories are available in about room etc., NUEPA study suggest that
half of the secondary schools of the secondary schools of Manipur have
country while in the north-eastern best facilities followed by Nagaland.
region; this facility is available in The States having least facility on
only about 20 per cent schools. In this account in the NE region are
the north-eastern region, not even Mizoram and Assam.
a single state has this facility at par As regards the availability of
with the national average (49.37 per electricity connection, generator sets,
cent)7. computers and internet connection
To deal with the problem of etc., study indicate that secondary
accommodation faced by Teachers, schools of the NE region are in
Residential quarters were sanctioned relatively poor condition as compared
for secondary school teachers in 5 to other regions of the country.
out of 8 NE states. Manipur was Only about 50% of the schools have
sanctioned the highest number of electricity connection compared
quarters (304) followed by Arunachal with 73% schools in other parts of
Pradesh (203) Nagaland (199), the country. While 26% secondary
Mizoram (141) and Tripura (30).It is schools have computers in the
observed that no residential quarters country, only 13% of schools in NE
were sanctioned for teachers under region have got computers.
RMSA in the states of Assam, In terms of school library, librarian,
Meghalaya and Sikkim. How is the the living room also the schools in
problem of out of station secondary the NE region are found to relatively
school teachers being addressed in less equip than the schools of other
these states needs to be analysed8. regions. It is noted that about 43% of
In the NUEPA Occasional the secondary schools in the NE region
papers, it has been indicated that have library in comparison with 2/3rd
in terms of availability of building secondary schools of other parts of
in secondary schools, Tripura is the the country having this facility. Only
best performing State where about 3.35% schools of the NE region have
87% secondary schools have pucca librarian while 12% schools in other
building, while Nagaland is the worst regions have the same. Similarly, only
performing State in the NE region 7.3% schools of the NE region have
as there are about 94% secondary a living room as compared with 23%
schools run in kuchha building and secondary schools in other regions of
a little more than 3% do not have any the country.
building at all.
Regarding the facilities of rooms Development of Infrastructure
available for various purposes like at the Higher Education Stage
library, laboratory, boys and girls’ Expansion, inclusion and quality are
common room and indoor games the three corner stones of our national
Development of Education in the North-Eastern States— A Sudy in... 95

goals in education. At the higher of Mizoram and New Horizons India

education level the Government has (a US – based company) to set up and
set a target of 21% GER by the end IT Entrepreneurs Training Centre And
of the 12th Plan (2017). Keeping in Promatric Testing Centre at Aizawal
view the present GER which is 12.4% in 2005. The main challenge faced in
the target of 21% appears to be really the region is that of inaccessibility,
challenging. In a study conducted poor physical infrastructure, law
under the aegis of Indian Chamber of and order problems and limited local
Commerce through Price Waterhouse employment opportunities.
Coopers, it has been observed that It is observed that in 1987-88, out
Nagaland has the highest GER in the of total 166 universities (including
country with Manipur at 7th position Central/State/Pvt./Institutions
while the rest of eastern and north Deemed to be universities) in the
eastern States are much lower down, country; only 7 universities were in
and in most cases, below the national the NE Region. The States of Mizoram,
average9. There are two examples Nagaland and Sikkim did not have a
of successful expansion of higher single university at that time.10 The
education in the NE region. The first positive aspect of the development
is that of Sikkim Manipal University at the higher education stage in NE
and the second one between the Govt. States is that all of them had at least
Table 6 (c)
Growth of Universities in NE region
India/NE Universities
States (Central/State/Pvt./Deemed)
1987-88 2008-09 %Change over
Two Decades
India 166 371 123.5
Assam 3 6 100.0
Arunachal 1 2 100.0
Manipur 1 2 100.0
Meghalaya 1 1 0.0
Mizoram - 1 100.0
Nagaland - 1 100.0
Sikkim - 3 300.0
Tripura 1 2 100.0
Sources: (i) Selected Education Statistics, Department of Education 1987-88, MHRD, GOI, 1989.
(ii) Statistics of Higher and Technical Education 2008-09, MHRD, GOI, 2011.
 96 Journal of Indian Education February 2015

Table 6 (d)
Growth of Colleges in NE region (Institutions and Enrolment)
India/NE Colleges (Arts/Science/ Enrolment (Arts/Science/
States Commerce) Commerce)
1987-88 2008- %Change 1987-88 2008-09 %Change over
09 over Two Two Decades
India 4329 14147 226.8 1412468 8807870 523.58
Assam 160 337 110.6 64161 193812 202.07
Arunachal 3 13 333.3 1080 10600 881.48
Manipur 23 58 152.2 10230 23750 132.16
Meghalaya 23 57 147.8 5615 31546 461.82
Mizoram 12 24 100.0 1692 7132 321.51
Nagaland 16 32 100.0 1942 23440 1107.00
Sikkim 1 4 300.0 607 5128 744.81
Tripura 11 17 54.5 9431 26008 175.77
Sources: (i) Selected Education Statistics, Department of Education 1987-88, MHRD, GOI, 1989.
(ii) Statistics of Higher and Technical Education 2008-09, MHRD, GOI, 2011.

one university by 2008-09. It generates It is observed that out of 262

the hope that creation of universities engineering colleges in entire country,
in all the NE States will strengthen there were only 4 colleges in the NE
higher education in the entire region. region (3 in Assam and 1 in Tripura)
It is interesting to note that at in 1987-88. Over the two decades
all India level, while the number of in the given period, the number of
college having general degree (Arts/ colleges in the NE region increased to
Science/Commerce) increased by 18. However, the States of Mizoram
226.8 % over the two decades; the and Nagaland were still not having
enrolment went up by 523.58 %. a single engineering college till
Identical or better trend is observed 2008-09. It is, hence, desirable
in case of all the NE States except that in terms of regional balance
Manipur, where the number of and uniform growth of technical
colleges went by 152.2 % whereas education in the country, these two
the increase in enrolment was 132.16 States get due support from DONER
%. Interestingly there is phenomenal to set up atleast one engineering
growth (1107 %) in enrolment in the college each. It is observed that so
general courses at the college level far the State of Assam has got one
courses in Nagaland. IIT at Guwahati since 1994 and the
Development of Education in the North-Eastern States— A Sudy in... 97

Table 6 (e)
Growth of Engineering and Technology Colleges in NE region (Institutions and
India/NE Colleges (Engineering and Enrolment(Engineering and
States Technology) Technology)
1987- 2008- %Change 1987-88 2008-09 %Change
88 09 over Two over Two
Decades Decades
India 262 2466 841.2 190779 1663619 772.01
Assam 3 7 133.3 2669 2998 12.33
Arunachal - 3 300.0 - 1826
Pradesh -
Manipur - 3 300.0 - 130 -
Meghalaya - 1 100.0 - 66 -
Mizoram - - 0.00 - - -
Nagaland - - 0.00 - - -
Sikkim - 2 200.0 - 471 -
Tripura 1 2 100.0 452 383 -15.27
Sources: (i) Selected Education Statistics, Department of Education 1987-88, MHRD, GOI,1989.
(ii) Statistics of Higher and Technical Education 2008-09, MHRD, GOI, 2011.

State of Meghalaya has got one IIM that the assistance of DONER is
i.e., Rajiv Gandhi Indian Institute of provided to these two NE States for
Management since 2008-09. We need setting up of one medical college each
to have a streamlined and objective to promote medical education.
approach for providing technical
education to the youth of NE States Conclusion
particularly in view of demographic From a review of educational
dividend, which our country is going development, it is observed that the
to have for coming to two decades. educational agencies both in the
Out of 262 medical colleges in the public and private sectors have a big
entire country in 1987-88, the NE scope for expansion in North Eastern
region had only 5 medical colleges States of the country. Available data
(3 in Assam, 1 in Manipur and 1 in indicate that most of the NE states
Tripura). Over two decade’s period, have varying but some number of
the number of medical college in the degree colleges suggesting that the
NE region grew up to 18. However, the development of education has been
State of Mizoram and Nagaland still starkly uneven from state to state in
remained deprived in term of medical the region7. Following crucial issues
education also. Hence, it is desirable need to be addressed for strengthening
 98 Journal of Indian Education February 2015

Table 6 (f)
Growth of Medical Colleges in NE region (Institutions and Enrolment)
India/NE Colleges(Medical) Enrolment (Medical)
1987-88 2008- %Change 1987- 2008- %Change over
09 over Two 88 09 Two Decades
India 262 2466 841.2 81367 273366 235.97
Assam 3 7 133.3 1958 2556 30.54
Arunachal - 3 0 144 144
Pradesh 300.0
Manipur 1 3 300.0 460 100 -78.26
Meghalaya - 1 100.0 0 94 94.00
Mizoram - - 100.0 0 373 373.00
Nagaland - - 100.0 0 0 0.00
Sikkim - 2 200.0 0 657 657.00
Tripura 1 2 100.0 - 30 30.00
Sources: (i) Selected Education Statistics, Department of Education 1987-88, MHRD, GOI,1989.
(ii) Statistics of Higher and Technical Education 2008-09, MHRD, GOI, 2011.

higher education in the NE States of University have been pioneering

the country; i) college ratio in the NE in that direction. Through its
States is far below that of the national Educational Development of North
average; ii) the reason is pathetically East Region Unit (EDNERU), IGONU
wanting in terms of availability of the has introduced various need based,
specialised courses such as medicine, custom made courses like Public
veterinary medicine, teacher training, Policy, Community Cardiology, Health
technological college and college Care, Hospital Waste Management
offering other vocational courses; iii) and Food Safety- at the Certificate,
lack of proper infrastructure has been Diploma as well as Graduate, Post-
a major constraint as a result of these Graduate and Doctoral Level for the
the capable teaching professional shy youth of this region8. In her study on
away from joining the institution in higher education in NER Nasakar has
the NE region. found that one of the most successful
In the past few years there features of the IGNOU courses has
have been considerable efforts at been introduction of Online Distance
improving the standards and scope Learning (ODL) methods to impart
of higher education in the region the courses by successful usages of
and the role of Indira Gandhi Open the Information and Communication
Development of Education in the North-Eastern States— A Sudy in... 99

Technologies (ICTs). She has also negative in respect of boys as well

observed that in the restive political as girls at primary stage. It needs
scenario of NER, ODL holds the to be ensured that the enrolment at
promise to attain a greater and wider primary stage has reached saturation
reach above the conventional class point. Otherwise, it needs proactive
room-based education as it successful measures to be taken to bring the
crosses of geographical distance. Local GER in the state at least at average
universities like Dibrugarh University level of NE States.
and other are also introducing many In order to reduce the regional
vocational courses to rise above the disparity and for mainstreaming of the
poor standards of professional skills entire North Eastern region, emphasis
of the otherwise educated degree should be laid on strengthening the
holders. Universities of the region institutions as well as quality of
are also increasingly trying to meet education at every stage of education
demand of vocational training. We i.e., from Primary to University level.
see thousands of the students from It is important to note here that
these States moving to universities the new Government at the Centre
and colleges in metropolitian cities has taken due note of the fact that
such as Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai, resource rich North-Eastern states
Bangalore, and Chennai etc. From are lagging behind in development
the analysis made in the preceding due to poor governance, systemic
pages, it may be observed that in spite corruption and poor delivery of
of effective measures taken by the public services. It may be recalled
concerned State Government as well that NDA government in its earlier
as Union Ministry of HRD, the GER tenure had initiated concrete steps to
has not been very satisfactory in case address the issue of development of
of Nagaland and Assam. This implies Northeast by setting up the Ministry
that some State specific measures of North-Eastern Region. From the
are required to be taken by these past experience, it can be logically
two States in collaboration with the expected that the new Government
Ministry of HRD and the same could will strengthen its approach towards
be taken up by DONER through its North Eastern Region and will take
non-lapsable fund. It is also a point necessary steps for expediting the
of special concern in case of Nagaland pace of its mainstreaming of this
where GER has been observed to be region.
 100 Journal of Indian Education February 2015

Notes and References

 Elementary Education in India: An analytical report (Part -V) Ministry of HRD – page
No. 174,, accessed
electronically on 24.11.2014.
 S.M.I.A. Zaidi. 2013. Access to Secondary Education in North-Eastern States,
What SEMIS Data Reveal, India, National University of Educational Planning and
Administration, The Occasional Paper 43.
 Ibid p.20
 Ibid p.51
 Ibid p.45
 Ibid p.43
 Ibid p.44
 Indian Chamber of Conference – Redefining Higher Education for Inclusive Development
in Eastern India by Price water house Coopers,
accessed electronically on 24.11.2014.
 Naskar, Sudhiti, Higher Education in the NER: Current Situation and the Initiatives
the%20North%20East_2_.pdf, accessed electronically on 24.11.2014.
 Selected Education Statistics 1987-88(1989), Department of Education, Ministry of
Human Resource Development, Government of India.

 Census of India (1991) and Census of India (2011), India Provisional Population
Totals, Registrar General and Census Commissioner, India, New Delhi.

Selected Socio-Economic Indicators of North-East States of India (2007-08),
Directorate of Economics and Statistics, Government of Assam.

Statistics of School Education (Abstract) 2008-2009 (2010), Bureau of Planning,
Monitoring and Statistics, Ministry of Human Resource Development, Government of

Statistics of Higher and Technical Education 2008-09 (2011), Ministry of Human
Resource Development, Government of India.
From Monologue to Dialogue
Interpreting Social Constructivism
with Bakhtinian Perspective
Rishabh Kumar Mishra*

At present it is a well established idea that the construction of knowledge
is a process of co-construction of meanings through participation in socially
negotiated and discursive activity. The pedagogic translation of this idea owes
its root to Vygotskian perspective of development and learning. It envisages
teaching-learning as a dialogic process. However it is identified that the idea of
dialogue as used by proponents by social constructivist theorist is limited to its
methodological implications as a pedagogic tool. The present paper argues that
dialogue is not a pedagogic tool rather it is an ontological construct. Against
this backdrop the paper argues that for developing a substantial theory of
social constructivist pedagogy Bakhtin’s ideas can be deployed. The paper
elaborates the vistas of Bakhtin’s idea of dialogue. Further with the help of
this elaboration it tries to interpret the epistemological assumption of social
constructivist approach to learning. This understanding will enable us to see
the agency and the voices of individuals in teaching-learning process. Drawing
upon the Bakhtinian perspective, the last section of the paper discusses tenets
of dialogic pedagogy which help us to transform the pervasive monologic
discourse into dialogic discourse.

* Assistant Professor, Mahatma Gandhi Antarrastriya Hindi Vishwavidyalaya, Wardha,

Maharashtra– 442001.
 102 Journal of Indian Education February 2015

At present it is a well established consciousnesses homogeneous

idea that the construction of knowledge (White, 2013). The pedagogy guided
is a process of co-construction of by instrumental dialogue aimed
meanings through participation in at reducing the gap between the
socially negotiated and discursive community of the educated, to
activity. The pedagogic translation of whom the teacher belongs, and the
this idea owes its root to Vygotskian community of the ignorant, to whom
perspective of development and the students belong, by making the
learning and it envisages teaching- students more like the teacher. It is
learning as dialogic process. However evident that although methodologically
it is worth noting that the idea of this perspective talks about dialogic
‘dialogue’ has been conceived by the pedagogy but ontologically and
propagators of social constructivist epistemologically it is ceased in
approach to teaching-learning. It mongolism. It is essential to address
emerges from the reviews of literature this pitfall of social.
and studies that under the umbrella
of social constructivism dialogue has Constructivist Approach to
been used as a pedagogic tool for Teaching-Learning
more effective teaching-learning in Against this backdrop the present
comparison to other forms of pedagogic paper proposes that the above
strategies such as lecture or a mentioned chasm between
demonstration (Werstch, 1991; Wells, methodology and ontology of social
1999; Fernyhough, 1996 ). Implicitly constructivism can be filled with
this assumption carries the meaning Bakhtin’s ideas of dialogue. Instead of
that dialogue can be used as an viewing dialogue as a tool or method,
instructional tool which can be turned Bakhtin views dialogue as an essential
on and off. It merely sees dialogue in condition for being in the world:
the classroom as a form of interaction ‘life, itself is ontologically dialogic’
and maintains those conditions under (Bakhtin, 1986). Matusov (2011)
which it is a good idea to organise an while discussing the uniqueness
instruction as dialogue and when it is of Bakhtin’s idea highlighted that
not (Matusov, 2007). In this sense, this for Bakhtin, a gap in the mutual
perspective of dialogue is instrumental understanding between people is
as it narrows down dialogue to a tool a necessary condition for dialogic,
or strategy. It does not matter how humane communication, and for
the process of education is viewed – the entire human relationship. This
transmission of knowledge, acquisition orientation to the gap in mutual
of knowledge, co-construction of understanding is both a precursor
knowledge, education driven by and an outcome of dialogue and
the above mentioned instrumental dialogic meaning-making. He goes
view of dialogue seeks to make all further and elaborates:
From Monologue to Dialogue— Interpreting Social... 103

“Bakhtin developed a pluralistic, at a university in St. Petersburg in

essentially synchronic, dialogic, 1918, Bakhtin moved to the cities of
discourse and genre-based approach Nevel and Vitebsk. In both of these
to the social, involving the hybridity of locations Bakhtin became a member
co-existing competing and conflicting of a small group of intellectuals
varieties of logic. Bakhtin’s dialogic who fiercely debated and discussed
approach was essentially ontological, philosophical, religious, political, and
defining consciousness through bodily cultural issues. The group was known
experience, responsibility, addressivity, as Bakhtinian Circle. The discussions
responsivity, respect, human dignity, that took place in this group influenced
and relationship with the other.” and contributed in development of
The paper explores the vistas of Bakhtin’s ideas and scholarship. His
Bakhtin’s ideas and tries to interpret academic background in philology
the epistemological assumption and participation in intense debate
of social constructivist approach and discussion in intellectual circles,
to learning. Doing the same the promoted his engagement in a series
paper also aims to understand the of writing projects between 1918 and
tenets of dialogic pedagogy from the 1924 that intersected philosophy
Bakhtinian point of view. and literature. As a literary theorist,
his writings critically explored the
Background of Bakhtin ideological structure of novels. As
Bakhtin was a literary theorist and a a philologist he critically analysed
teacher. He preferred to call himself a the work of authors such as Fyodor
philosopher. He was born in 1895 at Dostoevsky, Franc¸ois Rabelais, and
Oryol, Russia to a liberal and educated Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. He
family of old noble ancestry that published his first major work, The
encouraged his academic studies. He Problems of Dostoevsky’s Poetics
lived through the same time period in in 1929. Bakhtin wrote his critical
Russia as did Vygotsky, experiencing analysis of Dostoevsky’s work from
the Russian Revolution as well as a more sociological stance. Holquist,
the Stalinist era, a time of both (2004) highlights that while Bakhtin
enormous social and economic need was a very active writer his entire
as well as extraordinary cultural and life, it was not until after his death in
philosophical creativity. As a youth, 1975 that the academic world started
Bakhtin grew up in cities that had a paying attention to his writings, and
clashing of unusually large amounts their applicability to education.
of diverse cultures and languages.
Holquist (2004) identified it as a fact A Bakhtinian Approach to
that influenced his future theories Dialogue
on the nature of language. After Dialogue is a pivotal concept in
completing his studies in philology Bakhtin’s writing that informs his
 104 Journal of Indian Education February 2015

ontology, epistemology and theory he focused on language-in-action as

of language. Bakhtin uses the term a living source of insight and renewal.
‘dialogue’ to characterise a number of
planes of human existence. According Vistas of Dialogue in Bakhtin’s
to him humans engage in dialogue Ideas
in multiple ways and this dialogic
engagement manifests what it means
1. Dialogue: Utterance and
to be human. Addressivity
“The single adequate form for Bakhtin identified two forms of
verbally expressing authentic human Dialogue: external dialogue and
life is the open-ended dialogue. Life internal dialogue. External dialogue
by its very nature is dialogic. To live is a verbal exchange in which
means to participate in dialogue…. interlocutors take turns to deliver
In a dialogue a person participates their utterances and responses. This
wholly and throughout his whole type of dialogue is a compositional
life: with his eyes, lips, hands, soul, form in the structuring of speech, but
spirit… he invest his entire self in it ignores the semantic and expressive
discourse and this discourse enters layers of the dialogue. Internal
into the dialogic fabric of human dialogue was of paramount interest
life, into the world symposium.” to Bakhtin. For him, any utterance,
(Bakhtin, 1984, p. 293) whether spoken or written, that people
It is evident that for Bakhtin use in communication with each
dialogue as an ongoing social process other is internally dialogic because
of meaning making occurs between of its “dialogic orientations” (Bakhtin,
people as subjects. He also affirms that 1986). Bakhtin (1986) considers
dialogic communication takes not only utterance as the unit of dialogue
the form of words but also gestures, and insisted that utterance is always
facial expressions, postures, the directed toward the other utterance or
whole array of body language, apparel toward the responsive utterance of the
and social behaviour. Dialogue is rejoinder in dialogue. It means that
both ontological —reflecting the way utterances are always addressed to
we are constituted as humans — and someone. Further he introduced the
ethical — the way we should be. concept of Addressivity. Addressivity,
Bakhtin points out that people do according to Bakhtin, is a necessary
not take words from a dictionary, but condition for an utterance, it denotes
from the mouths of other speakers, that each utterance must be addressed
and so they carry with them the voices to someone and seek response from
of those who have used them before. someone. Bakhtin draws a contrast
Unlike other scholars (particularly between an utterance and other
Vygotsky) Bakhtin does not consider units of linguistic analysis such as
language only a cultural tool rather words and sentences. He points out,
From Monologue to Dialogue— Interpreting Social... 105

that words and sentences belong to By saying this Bakhtin emphasises

nobody and are addressed to nobody. that as speakers and writers we do not
Moreover, they in themselves are create our own words out of nothing.
devoid of any kind of relation to the We use and reuse what others have
other’s utterance, the other’s word. He brought to us, what has been already
writes: known and said—now shaping those
“In point of fact, word is a two- words differently, reflecting on them,
sided act. It is determined equally evaluating them, and sending them
by whose word it is and for whom it further in our communication with
is meant. As word, it is precisely the others. The socio-historical aspect
product of the reciprocal relationship of internal dialogue is characterised
between speaker and listener, by the presence of the others’ words
addresser and addressee.” in one’s utterance, by the words that
He acknowledges the listener’s have “already [been] spoken” (Bakhtin,
active role in a dialogue. The 1981). Thus Bakhtin understood
listener’s participation shapes the utterance as the compositional unit
dialogue along with the speaker’s of a dialogue formed by at least two
contribution. The same can be voices, occupying a place in a socio-
said about the dialogue between historical space and responding to a
the reader and the writer, and concrete social situation.
meaning construction from the text.
This seems to be simply another 2. Dialogue: Voice and double-
way of saying that, through their voiced discourse
perspective, outlook, and “conceptual Utterance, according to Bakhtin,
horizons,” the listener and the reader becomes possible only through the
also have a voice in a dialogue, even use of voice, which he understood as
when they are silent(Vice, 1997). both spoken and written channels
Thus a communication is always a of communication. He understood
multi voiced process. Bakhtin (1984) dialogic relationships within an
described socio-historical aspect of utterance, as a collision of two voices.
utterance as follows: Internal dialogic relations between
“The life of the word is contained these voices result in double-voicing
in its transfer from one mouth to or double-voiced discourse. This
another, from one context to another is another way by which Bakhtin
context, from one social collective describes how through an utterance
to another, from one generation to one’s voice is linked to the social
another generation. In this process context of language. As James
the word does not forget its own path Wertsch (1991) observes, for Bakhtin,
and cannot completely free itself from “there is no such thing as a voice that
the power of these concrete contexts exists in total isolation from other
into which it has entered.” voices. . . . . He insisted that meaning
 106 Journal of Indian Education February 2015

can come into existence only when Bakhtin argues. Thus the words of
two or more voices come into contact. others can also be assimilated by the
It is crucial to recognise that for interlocutor and transformed into
Bakhtin voice was not merely an “indirect speech,” as it were. In these
analytic concept but a moral category. cases, the words of others become
In his discussion of Dostoevsky’s partially one’s own, and Bakhtin calls
novelistic poetics, he established a such speech “internally persuasive
distinction between an authentic and discourse.” Bakhtin (1981) viewed
fictive voice within consciousness. the relation between authoritative
The authentic voice is the one that and internally persuasive discourses
connects the individual with the as a dynamic process in which one
human community. The fictive gradually makes the other’s words
voice, on the contrary, obscures this one’s own: ‘As a living socio-linguistic
connection. In order for the authentic concrete thing, language, for the
voice to manifest itself, it needs to individual consciousness, lies on
overcome the fictive voices that push the borderline between oneself and
it into a monologue and prevent the other. The word in language
it from unfolding its own dialogic is half someone else’s.’ It becomes
nature (Bakhtin, 1984). Wertsch “one’s own” only when the speaker
(1991) remarks that, according to populates it with his own intention,
Bakhtin, voice is a manifestation of his own accent, when he appropriates
the speaker’s or the writer’s overall the word, adapting it to his own
perspective, worldview, conceptual semantic and expressive intention.
horizon, intentions, and values. Bakhtin views the word of internally
persuasive discourse in aesthetic,
3. Dialogue: Authoritative and creative terms. Its creativity and
internally-persuasive discourse productiveness consist precisely in
According to Bakhtin, one’s own the fact that such a word awakens
words are always partially the words new and independent words, that it
of others. The word of the other can organises masses of our words from
be authoritative, monologic, and within, and does not remain in an
admitting of no transformation by isolated and static condition.
the interlocutor. In this case Bakhtin
refers to it as authoritative discourse. 4. Dialogue: Value-laden nature
When one reproduces this discourse, of language
one speaks in inverted commas, as In Bakhtin’s understanding of
it were. Bakhtin calls such speech language, no utterance is value-
“quoted.” Dialogue breaks down neutral. Our entire discourse,
in such cases and communication according to Bakhtin, is saturated
does not happen. The same word, with ethical and aesthetic meanings.
however, can become one’s own, This is true of utterances within
From Monologue to Dialogue— Interpreting Social... 107

political, artistic, and even scientific age groups, various levels of literacy,
contexts. Bakhtin (1986) insists that etc. The multitude of voices in
utterances come alive only insofar a dialogue creates interplay of
as they are “true or false, beautiful discursive forces that Bakhtin (1981)
or ugly, sincere or deceitful, frank, called heteroglossia. Heteroglossia
cynical, authoritative, etc.” He is quite means that a single utterance may be
aware of the fact that such a view shaped by a variety of simultaneously
of language is not compatible with speaking voices that are not merged
the traditional linguistic approach into a single voice, but “sing” their
in which language is assumed to respective “melodies” independently
be value- neutral and to consist within the context of the utterance.
of abstract, schematic rules. By Holquist (1990) explains this concept:
contrast Bakhtin (1986) maintains “Heteroglossia is a way of
that an utterance is not defined in conceiving the world as made up of
merely formal terms, but is possesses a roiling mass of languages, each of
what he calls “contextual meaning”. which has its own distinct formal
Furthermore, in Bakhtin’s view markers.”
dialogue in general has an intrinsic Further, Bakhtin (1981) spoke
ethical dimension. When one engages of the processes that shape any
in a dialogue with another person, discourse in terms of the interaction
Bakhtin believes, one inherently of centripetal (or “official”) and
assumes responsibility for what one centrifugal (or “unofficial”) forces.
says to that person and for that person By the former, he meant the forces
herself. The ethical and humanistic that aspire toward a norm, standard,
import of Bakhtin’s theory has been and fixed order, whereas by the
noted by Holquist (1990): latter he meant those forces that
“Each time we talk, we literally resist systematic order, lead toward
enact values in our speech through chaos, and result in constant change.
the process of scripting our place and Bakhtin (1981) understood language
that of our listener in a culturally not as a homogeneous unity, but a
specific social scenario” (p. 63). simultaneous co-existence of many
languages—those of social groups,
5. Dialogue: Heteroglossia and “professional” and “generic,” literary
polyphony languages, languages of generations,
Another important dimension of etc. Bakhtin also proposes metaphor of
Bakhtin’s theory is the idea of polyphony to denote multi voiceness.
multiple dialogues constituting an act He sees the desired outcome of dialogue
of communication. As we engage in a not simply as unrestrained play of
dialogue we bring to it a multiplicity of centrifugal tendencies, but diversity
dialogues among cultures, historical brought under unity. By polyphony
backgrounds, social groups, genders, Bakhtin means a multiplicity of
 108 Journal of Indian Education February 2015

languages that is brought together (Gutierrez et al., 1995; Matusov

under a single organising principle. and Smith, 2007; Sidorkin, 1999).
He calls the resulting unity of several Further, it positions some students
languages “the universum of mutually with regard to class and content that
illuminating languages” (Bakhtin, they start feeling unwelcomed due
1981). The centrifugal forces of to emerging negative positioning.
heteroglossia, must be balanced by Implicitly it conveys a message to
the centripetal impulse of a single them and their classmates that they
consciousness in order for polyphony are dumb and/or that academic
to subsist. subjects are not for them (Lampert,
2001). Sidorkin (1999) argues that
Knowledge, Learning and this monologic type of discourse
Pedagogy: A Bakhtinian cannot be naturally sustained
Perspective because it generates upheaval and
rebellion in the students and which
Bakhtin (1991) argued that any in response to provokes the physical
discourse has two forces: centripetal and psychological violence of the
force and centrifugal force. teacher who is supported by the
Centripetal force works in uniting, school institution to suppress it.
homologising, and monologising the This violence is often mediated by
discourse. Centrifugal force works in classroom rules, school policies,
diversifying, diffusing, and dialogising and discipline and classroom
the discourse. These two forces are management techniques.
representative of monologism and Traditional approach to learning,
dialogism respectively. Monologic influenced by behaviourism, defines
classroom driven by centripetal the main purpose of education
force of discourse has following as indoctrination in the universal
dimensions: mono-topic, activity- truth. It is expected from students
based, unilaterally owned by the to demonstrate their knowledge and
teacher (Sidorkin, 1999; Skidmore, skills on the authority’s demands.
2000). Critics of conventional Constructivism recognises flaws of
pedagogy argue that this type of such a de contextualised and passive
discourse especially as prolonged approach and offers an alternative
and prioritised by the conventional perspective to learning, in which
teacher has several problems. It students construct the contextual
reduces inter subjectivity between truth. In this approach to education,
the teacher and the students (and students are active in developing
among the students) which makes their worldviews that collide together
the teacher’s guidance blind without in development of unified truth that
access to students’ subjectivities and exists objectively and separately from
forces the students into passivity the participants. From Bakhtinian
From Monologue to Dialogue— Interpreting Social... 109

perspective both the approaches do not simply expose their equal

are monologic, although each in its truths but address, response, take
own different way (Skidmore,2000; responsibility, evaluate, and judge
Matusov,2009 ). The first approach each other truths. Individual’s idea
dismisses the students’ worldviews is neither divorced from a person,
and imposes ideas from outside. like in the transmission approach
The imposed ideas are rooted in the not rooted in the individual, as in
authority of imposition itself. Thus the constructivist approach. Bakhtin
learning becomes only affirmation express this view as follows:
or rejection of ideas of others. The “The word in language is half
constructivist approach is also someone else’s. it become one’s ‘own’
monologic although it takes into only when the speaker populates
consideration of worldviews of the it with his own intentions, his own
students. It sees the learning as accent, when he appropriates the
transformation of the students’ word, adopting it to his own semantic
worldviews, skills, knowledge, and expressive intention…”
and attitudes into the correct and It is evident knowledge is
powerful ones through a serious of always shaped by a dialogue and
guided discoveries that the students in dialogue. To teach means to
will do. This approach essentially broaden student’s participation in
manipulates the students into the dialogue. In Bakhtinian perspective
purely-epistemological truth of the consciousnesses of the teacher and
united consciousness. The students’ the students are taken with equal
worldviews are seen as erroneous seriousness. It refutes the notion of
misconceptions that have to be stable knowledge and affirms that
corrected. People’s ideas are placed there is no such thing which can
on the scale of their approximation be considered as ‘final knowledge’.
to the truth to be taught through Bakhtin writes:
guided discoveries and construction. “Truth is not born nor is it to be
Thus, the relationship between found inside the head of an individual
ideas does not know truly dialogic person, it is born between people
relations (Matusov, 2009). According collectively searching for truth, in the
to Bakhtinian perspective teaching- process of their dialogic interaction.”
learning is a process of engaging According to Bakhtinian
students in collective search for their perspective since learning is the
own truth and its testing with others transformation of a student’s meaning,
(Roth, 2013). The ontological truths it is unpredictable, undetermined,
of the participants (their worldviews, and cannot be designed or controlled
knowledge, skills, attitudes), have by the teacher (Wenger, 1998). It is
to be “informed” by dialogue with always discursive, that is, the process
ontological truths of others. People and product of a new meaning always
 110 Journal of Indian Education February 2015

exists among diverse, real or virtual, authority, agency and texts within
consciousnesses. It is mediated by the the students’ internally persuasive
students’ questions (explicit or tacit). discourse around academic subjects.
Thus both curriculum and instruction For fostering such attributes a strong
is genuine information-seeking discursive community is prerequisite
questions that both the teacher and (Matusov, 2007). In a Bakhtinian
the students ask of each other. classroom, pedagogy will open the
Unlike the instrumental dialogue, pathway for ideological becoming.
an ontological view of dialogue Bakhtin (1991) observes that authority
proposed by Bakhtin envisions carries an aura that is monologic,
education as a dialogic process. It absolute, and unquestionable.
does not assume the ‘pedagogy should Authority is fused with demands
be dialogic’ rather it considers that for allegiance. Therefore dialogic
pedagogy is always dialogic. Further it pedagogy also aims at challenging
also highlights that whatever teachers authority. However, as Gary Morson
and students do (or not do) whether (2004,) suggests, engaging authority
in their classrooms or beyond it, they in dialogue, asking a question of
are locked in dialogic relations. The the unquestionable, challenges the
dialogic pedagogy based on Bakhtin’s
infallibility of authority. Through this
idea envisions education as process
dialogic challenge, authority “ceases
leading individual to Ideological
to be fully authoritative”. Thus once
becoming (Freedman and Ball, 2004)
the truth of authority is dialogically
.The term ‘ideology’ has different
tested, it becomes forever testable.
connotations here than its popular
Enacting a dialogic pedagogy in
English meaning. In Russian it implies
classroom develops an orientation
a set of ideas and their contexts rather
than inflexible ideas imposed through among students toward justice,
the use of propaganda and other suspicions of hegemony and taken-
coercive mechanisms (Matusov, 2007). for-granted societal assumption.
Therefore ‘Ideological becoming’ is the Cultivating this dialogic capacity
development of ideological subjectivity prepares students for democratic life
within the ideological environment where the search for the common
in which individual lives. Greenleaf good is forged through community,
and MIRA-Lisa katz (2004) explains not through authority. As Bakhtin
it ideological becoming of students as (1984) suggests, “truth is not born
a transformation of their discourse nor is it to be found inside the head
from authoritative to internally of an individual person, it is born
persuasive. Charles Baserman (2004) between people collectively searching
explains it in terms of pedagogy for the truth, in the process of their
and insists that pedagogy has to dialogic interaction.” Likewise, our
aim at fostering a powerful sense of classrooms should reflect this ideal
From Monologue to Dialogue— Interpreting Social... 111

by preparing students to improve on in many classrooms, the monologic

society and recognise the unrealised presentation of content muzzles the
potential of democracy shrouded by voice of students. Avoiding contention
authority and hegemony. Bakhtin’s and controversy in the classroom
dialogic pedagogy will help students to neither give students an opportunity
see and develop their own perspective to voice an opinion, nor provided them
that is not guided by the centripetal with the chance to be transformed by
forces. This attempt will be a move to the perspectives of others. Although
subvert the traditional approach to the consequences of these actions
teaching-learning and challenge to the may not be immediately visible in
authority imbued in its various forms. the classroom, it will contribute in
Another element of a Bakhtinian developing critical literacy among
classroom is the development of voice. them.
Teacher and students constructs an Thus this paper is an important
environment that welcome diversity lead to reinstate that a dialogic
through dialogue. Teacher should classroom will have a combination of
ask students to position themselves multiple voices (essential condition
in relation to others—such as for ontological dialogue) and its
the opinions of other classmates, orchestrating (role of the teacher)
the regime of authority speaking by the teacher creates a polyphonic
through schooling norms. Through environment (classroom discourse)-
this continual positioning and where every voice is heard (agency
repositioning through the exchange of teacher and learners), where
of ideas, students will develop a voice. melodies (content of learning) are not-
In absence of multivoices classroom predetermined and always surprising
become a place which resigns the for all the voices. Such classrooms
individuality, does not enable any can be envisioned keeping the
individual to exercise his/her capacity Bakhtinian perspective at the core of
to author his/her self. Unfortunately, the argument.

Bakhtin, M. M. 1984. Rabelais and his world (H. Iswolsky, Trans., 1st Midland Book, Ed).
Indiana University Press, Bloomington, IN.
. 1986. Speech genres and other late essays. University of Texas Press, Austin, TX.
. 1990. Art and answerability: Early philosophical essays (V. Liapunov, Trans., 1st
ed.). University of Texas Press, Austin, TX.
. 1999. Problems of Dostoevsky’s poetics (Vol. 8). University of Minnesota Press,
Minneapolis, MN.
. 1991. Dialogic imagination: Four essays by M.M. Bakhtin (C. Emerson and M.
Holquist, Trans.). University of Texas Press, Austin, TX.
 112 Journal of Indian Education February 2015

Ball, A.F. and S.W. Freedman. 2004. Bakhtinian Perspective on Language Literacy and
Learning. Cambridge University Press, New York.
Baserman, C. 2004. Intertexualities Volosinov, Bakhtin, Literary theory and Literary
Studies. In Bakhtinian perspective on language, literacy, and learning, ed. A. F. Ball
and S. W. Freedman, 315–332, Cambridge University Press, New York.
Cheyne, J.A. and D. Tarulli. 1999. Dialogue, Difference and Voice in the Zone of Proximal
Development. Theory and Psychology, 9(1), pp.5-28
Frenyhough, C. 1996. The Dialogic Mind: A dialogic approach to the higher mental
functions. New Ideas in Psychology, 14(1), pp.47-62
Gutierrez, K., B. Rymes and J. Larson. 1995. Script, counter script, and under life in the
classroom: James Brown vs. Board of Education. Harvard Education Review, 65(3),
445-472. Gutierrez, K. D. 1994. How talk, context, and script shape contexts for
learning: a cross-case.
Holquist, M. 1990. Dialogism: Bakhtin and his world. Routledge, London.
Matusov, E. 2007. Applying Bakhtin Scholarship on discourse in Education: A critical
review essay. Educational Theory 57(1), pp. 215-237
. 2009. Journey into Dialogic Pedagogy. Nova Science Publisher, New York.
. 2011. Irreconcilable differences in Vygotsky’s and Bakhtin’s approaches to the
social and the individual : An educational perspective. Culture and Psychology, 17(1),
pp. 99-119
Morson, G. S. (Ed.). 1986. Bakhtin: Essays and dialogues on his work. The University of
Chicago Press, Chicago and London.
. 2004. The process of ideological becoming. In Bakhtinian perspective on language,
literacy, and learning, ed. A. F. Ball and S. W. Freedman, 315–332, Cambridge
University Press, New York.
Roth, W. F. 2013. An Integrated Theory of Thinking and Speaking that Draws on
Vygotsky and Bakhtin, Dialogic Pedagogy, 1, pp.33-53
Sidorkin, A. M. 1999. Beyond discourse: Education, the self, and dialogue. State University
of New York Press. Albany, NY.
Skidmore, D. 2000. From pedagogical dialogue to dialogical pedagogy. Language and
Education, 14(4), 283-296.
Vice, S. 1997. Introducing Bakhtin. Manchester University Press, Manchester and New York.
Wells, G. 1999. Dialogic inquiry: towards a socio cultural practice and theory of education.
Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.
Wenger, E. 1998. Communities of practice: Learning, meaning, and identity. Cambridge
University Press, Cambridge.
Wertsch, J.V. 1991. Voices of the Mind: A Sociocultural approach to Mediated Action.
Harvard University Press, Cambridge.
White, E.J. 2013. Bakhtinian Dialogic and Vygotskian Dialectic: Compatibilities and
Contradictions in the classroom?, Educational Philosophy and Theory, 45(1), pp.1-17
Spatial Factors of Social Exclusion and
Inclusive Development in Manipur
Lophro Celina Sapruna*

The present study is an attempt of analytical research on inclusive
development and social exclusion of tribal in North-East India with special
reference to the state of Manipur. It situates deprivation and exclusion of tribal
in both regional and national context. The paper emphasises on the aspects
of provisioning and accessibility of tribal communities to different facets of
development programmes. Recognising the multiple dimensions of deprivation
and vulnerability of the minority groups in contemporary India, this research
focuses on the region-specific constraints impeding the process of inclusive
growth and development in order to understand the dynamics of exclusive
inclusion of the minority tribal communities in Manipur partly as a consequence
of spatial disadvantage.

Introduction particularly holds relevance in NER

Research on the challenges of inclusive because, for long, the region has
development in contemporary India is witnessed a series of separatist and
important because so little has been identity movements partly as a result
done so far in the context of North- of prolonged neglect which have
East Region (NER), though many perpetuated the process of exclusion
scholars have already attempted in the region. Manipur is a typical
to address the issue in some other example of such manifestations of
contexts. Inclusive development discontent and unrest in its tribal

* Sector-B, House No. 157, Lerie Chazou, Kohima, Nagaland – 797001.

The paper is based on the doctoral work of the author conducted during 2008-2013. The author
acknowledges the valuable inputs of her research guide Professor B.S. Butola.
 114 Journal of Indian Education February 2015

areas emanating from social exclusion contrary, the benefits of economic

and systematic exploitation. And the growth have been seriously affected
impact of the Tribal Sub-Plan (TSP) by adverse redistribution, and in
is far from satisfactory as it failed consequence such development
to implement in larger interest of attempts have given way to social
the tribal communities given the and economic inequality, further
existing socio-economic and political widening the already existing tribal
conditions of the state. - non tribal gap, and also between
It is evident from literature that the advantaged and disadvantaged
the North-Eastern states are lagging among tribal’s, which also leads to
behind other parts of the country internal dissension and subsequently
mainly on account of their peripheral impacting the whole development
locations, along with large-scale discourse. Here in the paper, the
intra-regional, socio-cultural and terms ‘tribal’ and ‘Scheduled Tribes’
natural diversities. Thus, it is are interchangeably used referring to
ironic that these have failed to find the same category of people.
adequate importance in the by and
large unitary model of development Literature Review
that has been followed by India The concept of inclusiveness/
since Independence under various inclusion or exclusion has gained
plans. Yet, apart from that, higher more prominence in the country in
concentration of tribal population in recent past and it certainly holds
the region has also contributed in relevance in tribal society as well, as
perpetuating the process of social many studies already revealed that
exclusion in the region. a sizeable tribal population has not
In this background, the main been ‘included’ in and is, therefore,
objective of the present study focuses not benefited from growth process.
on identifying the region-specific One may also infer from the following
constraints impeding the inclusive section that social and physical
development process and also map exclusions are the major causes of the
out the spatial character of the overall continued economic backwardness,
regional development, which would insurgency and social tension in the
help one comprehend the factors North-East region.
contributing to process of exclusion Exclusion is defined as the state
and deprivation in a better manner. or the process of being excluded from
Furthermore, despite tall talk of the socialisation processes in general
an integrated approach in tribal and development in particular. There
development post independence, are different processes working
socio-economic conditions of the dynamically to cause social exclusion.
tribal communities have not made It is understood from the literature
any significant headway. On the that the tribals are marginalised,
Spatial Factors of Social Exclusion and... 115

neglected and excluded from the up one-tenth of the French population

development process in the country. constituting: mentally and physically
The concept of ‘social exclusion’ handicapped, suicidal people, aged
has gained importance in recent invalids, abused children, substance
years among the intellectuals, abusers, delinquents, single
social scientists, politicians, policy parents, multi-problem households,
makers, writers, activists and the marginal, asocial persons, and
public at large. The term has become other social “misfits” (Silver, 1994).
“so evocative, ambiguous, multi- They represented the socially
dimensional and elastic that it can disadvantaged groups, not protected
be defined in many different ways” by social insurance initiated by the
(Silver, 1994). There is no universal French government. However, it is
definition of ‘social exclusion’ which is noteworthy that social exclusion
“indicative of the fact that the process in this context was not equated
of ‘social exclusion’ is dynamic social with poverty. It rather referred to a
reality” (Butola, 2010). Hence, the process of social disintegration, in
concept of social exclusion can cover the sense of the rupture of a social
a wide range of dimensions – social, bond between the individual and
political, cultural, and economic society (Gore, 1995). Some argue that
(Sen, 2000; Percy-Smith, 2000; it was not about the socio-economic
Silver, 1995). The definition of the arrangement in society but about
term differs from person to person certain characteristics and behaviour
and from country to country. Its possessed by certain “marginal”
usage mainly depends on the cultural groups making them “maladjusted”
context but its treatment relies on the to French society (Bombongan, 2008).
paradigm that informs it. This sort of Though the French meaning of
flexibility enables it to be employed in the term was not properly understood
different ways. by many yet the concept gained
The European Union Foundation popularity in other countries as well,
defines social exclusion “as a process particularly in academic and policy
through which individuals or groups decisions. For instance, the European
are wholly or partially excluded from Union (EU) was a significant player
full participation in the society in in the dissemination of the concept.
which they live” (Bombongan, 2008). Marked significance was the altering
The term ‘social exclusion’ was of terminology from ‘poverty’ to ‘social
originally coined by Rene Lenoir, exclusion’ in the EU anti-poverty
the then Secretaries d’Etat a l’ programmes. Social exclusion also
Action Social in the Gaullist Chirac became central to British policies and
government, who published Les debates which led to the evolution of
Exclus: Un Francais sur dix, in 1974. inter-departmental Social Exclusion
He estimated that the “excluded” made Unit under the New Labour
 116 Journal of Indian Education February 2015

government in 1997. Gradually, hand, moralistic view focuses on

the concept became well-known cultural factor which lays emphasis
worldwide, both in developed and on greater participation.
developing countries alike, as Munck Bombongan (2008) also provides
(2005) also considers social exclusion a general overview of the concept of
as a powerful and essential indicator social exclusion. He reconstructs the
to capture the various experiences of specific historical conditions in which
polarisation, segregation between the the concept gained importance.
rich and the poor, and the growing Percy-Smith (2000) discusses a facet
inequality between developing and of social exclusion which can be
developed countries. termed ‘political exclusion’. In her
Among the other persons who opinion, this aspect of exclusion is the
have contributed in theorizing the disempowerment of socially excluded
concept of social exclusion, Hilary groups and individuals which results
Silver is a prominent one. She in their claims to have their social and
propounded three paradigms related economic needs not being voiced, not
to social exclusion, which are called being heard or not being acted upon.
as solidarity, specialisation and Butola (2011) attempts to analyse
monopoly paradigms – solidarity some of the antinomies of social
(exclusion as a resultant of the exclusion at various levels and
breakdown of social bond between the critically evaluates the relevance
individual and society), specialisation and justification of the concept at
(referring to exclusion resulting conceptual and level of social practice.
from specialisation of tasks, social He suggests that it should be a
differentiation and division of labour) conceptual tool for changing the world
and monopoly (implies the existence and emerge as an important concept
of hierarchical power relations in of social analysis. Haan (1998) and
social order) (Silver 1995; Haan 1999; Sen (2000) discuss the concept of
Bombongan 2008). social exclusion and its application.
Besides, Levitas (1998) also Sen tries to critically examine the idea
identified three contrasting views that of social exclusion, particularly in the
have had an impact on government context of deprivation and poverty.
policy namely, distributive, social He places social exclusion within
integration and moralistic view. the broader perspective of poverty
Distributive perspective regards as capability deprivation. Social
low income as the main cause of exclusion can, thus, be constitutively
exclusion and the benefit transfer a part of capability deprivation as well
as the only solution, whereas social as instrumentally a cause of diverse
integration emphasises the problem capability failures.
of unemployment as the main hurdle Striding for inclusion,
in the process inclusion. On the other Suryanarayana (2008) makes an
Spatial Factors of Social Exclusion and... 117

attempt to define the concept of hand, Thorat and Kumar (2009)

inclusive growth and aims to develop bring together original documents,
measures of inclusion. He proposes memorandums and writings of
to define inclusion/exclusion for B.R. Ambedkar to highlight his
an outcome scenario on broad- contribution to the development
based growth from three different of exclusion and inclusive policies
perspectives, viz. production, income in the country. A comprehensive
and consumption distribution. By introduction on both the historical
‘inclusive growth’, he states that context and the present controversy
the growth process is such that it regarding reservation is discussed in
has benefited even those sections their book.
that are deprived of both physical Thus from the brief literature
and human asset endowments and review, one can understand the
hence, generally belong to the bottom significance and relevance of inclusive
rungs of income distribution and are development in India, especially in the
incapable of participating/ benefiting context of North-East states as the
from the growth process. Thus, the region is witnessing a longstanding
definition of the concept presupposes problem of ethnic mobilisation and
the identification of the set of marginalisation. In this regard, Butola
deprived that cannot and hence, does (2002) rightly points out in his study
not i) participate effectively in the that in the development discourses
production process, ii) benefit from in social science research in NER,
it in terms of income generated; and the British imperialism continues to
iii) experience welfare improvements prevail in every discourse and is all
as measured by consumption. He done in the name of development.
finds out that the growth process in Singh (2005) puts the blame on
the country bypassed the majority coordination failure for divergent
and was not inclusive in the past and development gap specifically between
thus created a void between rich and the hills and the valley.
poor, rural and urban.
Likewise, Dev (2008) also argues Marginalisation and Ethnic
for more inclusive growth in India for Mobilisation
reduction in deprivation and regional The whole process of ethnic
disparities and for sustainable mobilisation, which began in the
economic growth. He treats ‘inclusive region during colonial time, got
growth’ as synonymous with intensified with the process of state
‘equitable development’. Inclusive building which strengthened the
development is nothing but the scope for ethnic identity movement.
process of including all sections of As a consequence, ethnic tension
society in development process in a has become more prominent today
just and fair manner. On the other than ever before; one knows that once
 118 Journal of Indian Education February 2015

fuelled, clashes between ethnic groups tensions and other security issues.
or with the state forces culminate in Furthermore, in the absence of safe
turbulent environment undermining environment that is conducive for
development aspirations of the people. development activities coupled with
Over and above that, in order to well-equipped infrastructure and
understand the issue of insurgency strong resource base, including
in North-East India it is necessary human capital, the scope for
to trace its root cause and analyse significant progress in development
the tale of the rebel groups. level in the region is unlikely to take
Unfortunately, NER is home to over place in near future.
50 ethnic rebel groups, out of which Many studies on ethnic group
a few are demanding total secession mobilisation conclude that under
from Indian union, some striving for a dominant ethnic group, other
ethnic identities and homelands and ethnic minorities become minorities
some regulating the insurgency as without any claim in the national
an industry, with no distinct political initiatives unless they could assert
ideologies, but just for making quick themselves politically. (Behera and
money. This way, the struggling Sahu) Justifying on this statement,
ethnicities of the region continued to one is convinced that achieving an
challenge the nation building process equitable development in a pluralistic
despite concerted efforts made by society like India is a daunting task.
successive Indian governments for Experiences also suggest that the
several decades to bring solution to achievement of equality has been a
it, rather there is every possibility cumbersome and slow process. One
that their approach has further of the main factors affecting this
aggravated the situation or crisis. drawback may be attributed to lack
The role of ethnic assertion and of an egalitarian sensibility in social
associated insurgency problem on order coupled with poor sense of
development discourse in Manipur is social justice. Government schemes
deep and massive. More holistically, to help the poor also failed. This
ethnicity has far reaching implications sums up that there are enormous
not only on social and economic challenges that come in the way of
aspects, but also in dimensions of inclusive development in India.
urbanisation, household amenities,
infrastructural facilities, human Analysis of Social Exclusion and

resource development, etc. Many Regional Development

studies reveal a large-scale intra- It is evident from the preceding
regional disparity in the level of discussion that inclusive development
development which is compounded by is a complex theme of research. Very
the problem of insurgency, inefficient few scholars have addressed this
governance, political ill-will, ethnic theme particularly on the tribals of
Spatial Factors of Social Exclusion and... 119

North-East India. Therefore, in this Research Method

background an attempt has been Both qualitative and quantitative
made to fill the missing link and so to methods have been adopted for the
make it objective it was necessary to present study with the research
follow a sound research methodology. hypothesis “geographical areas of
The first and most important part of relative isolation will exhibit lower
it was to select the right indicators. level of development and hence higher
Yet, there is no universal degree of social exclusion compared
standard to measure inclusive to areas with better accessibility”.
growth or inclusive development so Since there is no standard formula
far. Perhaps, one of the best known agreed upon to measure inclusive
measures of development is the growth or inclusive development, the
Human Development Index (HDI) idea of a social responsibility function
which embodies three indicators was used while deciding on the
which is not based solely on income indicators and variables. Considering
but considers other dimensions of the specification of the region and the
well-being as well. Yet, the question importance of community bond over
arises as how well the HDI captures family and village, the community
the inclusive development and social has been selected as the unit of study.
exclusion. The index combines In total, nine villages from three
income/living standard (measured sub-divisions of Senapati district in
by per capita income), education Manipur have been taken as samples
(measured by literacy rate), and namely, Mao-Maram, Paomata and
health (measured by life expectancy)1. Purul wherein four tribal groups --
Thus, consistent with the Mao, Maram, Paomai and Thangal
imperative of enforcing inclusiveness -- are predominant. The selected
as the main thrust in development sample villages are given as under
domain, and since there is no (also shown in Map 1):
definite research method to measure • Three Poumai Naga villages:
inclusive development and social Paomata Centre, Katafiimai, and
exclusion, attempts have been made Purul Akutpa;
to measure inclusive development • Three Mao villages: Chowainu,
in terms of different processes of Makhel and Mao Karong;
inclusion/exclusion indicators– • Two Maram villages: Maram
social, economic, political and Centre and Willong Khunou; and
infrastructure. Thus, a major • One Thangal village:
limitation lies in methodological Angkailongdi has been selected
difficulties while capturing the nature for the present study.
of development.

2010 Human Development Report, UNDP.
 120 Journal of Indian Education February 2015

Map 1

Primary data collection method as given under and also taking into
has been used to gather information consideration that the villages had to
for the research purpose through the be selected keeping in mind the tribes
medium of interview, questionnaire inhabiting across the region:
and group discussion. a) area of relative isolation: those
A combination of two sampling villages which are located in
designs has been used for selection places devoid of easy accessibility
of village samples, namely, such as important administrative
simple random sampling (without centres, main market and
replacement) and cluster sampling. highways), and
In simple random sampling without b) villages with easy accessibility:
replacement, the unit / sample those villages in spatial proximity
selected at each draw is not returned with the National Highways,
to the original population so that State Highways, District/ Sub-
the size of the universe/population Divisional Headquarters.
from which the samples are drawn Based on these criteria, data has
changes at every draw. been collected from 40 respondents
The entire population of 116 each from village sample, again
villages was stratified into different following the random sampling in
clusters in order to choose the village selection of household samples.
samples mainly based on two criteria Different sample villages have been
Spatial Factors of Social Exclusion and... 121

selected corresponding with the an important feature of inclusive

four tribes under consideration. development.
Accordingly, three villages each of
Poumai Naga and Mao (three from Social Exclusion and Inclusive
areas of relative isolation and other Development Indicators
three from areas of better accessibility The inclusive development indicators
meaning the villages are located closer may be broadly organised as under:
to important centres which could be (i) Social
District/Sub-division headquarters (ii) Economic
or National/State Highways); two (iii) Political
villages of Maram tribe (one from (iv) Infrastructure
remote area and the other one from The choice of indicators is made in
near the National Highway); and consistent with the framework of social
since Thangal tribe has a very small exclusion and inclusive development
population and also they are all discussed in previous section. Data on
located somewhat close to areas of development indicators are obtained
better accessibility only one village by comprehensive survey where a
has been selected for the study. sample of the population have been
Information gathered on various interviewed about their access to
aspects of well-being for all of the village health care, education, employment
samples provides detailed information and working conditions, economic
on demographic and economic resources and material standard of
characteristics; health status and living, housing, safety and security,
education of family members; social relations, political resources,
awareness of and participation in infrastructure, etc.
development programmes; housing,
water, and sanitation conditions Method of Data Analysis
of families; availability of credit to Findings on level of development
finance poor family; family income were drawn using percentage and
and expenditures, etc. Basically represented in the form of tables
the approach towards the study of and dot maps. Besides, methods
inclusive development in present of composite index and index of
research is based on development remoteness have been employed to
programmes and its implementation. map out spatial character of regional
Henceforth, attempt has been made development. Thus, the performance
to assess whether the opportunities of each indicator under the four broad
or benefits of growth and development aspects of inclusive development were
are either adequate and whether it arranged in a descending order and
reaches the target group or not. This final score was calculated for each
exercise was necessitated by the fact aspect i.e., economic, social, political
that people’s participation forms and infrastructure. To obtain nature
 122 Journal of Indian Education February 2015

of overall inclusive development the Indicators of Remoteness

final score of each aspect was added The physiographic and other
and hence the final z score of overall differences between the hills and
development aspects of the four plains of Manipur are not only
important tribal communities was articulated in socio-cultural and
calculated. politico-economic difference but
(a) Composite index these also create differences in the
nature of spatial interaction which
This method helps in capturing the
in turn are important for inclusive
multi-dimensional aspects in a single
development. To measure levels
dimension; that is, it helps capture of spatial interaction an Index of
the overall regional development. It Remoteness has been used. It is
is interpreted as higher the index, based on the following main features:
higher is the level of development and (i) approximate road mileage from
vice-versa. To make the indicators the sample village to District HQ
comparable with each other, the (in kilometres)
variables have been standardised by (ii) approximate mileage with kutcha
subtracting the mean of every indicator road from District HQ to the
and divided by their respective sample village (in kilometres)
standard deviation. It is calculated
(iii) number of ethnic /linguistic
using the following formula: boundaries used to reach the
ci =
X −X nearest main market
SD (iv) number of ethnic/linguistic
where ci is the composite index, boundaries used to reach the
x is the unit of observation, ‾
x  is the state capital
mean of each variable and SD is the (v) number of dialects used between
standard deviation. the nearest main market and the
Thus, the standardised data sample village
is added to find out the aggregate (vi) number of dialects used between
development factor score. the state capital and the sample
(b) Index of remoteness
The remoteness has gained
The main focus of Index of importance in explaining the spatial
remoteness is to define remoteness in dimension of development as it is
terms of socio-economic parameters defined in terms of physical distance
influencing the study area. It is separating the sample villages from
basically defined in terms of physical nodes of activity and how distance and
distance separating the base spatial ethnic/linguistic boundaries restrict
unit from nodes of activity and how opportunities for spatial interaction.
distance and ethnic boundaries In highly accessible areas, there is
restrict opportunities for interaction. relatively unrestricted accessibility
Spatial Factors of Social Exclusion and... 123

to a wide range of goods and services of interaction among these factors

and hence greater opportunities for cannot be probed adequately without
spatial interaction; whereas in very looking at them in a comprehensive
remote areas, there is very little multi-dimensional framework. Thus,
accessibility of goods, services and for capturing the overall regional
opportunities for interaction and development, final composite index
hence more subjected to exclusion. has been calculated to determine
the overall development level of the
(c) Correlation sample villages.
Measurement of the degree and Table 1 and Map 2 show a
direction of correlation between wide spatial variation in overall
variables is important as it helps development composite index values.
particularly the geographers in Angkailongdi village situated close
explaining the variations in various to the well connected centre has
spatial phenomena, and therefore obtained the highest composite index
the calculation is carried out in the scoring 24.6 value. Makhel and Mao
following manner:2 Karong villages are at the second and
Measurement of Correlation third positions respectively with 9.89
(formula) as suggested by Karl and 7.26 composite index values.
Pearson is given as: These villages enjoy the advantage
∑ X ∑Y of linkages whereby it attracts most
∑ XY −
r= N of the development opportunities
∑x 2 (∑ x )
∑Y 2
( ∑ Y )2 and thus helped in acquiring some
r N N of the modern socio-economic and
where r is the correlation coefficient infrastructural amenities. However,
between two variables X and Y, and N Maram Centre, which supposedly
is the number of observations. figure in the same league accounts
for relatively low overall development
Overall Development and Spatial index as the village seems to have
Factor weak inter and intra-regional
linkages with respect to socio-
As previously discussed, development
economic development parameters.
is multi-dimensional in nature. It
The other villages showing relatively
is the outcome of several processes
developed overall development
which may be of social, economic,
level include Paomata Centre and
political, and infrastructure; each of
Chowainu and the composite index
these aspects plays its own role in
value for these villages are 3.30 and
determining the development level of
2.00 respectively. Better accessibility
the region. Therefore, the complexities
and proximity to service centres
Mahmood, Aslam. 1998. Statistical Methods in Geographical Studies. Rajesh Publications,
New Delhi. pp. 48-53
 124 Journal of Indian Education February 2015

seem to have led to acquiring the Purul Akutpa with composite index
relatively better development index. values of -2.86 and -4.50 respectively.
Paomata centre is situated near Remoteness compounded by low
the sub-divisional headquarter and literacy rate and poor transport
located close to the state highways connectivity is mainly responsible
but the road condition is deplorable for the low development level at
which adversely affects the smooth Katafiimai village. On the other hand,
flow of traffic and the overall spatial relative inaccessibility and weak inter
interaction. and intra-linkages have contributed
Level of overall development is to low level of overall development in
lowest in Katafiimai village scoring as Purul Akutpa village.
low as -37.14 value of the composite Conclusions can be drawn
index. Other villages that fall in the from the statistical analysis of the
lowest rung are Maram Centre and correlation coefficient between

Map 2
Spatial Factors of Social Exclusion and... 125

Table 1
Correlation Coefficient and t value – Overall Development Indicator and
Remoteness Index
Correlation value Calculated t Tabulated t Result
of RI and OCI value (0.05, 7d.f.)*
Result -0.691 2.531 2.364 Significant
Rejects the null
where, RI = remoteness index, OCI = Overall development composite index
* Tabulated value with 7 degree of freedom at 0.05 level of significance is 2.364

the remoteness index and overall to greater polarisation. More remote

development composite index that the areas benefit less from growth in terms
two variables are negatively correlated of its poverty alleviation programmes
at the value of -0.691. Table 1 shows leading to a divergence in poverty rates
that the calculated t value is greater across the region.
than the corresponding tabulated However, when one looks closely at
value, meaning thereby that the development parameters individually
correlation coefficient is significant. inferences can be made that not all
The tabulated value of correlation the villages or households situated
coefficient at 5% significance with in areas of relative isolation exhibited
7 degree of freedom is 2.364 and is a low level of development in social,
lesser than the calculated t value of economic and political indicators
2.531. Meaning, there is significant and hence not subjected to greater
correlation between remoteness index exclusionary process. And, not all
and overall development composite those households or villages situated
index at 0.05 level (2-tailed) and thus, in areas with better accessibility and
it rejects the null hypothesis. spatial proximity to important service
The statistical explanation of these centres have always demonstrated
t values says that the correlation a higher level of development in all
between the overall regional indicators. Thus, these findings of
development composite index and individual development parameters
remoteness index is statistically nullify the hypothesis that “the
significant. It implies that the unequal villages situated in areas of relative
spatial interaction processes are isolation will exhibit lower level of
related with regional inequality and development and hence higher degree
patterns of regional growth. It is largely of exclusion compared to areas with
due to the components included in the better accessibility. Nonetheless,
indices of development parameters that when taken for overall development
these aspects have led to a reduction in composite index, the hypothesis is
territorial disparities, but have not led validated to a considerable extent.
 126 Journal of Indian Education February 2015

Besides, it is found that there fellowship and Education among ST

is also weak inter and intra- girls in Low Literacy Districts etc., are
linkages, limiting the developmental some of the government programmes
opportunities, for instance inter and formulated for promoting education
intra-tribal disparity in the level of among STs. Nonetheless, these
development indicators. This obviously schemes fall short of expectation.
hampers the process of inclusive From the survey it is found that
development as it results in tribal people are not sensitised about
rivalry pertaining to power relation. the education schemes and hence
Thus, it can be said that inter-tribe ignorant about it. Except for the
disparity in the level of development Post-Matric Scholarship (PMS), both
will impede inclusive development. students and parents are not aware
In addition, villages with low literacy of the other programmes which
rate have predominance of traditional are aimed at enhancing their social
activities and very less proportion mobility.
of the household population is into Even though tribal education
market-oriented activities, other was given utmost importance during
than just the traditional activities the plan periods, the planners
that is, agriculture. Thus, it is have failed to even recognise the
understood that literacy rate also basic need of the tribal people, for
plays a determining role in achieving instance, in providing hostel facilities
inclusive growth and development for Scheduled tribe students, both
coupled with various support from boys and girls. Till recent times, it is
the state and its agencies. for this simple reason that some ST
students drop out of schools for lack
Education: Inclusion and of adequate accommodation in view
Exclusion Dimension of their poor economic conditions. It
As educational development is a was only in 2010 that the proposal
stepping-stone to economic and for setting up hostels for ST boys and
social development, and the most girls in the tribal areas of Manipur
effective instrument for empowering has been accepted in the hope that
the marginalised like the tribal, no students drop out on grounds of
efforts have been made by the inadequate accommodation.
Ministry of Tribal Affairs to improve It is also noticed from the survey
their educational status exclusively that people are increasingly concerned
by carrying out various development about quality education and so the
tasks by formulating different children are sent to unaided private
Schemes. Post-Matric Scholarship schools, which is presumably higher
(PMS), Book Bank, Scheme for in quality, even at the cost of paying
Construction of Hostels for ST Girls higher school fees. So much so that
and Boys, Rajiv Gandhi National the parents squeeze in their budget
Spatial Factors of Social Exclusion and... 127

and make sure that their children are also in this regard that tribal dialect
enrolled in private schools in their textbooks are introduced not only in
own village or in the neighbourhoods. government and aided schools but
It is noteworthy that tracking on are instituted even for private unaided
the path of inclusive development, schools.
Manipur state government in Thus from the present analysis,
compliance with the RTE Act has it is understood that greater spatial
taken up various activities during the interaction plays a significant role
past years. As part of context specific in spreading awareness among
interventions pictorial charts and the hill tribes in response to the
textbooks have been introduced in development benefits. Tribes near
various tribal dialects spoken in hill the district headquarter have higher
districts of Senapati, Tamenglong, level of awareness as compared
Ukhrul, Churachandpur and Chandel, to tribes located far from it. Thus,
and efforts are on for inclusion taking advantage of linkages, these
of all tribal dialects in the school villages have attracted most of
curriculum. The recent development the developmental opportunities
has been the recognition and including educational infrastructure.
introduction of three tribal dialects Consequently, most of the villages
of Poumai, Gangte and Liangmai in situated in the remote parts remain
school syllabus up to Class VIII. It is unaffected by modern developmental
reported that text books published influences due to poor spatial
by Poumai Literature Committee in interaction. On end note, it can be
'Poula' dialect (Poumai Naga dialect) is said that the interaction processes
being taught in schools on voluntary play a determining role in inclusive
basis since a decade back. Mao dialect growth and thus has to be regarded
textbooks have been introduced up to as the basic tenet of development so
matriculation. Still, the tribal dialects as to fulfill the objective of inclusive
of Seme, Maram, Inpui, Maring, development.
Anal, Chiru, Kharam, Thangal and
many others are yet to be brought Conclusion and Suggestions
within the folds of inclusive education Given that tribal areas lag behind
in terms of mother tongue. It is in the development achievements,
significant in the context of Manipur and that infrastructure is causally
because inclusion of tribal dialects linked to improvements in different
in the school curriculum can act as development parameters, investment
a unifying force of the people wherein in rural infrastructure also holds
the ethnic mobilisation is active.3 It is the key to inclusive development,

Ragongning Gangmei. May 20, 2013, Chairman of Council of Tribal Language and Literature

Societies, Manipur (CTLLSM), doi:

 128 Journal of Indian Education February 2015

not only in Manipur but the North the centre, the region still records low
East region as a whole. Thus, from level of regional development, while
this instance, it can be illustrated at the same time broadening avenues
that the districts which are situated for political dialogue.
in remote areas suffers more from As with regard to school
neglect in development pursuits, in education, the problems faced by
their respective states. On account children in the tribal areas of the
of these problems also, the frontiers state are often different from that
witness a greater ethnic mobilisation, of children belonging to Scheduled
culminating in militarisation. Castes. Thus, in conformity with
Furthermore, taking cognizance the provisions of RTE Act, there is
of development disparity, North-East a need for SSA to provide context
is the only region in India which specific intervention in the form of
has a ministry, called Ministry of hostels, incentives or a special facility
Development of North Eastern Region as required especially for those in
(MDNER), exclusively meant for them peripheral locations. Some of the
that manages the matters relating suggested interventions, which can be
to the planning, execution and considered, are preparing textbooks
monitoring of development schemes in mother tongue for tribal children
and projects in NER including Sikkim, at the primary education where they
with a vision to accelerate the pace of do not understand other languages.
socio-economic development to bring Besides, efforts can be made to bridge
at par with the mainstream. Yet, language barriers for non-tribal
even after many years of economic teachers by teaching them the basics
planning in the country, primary of tribal dialect, and impart special
sector continues to dominate the training for them to encourage them
economy of the people, characterised to work in tribal areas.
by stagnant economic growth. Thus, in order to bridge the
Industrial sector remains stagnant development gap there is a need
and the tertiary sector is dominated to create a viable environment for
by government administrative private investment, by removing
services, and the trade and commerce infrastructural bottlenecks and by
are mostly in the hands of non-local providing basic minimum services,
traders resulting in capital outflow and by removing impediments
from the region, while the educated to lasting peace and security in
unemployed population keeps rising the region, as the ethnic identity
at an alarming rate as the region lacks movement and social unrest has
adequate job avenues to absorb them. for long been held responsible for
Therefore, despite a strong natural impediments of progress in the
resource base, its potentials and region. The conclusion is obvious
generous funding allocations from here because economic growth
Spatial Factors of Social Exclusion and... 129

can be obtained and sustained in inclusive and subsequently achieve

a sustainable manner only if the inclusive development of the needy
development discourse becomes and the marginalised.

Behera, Deepak Kumar and H. Ranju Sahu. Social and Cultural Development of Human
Resources – The Role of Ethnic Groups in Social Development. Encyclopedia of Life
Support Systems (EOLSS). Retrieved form website,
Bombongan, D. 2008. The concept of social exclusion: An overview. Asia-Pacific Social
Science Review 8, 2, 35-49.
Burman, B.K. Roy. April 1, 1989. Problems and Prospects of Tribal Development in North-
east India. Economic and Political Weekly. 24(13), 693-697.
Butola, B.S. 2002. Development Discourses in Social Science Research in the North-
Eastern Region. In Deb, Bimal J. 2002 (ed.). Development Priorities in North-East
India. pp. 31-39. Concept Publishing Company, New Delhi.
. 2010. Antinomies of Social Exclusion. BHU Journal of Social Science, 11(1), 1-26.
De Haan, A. 1999. Social Exclusion: Towards an Holistic Understanding of Deprivation,
Social Development Department, Dissemination Note No. 2, Department for
International Development, London, U.K.
De Haan, Arjan and Maxwell Simon, eds. 1998. Poverty and Social Exclusion in North and
South. IDS Bulletin 29 (1). (January).
Dev, S. Mahendra. 2008. Inclusive Growth in India: Agriculture, Poverty and Human
Development. Oxford University Press, New Delhi.
Gore, C. 1995. Introduction: Markets, Citizenship and Social Exclusion. In G. Rodgers,
C. Gore, and J.B. Figueiredo (eds.): Social Exclusion: Rhetoric, Reality, Responses.
Geneva: International Institute for Labour Studies.
Horam, M (ed). 2000. The Rising Manipur. Manas Publications, New Delhi.
. 1988. Naga Insurgency. Cosmo Publications, New Delhi.
Levitas, R. 1998. The Inclusive Society? Social Exclusion and New Labour, Macmillan.
Mahmood, Aslam. 1998. Statistical Methods in Geographical Studies. Rajesh Publications,
New Delhi.
Mehta, P.C. 1996. Tribal Rights. Shiva Publishers, Udaipur.
Ministry of Tribal Affairs. 2007. Report of the Working Group on Empowerment of
Scheduled Tribes for the Eleventh Five Year Plan (2007-2012). Ministry of Tribal
Affairs, Government of India, New Delhi.
Munck, R. 2005. Globalisation and Social Exclusion: A Transformationalist Perspective.
Kumarian Press, Bloomfield.
 130 Journal of Indian Education February 2015

Nathan, Dev and Virginius Xaxa, (eds.). 2012. Social Exclusion and Adverse Inclusion:
Development and Deprivation of Adivasis in India. Oxford University Press, New Delhi.
Oinam, Bhagat. May 24-30, 2003. Patterns of Ethnic Conflict in the North-East: A Study
on Manipur. Economic and Political Weekly. 38(21), 2031-2037.
Percy-Smith, J. (ed.). 2000. Policy Responses to Social Exclusion: Towards Inclusion?
Open University Press. Buckingham, Philadelphia.
Rodgers, G., C. Gore and J.B. Figueiredo (eds.). 1995. Social Exclusion: Rhetoric, Reality,
Responses. Institute of International Labour Studies, Geneva.
Ragongning Gangmei. May 20, 2013, Chairman of Council of Tribal Language and
Literature Societies, Manipur (CTLLSM). Retrieved from website,
Sen, Amartya. 2000. Development as Freedom. Oxford University Press, New Delhi.
. 2004. Social Exclusion: Concepts, Application, Scrutiny. Critical Quest, New Delhi.
. 1997. Human Capital and Human Capability. World Development, 25 (12),
Silver, H. 1995. “Reconceptualising social disadvantage: three paradigms of social
exclusion” in G. Rodgers, C. Gore and J.B. Figueiredo (eds.) Social Exclusion: Rhetoric,
Reality, Responses, Institute of International Labour Studies, Geneva, 58-80.
Silver, Hillary. 1994. Social Exclusion and Social Solidarity: Three Paradigms. International
Labour Review. 133 (5-6), 531-578.
Singh, E. Bijoykumar. April-June, 2005. Development Discourse in Manipur: Hills vs.
Valley. Eastern Quarterly. 3(1), 160-169.
Suryanaayana, M.H. 2008. What Is Exclusive About ‘Inclusive Growth’? Economic and
Political Weekly. 43 (43), 91-101.
Thorat, Sukhadeo and Narender Kumar. 2009. B. R. Ambedkar: Perspectives on Social
Exclusion and Inclusive Policies. Oxford University Press, Oxford.
English Language Education
Situation in India
Ramanujam Meganathan*

This paper attempts to present the current state of English language education
in schools in India through a reflection of policies and practices. Different types
of schools in the different school systems, typologies of teaching situations are
presented with illustrations and the diverse nature of curriculum, syllabus and
materials development and the quality issues related to it. It goes on to suggest
measures to improve the quality of English language education in schools.

English Language Education 25.84% are schools at the secondary

Today level (NCERT, 2007). A network of
English language teaching in India is secondary schools numbering more
a complex and diverse phenomenon than 1.1 lakh, some 11,000 colleges,
in terms of resources for teaching- universities (numbering 221 apart
learning of the language, the teacher, from 40 odd deemed universities) and
pedagogical practices and the other institutions of higher learning
demand for the language. It is an and research whose numbers and
ever-expanding part of almost every reach keep growing, offer instruction
system and stage of education in India in and through this language at
(Tickoo, 2004). Out of 35 states and various levels and under different
Union Territories, 26 have introduced arrangements. The following table
English as a language from class 1, shows the increase in the use of
of which 12.98% are primary schools, English as a medium of instruction
18.25% are upper primary schools and at the school level.

* Assistant Professor, Department of Education in Languages, NCERT, Sri Aurobindo Marg, New
 132 Journal of Indian Education February 2015

Table 1
English as a medium of instruction in Indian schools
Primary Upper Primary Secondary

1993 2002 1993 2002 1993 2002

English as 4.99 12.98 15.91 18.25 18.37 25.84

in %
Source: Seventh All India School Education Survey- 2002 (NCERT, 2007)

The near-total achievement as a follow-up to the National Policy

of universalisation of elementary of Education (1986) for nurturing
education has intensified pressure rural talents. The last two categories
on secondary and higher secondary of schools follow a mixed medium of
education in the country today. This is instruction. Children learn Science
the stage when the English language and Mathematics in English, and
attains greater importance as it Social Sciences in Indian languages.
serves as an additional instrument There are schools where one section
for undertaking higher education in each class is English-medium.
because 90% of higher education is Mohanty (2010:168) describes how
through the medium of English. this ‘mixed medium within a school
English language education is and within a classroom’ works in
marked by diversity and disparity these categories of schools.
in terms of provision and resources English is used to teach
for teaching of English as a second ‘prestigious subjects’ like Mathematics
language as well as a medium of and Science, whereas, Hindi or other
instruction in school education. languages are used to teach the ‘less
There are varieties of school systems prestigious’ subjects like History and
that exist in the country today — the Social Sciences. Hindi used to be the
state-run schools where the medium second language subject in most of
of instruction is the state language or the non-Hindi states in India. Now, it
the vernacular, the English-medium has been replaced by English and it
schools known as the ‘public schools’, is relegated to the position of a third
which are actually private schools language subject in most states.
where the medium of instruction is English is a second language in
often English, the Kendriya Vidyalayas all these categories of schools and
where the children of central the systems of school education. It is
government employees study, and also a standard medium of education
a special category of schools known for the sciences and professional
as the Navodaya Vidyalayas set up subjects at the university-level across
English Language Education Situation in India 133

the country today (Ramanathan, children from a variety of

1999:34). This presents a ‘huge background.
linguistic gap’ for students who have (d) ↓↓TP, ↓↓EE (e.g. Government
attended vernacular-medium schools regional-medium schools run by
(Anderson, 2012). Their learning district and municipal education
English language often becomes authorities): They enrol the largest
a burden for students as they are number of elementary school
forced to learn English on their own children in rural India. They are
(Sheorey, 2006:70). also the only choice for the urban
We can also find that the English poor (who, however, have some
language teaching situations within options of access to English in
and across the school systems the environment). Their teachers
present a mixed picture in terms may be the least proficient in
of teacher proficiency (TP) and English among these four types of
the exposure of the pupils to the schools. (Position Paper Teaching
language in and outside the school, of English-NCF - 2005- NCERT,
i.e. the availability of English in the 2005b) (p 2)
environment of language acquisition The difference in the teaching-
(EE) (Nag-Arulmani, 2000 cb NCERT learning situations, learners’
2005b). Kurrien (1997) identifies four exposure to the language outside the
types of schools as given below: school and parental support further
(a) ↑↑TP, ↑↑EE (e.g. English-medium divides each category of students. As
private/government-aided elite Prabhu (1987:3) observes “typologies
schools): Proficient teachers; of teaching situations… should thus
varying degrees of English in the be seen as an aid to investigating the
environment, including as a home extent of relevance of a pedagogic
or first language. proposal, rather than as absolute
(b) ↑TP, ↑EE (e.g. New English- categories.” The teaching situation
medium private schools, many of decides where a school stands. Most
which use both English and other rural schools in India today fall under
Indian languages): Teachers with the fourth category where we have
limited proficiency; children with children with almost no exposure
little or no background in English; to the English language, where the
parents aspire upward mobility teachers’ proficiency in English is
for their children through English. in question, and where the parents
(c) ↓TP, ↓EE (e.g. Government- cannot support their wards in
aided regional-medium schools): learning the language.
Schools with a tradition of Selvam and Geetha (2010:56)
English education along with bring out the disparity in English
regional languages, established language education in the context of
by educational societies, with one of the south Indian states, Tamil
 134 Journal of Indian Education February 2015

Nadu from a ‘class perspective’. They along on borrowed methods taken

describe the schools as type A, B and directly from the native English-
C in terms of locations and resources. speaking world or grafted arbitrarily
Type ‘A’ schools are located in big on to whatever existed before is true
cities and are attended by upper to a large extent. However, indigenous
middle class children. English (Indian) experiments like the
language proficiency of both teachers Bangalore-Madras Communicational
and learners here are higher than all language teaching project (Prabhu,
other categories of schools. Type ‘B’ 1987) have made an equal impact
schools are also found in big cities in the Western and the Asian ELT
and additionally in smaller towns, and scenario. However, these new
cater to the middle class which cannot experiments have not impacted the
afford to pay the high fees that type existing English language curriculum
‘A’ schools demand. Here the learners and the practice of English language
are not as easy and confident with teaching. Heavy reliance on the
the English language as their peer in grammar-translation and structural
type ‘A’ schools. Type ‘C’ schools are approaches, and teacher-centric
the ones located generally in small teaching continues to dominate
and mofussil towns, catering to rural in most of the school systems.
households that want their young to Moreover, English as a school
know English. ‘Neither the teachers subject is a major cause of students
nor the students in these schools dropping out of school at the end
move in an English-speaking world of class X. Disinterested classroom
in the way that their counterparts in transactions, lack of any meaningful
the cities do… But there is a greater teaching and language proficiency
anxiety about learning English in of the teacher, and uninspiring
these institutions.’ (Selvam and methods and materials are attributed
Geetha, 2010: 56) as major reasons for the sad state
The two categorisations above of English language education in
inform us that the prevalent diversity schools. ‘Incomprehensibility’ of
of English language teaching the content as well as treating the
situations even within a small town language as ‘content’ subject in
poses a serious challenge for an terms of materials and classroom
effective planning and implementation transactions increase the burden on
of language education. Also, there is the learner. This was recorded with
a general dissatisfaction about the concern by the Yashpal Committee
way in which the language is taught Report, Learning without burden
in most of the schools, particularly (1993). The National Curriculum
the government schools run by the Framework -2005 (NCERT, 2005a)
states. The general view that India’s aims at reducing the burden on
ELT methodology has been built all learners by suggesting methodologies
English Language Education Situation in India 135

which would connect the classroom The lack of research inputs for
with the lives of learners. It believes evolving a methodology that would
that the burden on children is one suit the Indian situation is a major
major hindrance in the learning of concern for researchers, teachers
subjects and as well as the languages. and those involved in the design and
Incomprehensibility of the language development, implementation and
of the content subjects (say Science, evaluation of curricula. In the 1970s,
Mathematics or Social Sciences) and Tickoo argued that what is needed in
studying through a medium that is India is a method, which should grow
not their mother tongue proves to be a from research and experiment within
double disadvantage for the children. the country and in the circumstances
This is compounded when children of an average schoolroom (Tickoo,
either drop out of the school or are 1971).
declared as ‘the ones who can’t learn’ ‘Defective language learning is
(Jhingaran, 2005). Introduction of often attributed to defective syllabus
English language without adequate design, the student does not learn the
resources, particularly English language properly because we do not
language teachers throws a much teach the right things or because we
greater challenge when it comes to recognise what we teach is the wrong
the quality of education. The position way’ states Michael Swan (1985:77).
paper on teaching of Indian languages Planning and implementation of
(NCERT, 2005c: 38) rightly asserts: English language education in the
Where qualified teachers and diverse Indian contexts calls for a
adequate infrastructural facilities are flexible approach which suits the
available, English may be introduced diverse needs of the learners. Language
from the primary level, but for the education in India is not conceived
first couple of years it should focus holistically, wherein languages
largely on oral-aural skills, simple complement and supplement one
lexical items, or some day-to-day another. Fragmentation of the
conversation. Use of the languages of language curriculum in schools in
children should not be forbidden in the terms of regional languages versus
English class, and the teaching should English, and within this space the
as far as possible be located in a text question of majority and minority
that would make sense to the child. languages and tribal languages, has
If trained teachers are not available, greatly disadvantaged the learners.
English should be introduced at the Language education should be seen
post-primary stage and its quantum as a holistic venture, where the
increased in such a way that learners languages available in the school
should soon reach the levels of their serve as a resource for learning other
classmates who started learning languages as well as content subjects.
English early. In other words the multilingual
 136 Journal of Indian Education February 2015

characteristic of the Indian classroom 23rd meeting held in 1956 with a

should be treated as a resource rather view of removing inequalities among
than a problem. Denial of learning the languages of India, particularly
through one’s mother tongue and between Hindi and other Indian
unwillingness to use the languages languages. It recommended that
of the children as a resource for three languages should be taught
teaching-learning of languages as in the Hindi as well as non-Hindi-
well as content subjects is seen as one speaking areas of the country at the
major reason for children not learning middle and high school stages, and
in schools (Position Paper Teaching of suggested two possible formulae as
English and Position Paper Teaching given below.
of Indian Languages). The National 1. (a) (i) Mother tongue or
Curriculum Framework– 2005 calls (ii) Regional language or
for multilingualism as a language (iii) A composite course of
policy in school education and for mother-tongue and a
using the languages of the children regional language or
as a resource for learning. (iv) A composite course of
mother tongue and a
Language Policy in Education and classical language or
the English Language (v) A composite course of
The national language-in-education- regional language and a
policy for school education, the three- classical language.
language formula recommended (b) Hindi or English
by the National Commission on (c) A modern Indian language
Education 1964–1966, (GOI, 1968) or a modern European
was incorporated into the national language provided it has
education policies of 1968 and not already taken under
1986. Accommodating at least three (a) and (b) above.
languages in the school education 2. (a ) As above
has been seen as a convenient (b) English or a modern
strategy, but concerns have also been European language
expressed from various quarters about (c) Hindi (for non-Hindi
its ‘unsatisfactory’ implementation. speaking areas) or another
India’s language policy in education modern Indian language
emerged as a political consensus in (for Hindi speaking areas)
the chief ministers’ conferences held (CABE 1956, Item 2)
during the 1950s and 1960s. The The other major objective of the
Central Advisory Board on Education formula was to promote mother
(CABE), which consisted of education tongue based multilingualism, where
ministers of all the states, devised the learner starts school education in
the ‘three-language formula’ in its the mother tongue and at least two
English Language Education Situation in India 137

more languages are added (aiming 2. The official language of the Union
at additive bilingualism) by the time or the associate official language
s/he completes ten years of schooling. of the Union so long as it exists;
The three-language formula was and
simplified and approved by the 3. A modern Indian or foreign
Conference of Chief Ministers, held language not covered under (1)
in 1961, to accommodate the mother and (2) and other than that used
tongue or regional language, Hindi, as the medium of instruction.
the official language (any other Indian (MOE 1966:192)
language in Hindi speaking regions) The Education Commission went
and English (GOI, 1962: 67). The on to comment on the place and role
CABE also deliberated in detail on of English in education.
the study of English as a compulsory English will continue to enjoy a
subject as recommended by the high status so long as it remains the
education ministers’ conference held principal medium of education at the
in 1957: university stage, and the language
1. English should be taught as a of administration at the Central
compulsory language both at Government and in many of the states.
the secondary and the university Even after the regional languages
stages, students acquire adequate become media of higher education in
knowledge of English so as to be the universities, a working knowledge
able to receive education through of English will be a valuable asset
this language at the university- for all students and a reasonable
level. proficiency in the language will be
2. English should not be introduced necessary for those who proceed to
earlier than class V. The precise the university. (MOE 1966:192)
point at which English should be The English language’s colonial
started was left to each individual legacy has now been lost and
state to decide. (MOE 1957, the language is seen as a neutral
quoted in Agarwal 1993:98) language, much in demand by
A comprehensive view of the study cross sections of the society. Crystal
of languages at school was undertaken (1997:139) is confident that ‘the
and concrete recommendations were English language has already grown
made by the Education Commission to be independent of any form of
between 1964 and 1966 (NCERT, social control’ and ‘in 500 years’
1968). The Commission, having time everyone is multilingual and
taken account of the diversity of will automatically be introduced to
India, recommended a modified or English as soon as they are born.’
‘graduated’ three-language formula: The first part of the statement has to
1. The mother tongue or the regional be viewed with much apprehension
language since the language in the Indian
 138 Journal of Indian Education February 2015

context has already perpetuated has become a language of day-to-day

inequalities. The language has been use for several million upper middle
out of reach of millions of people who class and rich people. The poor and
belong to the lower socio-economic the productive masses have a right to
strata of the society. This has been learn the language of administration
recorded in the report of the National and global communication.’
Knowledge Commission (NKC) (GOI, However, this notion of the
2007:47), empowering role of English language
There is an irony in the situation. is contested from the points of view
English has been part of our education of language endangerment and
system for more than a century. Yet harmonious development of learners.
English is beyond the reach of most Pattanayak (1981) argues how our
of our young people, which makes for education system has consistently
highly unequal access. Indeed, even weakened the advantages of grassroot
now, more than one per cent of our multilingualism that characterises
people use it as a second language, our society. As Illich (1981) suggests,
let alone a first language. But NKC we need to make every possible
believes that the time has come for us effort to empower the languages of
to teach our people, ordinary people, the underprivileged, and tribal and
English as a language in schools. endangered languages. Affirmative
Early action in this sphere would action is called for in this domain
help us build an inclusive society and (NCERT 2005a). To quote Pattanayak
transform India into a knowledge (1981), ‘if participatory democracy
society. has to survive, we need to give a voice
India’s once deprived sections of to the language of every child.’ Macro
the society (like the Dalits) now perceive level policy planning calls for mother
the language as an instrument for tongue based multilingualism where
progress. The news of a temple for the use of two or more languages
English language in a village in the as medium of instruction is seen as
Hindi heartland (Pandey, 2011) tells beneficial for all languages (UNESCO,
its own story and there is a demand 2003). But the developments in the
for the English language and English last three decades reveal that the
medium education for reducing number of languages used as media
exclusion (Illaiah, 2013). Illaiah of instruction in schools in 1973
(2013) emphasises that it is the right was 67 (Third All India Educational
of the Dalits to be exposed to English, Survey, NCERT, 1975); the number
‘Within 200 years of its introduction came down to 47 in 1993 (Sixth All
in India it (English) has become the India Educational Survey, NCERT
language of easily about 100 million 1995) (cb. Srinivasa Rao 2008).
people. Its expansion in future will While the promise of education in
be several folds faster than earlier. It the mother tongue of the child is
English Language Education Situation in India 139

made time and again, we notice that Even within the English language
within a period of 20 years at least education in practice shows the
20 languages were thrown out of the hierarchy as discussed somewhere
school system. Though linguistic above. (Meganathan, 2010)
diversity is recognised at the policy This brief historical account of the
level, its implementation is faulty. evolution of the language policy in
There appears to be a language India tells us how the apprehension
hierarchy, where English and the about the dominance of the English
state languages get privileged and language as a colonial language has
the tribal/minority languages get been naturally alleviated by the role
neglected, often leading to a sense of which the language has attained.
exclusion amongst its speakers. The This is in spite of the efforts (political
language hierarchy could be depicted and systemic) to contain its spread.
as shown below. Today, every child and parent
The many of the tribal and minor understands the need of the language.
languages have not found a place It is a compulsory second language in
in school even as a language, leave most of the states. The liberalisation
alone as a medium of instruction. The of Indian economy in the 1990s and
promotion of English language as an the impact of globalisation have
instrument for upward mobility and intensified the spread of the language
notions relating to development has as an instrument for upward mobility
to be seen from diverse perspectives. and as a language of opportunity.

Fig. 1
 140 Journal of Indian Education February 2015

The Demand for English Language The position paper also makes an
While the diverse nature and quality attempt to find a space for English in
of English language education in today’s context in India. Stating that
India poses a serious challenge ‘English does not stand alone’, the
both in terms of access, resources position paper argues that
and quality, the demand for it (English) needs to find its place (i)
English language has been on the Along with other Indian Languages (a)
increase since independence. The in regional medium schools: how can
language, which was defined as ‘a children’s other languages strengthen
library language’ by the National English learning? (b) in English
Commission on Education 1964-66, medium schools: how can other Indian
has broken the walls of the library languages be valorised, reducing the
and the demand is so huge that every perceived hegemony of English? (ii) In
parent in India today wants to send relation to other subjects: A language
his/her child to an English medium across the curriculum perspective is
school, whatever be its quality and perhaps of particular relevance to
resources for learning. The national primary education. Language is best
curriculum revision carried out in acquired through different meaning-
2005 recognises the growing demand making contexts and hence all teaching
for the language and the position in a sense is language teaching.
paper of the National Focus Group This perspective also captures the
on Teaching of English for NCF – centrality of language in abstract
2005 (NCERT, 2005b) makes this thought in secondary education (p 4).
clear when it addresses the ‘English English today is a ‘compulsory’
language question’ second language in the native /
English is in India today a symbol vernacular medium schools and in
of people’s aspirations for quality in English medium schools it is making
education and a fuller participation a case to gain the status of a first
in national and international life. language. Thus, contradicting the
Its colonial origins now forgotten spirit of the three language formula.
or irrelevant, its initial role in Recognising the diversity and
independent India, tailored to higher enormity of the demand, David
education (as a “library language”, a Graddol (2010) in his English
“window on the world”), now felt to Next India brings out the divide
be insufficiently inclusive socially and in the demand-supply business
linguistically, the current status of of the English language and the
English stems from its overwhelming responsibility on the teachers. He
presence on the world stage and the says,
reflection of this in the national arena. Throughout India, there is an
(P 1) 1.1. Why English?) extraordinary belief, among almost all
English Language Education Situation in India 141

castes and classes, in both rural and India, but it has become a medium
urban areas, in the transformative used to maintain inequalities in
power of English. English is seen not society’ (Baik and Shim, 1995:123-
just as a useful skill, but as a symbol 124). As Anderson (2012) asserts
of a better life, a pathway out of ‘the language remains inaccessible
poverty and oppression. Aspiration of to those who are disadvantaged
such magnitude is a heavy burden for because of their economic situation,
any language, and for those who have their caste, or both.’ There are also
responsibility for teaching it, to bear. arguments that it is the state/regional
The challenges of providing universal languages, which push the minor and
access to English are significant, and tribal languages to the corner, not
many are bound to feel frustrated at the English language. The languages
the speed of progress. But we cannot of many tribal communities in the
ignore the way that the English states of Odisha and Andhra Pradesh
language has emerged as a powerful could be cited as illustrations where
agent for change in India. (Graddol the state languages dominate as
2010:120) medium of learning. This demands a
The demand for English language relook at the language-in-education
education (both as a language and as policy both at the macro and the
a medium of learning) is leading to the micro levels. Stating the policy in
marginalisation of Indian languages. terms of number of languages and
It is believed that the English language provisions at the macro level policy
acts as an instrument for exclusion planning for mother tongue based
of Indian languages, particularly the multilingualism does not necessarily
minor and tribal languages, some of achieve the objectives of promoting
which are yet to find a place in school multilingualism. There is a need to
education or have been thrown understand the learner needs and to
out of the system. The English foster a cognitively and pedagogically
language acts as ‘a killer language’ sound language education for the
in these situations (Mohanty, harmonious growth of our children.
2010). Phillipson (2006, 2008) and Though the governments at the
Skutnabb-Kangas (2000) believe that central and state levels through
there is an uncritical promotion of their schemes like the Sarva Shiksha
English language in education. While Abhiyan (SSA) and Rashtirya
the demand for English language and Madhyamikh Shiksha Abhiyan
English medium education from every (RMSA) have made serious efforts to
quarter makes the English language provide access to education for all
a ‘neutral language’ in terms of children, achieving quality becomes
ethnicity, religion, linguistic groups, an illusion on many counts. This
region and ‘the language that unifies starts with curriculum planning
 142 Journal of Indian Education February 2015

at the national and state levels teaching. The process of curriculum

to ensuring quality teaching by development and implementation
the teacher who has to face many (from design to evaluation) is highly
constraints. Curriculum planning inadequate in the Indian context. The
demands well thought of processes teacher is central to the process of
wherein people from different areas teaching-learning and has to do her
of expertise come together to design job without clearly stated curricular
a pedagogically sound plan of action objectives.
through curricular statements, India has in a way three models
defining objectives, suggesting of curriculum (and materials)
methodologies appropriate to the development for English language
context and understanding the profile education in schools. First model
and needs of the learner, chalking is adaptation of the national level
out assessment strategies that would curriculum developed by the National
support teaching-learning. Council of Educational Research and
Training (NCERT) by the national
ELT Curriculum, Syllabus and
level boards like the Central Board of
Materials Secondary Education (CBSE). Second
Curriculum and Syllabus model is the complete adaptation of
English language curriculum and the national curriculum by (some)
syllabus which guide materials states boards like the Delhi. The third
developers in producing materials model is the states or other boards
to support learners in English developing their own curriculum
language learning and teachers taking into consideration the ideas of
for providing opportunities for the National Curriculum Framework
language use through interaction (NCF) developed by NCERT
and reflection has been a major (Meganathan, 2010). However, the
concern of educational planners and approach to syllabus design could
implementers. The development of a be stated mostly as ‘Forward Design’
‘considered’ curriculum and syllabus (Richards, 2013:31), starting from
by stating the aims and objectives stated objectives and moving on
in comprehensible and meaningful to stating the expected outcomes.
terms for users, suggesting Richards, (2013) recent paper
methodologies and assessment describes the existing model of
procedures throws a big challenge. syllabus design. The national level
Ineffective curriculum and materials model syllabus based on the National
add to the misery of the ill-equipped Curriculum Framework – 2005
teacher resulting in disinterested developed by NCERT could be stated
classrooms and examination driven as more of ‘Central Design’
English Language Education Situation in India 143

Table 2
Features of the three approaches to syllabus design compared (Richards,
Forward design Central design Backward design
Syllabus Language-centred; Activity-based; Needs based;
Content divided into Content negotiated Ends-means
its key elements; with learners; approach;
Sequenced from Evolves during the Objectives or
simple to complex. course; competency-based;
Pre-determined; Reflects the process Sequenced from part-
prior to a course; of learning; skills to whole;
Linear progression. Sequence may be Pre-determined prior
determined by the to course
learners. Linear progression
Methodology Transmissive and Learner-centered; Practice of part-skills;
teacher-directed; Experiential learning; Practice of real-life
Practice and control Active engagement situations;
of elements; in interaction and Accuracy emphasised;
Imitation of models; communication; Learning and practice
Explicit presentation Meaning prioritised of expressions and
of rules over accuracy; formulaic language.
Activities that
involve negotiation of
Role of Teacher as Teacher as facilitator; Organiser of learning
teacher instructor, model, Negotiator of content experiences;
and explainer; and process; Model of target
Transmitter of Encourager of learner language
knowledge; self-expression and performance;
Reinforcer of correct autonomy Planner of learning
language use. experiences.

Role of learner Accurate mastery of Negotiator of learning Learning through

language forms; content and modes of practice and habit
Application of learning; formation;
learned material to Development of Mastery of
new contexts; learning strategies; situationally
Understanding of Accept responsibility appropriate language;
language rules. for learning and Awareness of correct
learner autonomy. usage;
Development of
 144 Journal of Indian Education February 2015

Assessment Norm-referenced, Negotiated Criterion-referenced,

summative end-of- assessment; Performance based
semester or end-of- Assessment for summative
course test; learning; assessment;
Assessment of Formative Improvement
learning; assessment; oriented;
Cumulative mastery Self-assessment; Assessment of
of taught forms. Develop capacity for learning
self-reflection and Cumulative mastery
self-evaluation. of taught patterns
and uses.

Materials Development To Conclude

The three models which exist at the English language education has
curriculum and syllabus development come a long way in India and has
level are reflected at the materials started losing its colonial legacy. It is
development level too. However, being seen as a language for upward
there is much to regret when it mobility and has been accepted
comes to materials development at without much contestation. So it has
the state level. Lack of pedagogical become a ‘neutral’ language moving
understanding of ‘What should beyond boundaries across the states
materials do?’ (Tomlinson, 1998) and and regions, cross sections of the
‘authenticity’ or materials and tasks society as a whole. But the major
remain a in question (Meganathan, concern and worry is the way the
2010). The reason for this is there language is perpetuating inequalities
is that materials development is not among languages in the country and
taken as a professional activity though inequalities within its own realm
one can notice commercialisation where the rich and elite get ‘good
of materials development in India quality English language education
where private publishing houses also and the poor and rural mass get the
publish text books and other materials ‘not so good quality English language
in English for mostly English medium education’(Mohanty, ; Meganathan,
schools run by private agencies 2010). This ‘good quality’ (by whatever
or individuals. An analysis of the means we define it) is reflected
textbooks at the primary level reveals firstly in the teacher as a resource
the how textbook development at the for learning English and then in
primary level does not fully recognise materials and methods (strategies
the recent development in pedagogy and techniques which are adopted).
and our understanding of language As Graddol (2010) poinst out the
and language acquisition and huge responsibility of address the
learning (NCERT, 2010). demand lies in the hands of people,
English Language Education Situation in India 145

teachers who are in a way not so well and implementation is very limited.
equipped. Adding the problems is the (Meganathan, 2014) The following
initiatives of the state governments could be seen as areas which need
to introduce English as a medium of attention and initiates both the
teaching in one section of each class. governments at the national and
Teachers who are not well equipped state levels, as also by NGOs and
to teach through English medium are private agencies and schools involved
now to teach in English the subjects, in the business of language education
Mathematics and Social Sciences. in general and English language
These are the same teachers who education in particular.
teach the subjects in the medium of • Professionalisation of Curriculum,
Indian languages like Hindi, Urdu, syllabus and materials
Tamil, Bengali, Punjabi and so on. development: There is an urgent
They are not oriented to teach the need to develop teams of people who
subjects in English. The argument could be described as professional
is the teachers have studied their in curriculum, syllabus and
subjects at the university level in materials development in India.
English medium and this makes The practice in the states now
them naturally suitable for teaching is curriculum development is a
in English medium. This needs to once-in-a-while activity where
be understood in a pedagogical a group of teachers, teacher
perspective of language across the educators, and other professional
curriculum (LAC) and the role of come together and do the activity
language in learning any subject. of ‘curriculum development’ and
The subject teachers need to an then it if forgotten. It is necessary
awareness to understand how ideas to have curriculum and materials
are covered and qualified when said development as part of the
in a language. both pre-service and in-service
Research in ELT or language professional development courses
pedagogy is another area which (Meganathan, 2008). This will
needs strengthening. While research have both short and long time
is happening in English literature implications.
and Linguistics as courses of study • Courses on English language
at the university level, ELT is the teaching / education or Language
field which is still shaping itself in Education: A country which needs
India. One major reason there are quite a number English language
very few universities which run teachers does not have courses
courses in ELT or English language on English language education or
education as applied linguistics. language education at the under
So classroom based researches, graduate or post graduate level,
research on curriculum development except a few. Specialised courses
 146 Journal of Indian Education February 2015

on language teaching / education classroom day-to-day problems

will equip the young graduate with and issues. A typical classroom
un understanding of language teacher expects a training to
pedagogy and the pre-service equip him/her to enhance
teacher education courses could classroom interactions and learner
shape them to be able to deliver motivations and learning.
when they join schools. • Research: ELT world should
• Teacher Learning: Teacher’s recognise the need for classroom
continuous professional based and teacher initiated
development has not been research to understand the
recognised as a major component classroom problems and to
for quality improvement of address them at the curriculum
teaching in the classroom. Though revision, materials production,
many agencies like the NCERT, assessment and teacher training
SCERT, University Departments of levels.
Education, NGOs conduct training Question of quality will continue to
and orientation programmes for taunt English language education at
teachers and key resource persons, all the levels and regions. The quality
the content and methodology of questions pose serious challenge
such courses remain a question as and need attention from curriculum
to whether they really address the planning level to the classroom level.

Anderson, N. J. 2012. Metacognition: Awareness in language learning. In Mercer, S.,
Ryan, S., and Williams, M. (Eds.), Psychology for language learning: Insights from
research, theory and pedagogy (pp. 169-187). Basingstoke, Palgrave, UK.
Baik, Martin and Rosa Shim. 1995. Language, Culture, and Ideology in the Textbooks of
Two Koreas. In: Tickoo, Mackan L., ed., Language and Culture in Multilingual Societies:
Issues and Attitudes. Regional Language Centre, Singapore.
Crystal, David. 1997. English as a Global Language. Cambridge University press,
Graddol, David. 2010. English Next India. British Council. New Delhi
Ilaiah, Kancha. 2013. Even if 10% Dalit children got English education, India would
change. Times of India. Edit page 15th February, 2013.
Illich, I. 1981. Preface to Pattanayak,1981. Multilingualism and Mother Tongue Education.
Oxford University Press.
Jhingaran, D. 2005. Language Disadvantage: The Learning Challenges in Primary
Education. APH Publishing Corporation, New Delhi.
Meganathan. R. 2008. Materials Development in English as a second language: An Indian
Experience. Folio. July 2008. P 1-9.
English Language Education Situation in India 147

. 2010. Language Policy in Education and the role of English in India: From Library
language to language of empowerment. In Dreams and Realities: Developing Countries
and the English Language. Edited by Hywel Colemen (2011) published by British
Council. U.K.
. 2000. English Language Education in Rural Scools of India: The Situation, the
Policy and the Curriculum. Available at
curriculum Accessed on December 10, 2014.
. 2014. A Critical Study of Teaching of English at the Secondary Stage in Tamil
Nadu. Unpublished Ph.D. Dissertation.
Mohanty, Ajit. 2010. Language policy and practice in education: negotiating the
double divide in multilingual societies. In Skutnabb-Kangas, Tove and Heugh,
Katheleen. (Eds.) Multilingual Education Works.
Nag-Arulmani, S. 2005. Language attainments and learning opportunities: Pointers for a
new curriculum framework. Ms. NFG-English. (Unpublished). NCERT, New Delhi.
Mukund, M. 2009. Introduction of English from Grade 1 in Maharashtra, India. In
Enever, J., Moon, J. and Raman, U. (eds) Young learner English language policy and
implementation: International perspectives. Garnet Education, Reading, UK.
NCERT. 2005a. National Curriculum Framework – 2005. New Delhi
. 2005b. National Focus Group Position Paper on Teaching of English. New Delhi,
. 2005c. National Focus Group Position Paper on Teaching of Indian Languages. New
Delhi, India.
. 2006. Sixth Survey of Educational Research. 1993-2000 Vol I. New Delhi.
. 2007. Seventh All India School Education Survey- 2002. New Delhi
Pandey, G. 2011. An ‘English goddess’ for India’s down-trodden. BBC News South Asia
15 February 2011. 12355740
Pattanayak, D.P. 1981. Multilingualism and Mother-tongue Education. Oxford University
Phillipson, Robert. 2006. Language policy and linguistic imperialism. In Ricento, Thomas
(ed.). An Introduction to Language Policy. Theory and Method. 346-361. Blackwell,
. 2008. The linguistic imperialism of neoliberal empire. Critical Inquiry in Language
Studies, Vol. 5, No.1
Prabhu, N.S. 1987. Second Language Pedagogy. Oxford University Press, Oxford,
New York.
Rao. S. 2008. India’s language debates and education of linguistic minorities. Economic
and Political Weekly 6 September 2008 pp 12-16.
Ramanathan, Vai. 1999. “English Is Here to Stay”: A Critical Look at Institutional and
Educational Practices in India. Orient Longman, New Delhi.
Richards, J. C., and T. Rodgers. 1986. Approaches and methods in language teaching.
Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.
 148 Journal of Indian Education February 2015

Richards, J. C. 2001. Curriculum Development in Language Teaching. CUP, Cambridge.

. 2013. Curriculum Approaches in Language Teaching: Forward, Central, and
Backward Design. RELC Journal. 44(1) 5–33
Selvam, Salai and V. Geetha. 2010. Textbook Regimes: A Feminist Critique of Nation and
Identity. Nirantar, New Delhi.
Sheorey, Ravi. 2006. Learning and Teaching English in India. Sage Publications, New Delhi.
Swan, Michael. 1985. A critical look at the Communicative Approach (2). ELT Journal,
Skutnabb-Kangas, Tove. 2000. Linguistic Genocide in Education- Or Worldwide Diversity
and Human Rights? Lawrence Erlbaum, Mahwah, NJ.
Tomlinson, Brian. ed. 1998. Introduction. In (Ed.) Brian Tomlinson, Materials Development
in Language Teaching. Cambridge University Press. P1- 24
Tickoo, M.L. 1971. Methodology for foreign language teaching in India – the case for
experiment. Indian Educational Review. Vol. 6 No.2 July 1971.
. 1996. English in Asian Bilingual Education: From Hatred to Harmony Journal of
Multilingual and Multicultural Development Vol. 17, Nos. 2-4 p 34 60.
. 2004. English Language Education. In Encyclopaedia of Indian Education. J.S.
Rajput, (Ed.) New Delhi: National Council of Educational Research and Training. p
34-66. Delhi.
UNESCO. 2003. Education in a multilingual world. UNESCO Education Position Paper.
Family Socialisation in Empowerment
of Young Girls in Manipur
Chakho Kaya Mao*

Women in Manipur are not empowered in true sense and thereby, this article
attempts to probe the nature of the role of socialisation of young girls to find
some avenues to empower them. It specifically focuses on the process of family
socialisation in gender construction among the Christian families in Manipur.
This study also examines how the process of family socialisation impacts the
empowerment of young girls.

Situating the Women’s Position in religious belief, polygamy, gender

Manipur discriminatory customary laws,
gender-unjust social norms and
Women in Manipur, both in the hill women bodies reinforcing these
and in the valley face a paradox. On norms, it elevates the oppression and
the one hand, they enjoy a great deal suppression of women in the society.
of freedom and on the other hand, In economic domain, Manipur
they are suppressed by patriarchal women play a critical role in trade
system. Manipur women play an and economy in the state. Their
important role in domestic affairs, immense contributions in generating
participate in festivals, independent the income of the family are visible
to choose life partner, fight against in the market places, colonies,
social cause, etc. However, due highways, etc. Many women in
to various social restrictions, urban areas are employed in both

* Assistant Professor, Asufii Christian Institute, Punanamei, P.O. Maogate, Manipur – 795150.
The paper is part of the doctoral work of the author conducted during 2008-2013. The author
acknowledges the valuable inputs of her research guide Professor Vivek Kumar.
 150 Journal of Indian Education February 2015

Government and private sectors. exempted from the hill areas on the
Women are represented in the tertiary ground that these districts have their
sector, educated women running own traditional system of local-self-
weaving cooperative societies, government which are egalitarian in
running hostels for girls, self-help society. On the contrary, women are
group (micro financing, locally called excluded from the traditional village
Marup), entrepreneurship, garments councils. Learning their position in all
business, thereby, earning equally aspects, it can be safely argued that
as that of men and deconstructing Manipur women are not empowered
the stereotypical gender roles in the in true sense. It is in this context that
family. Ironically, there are not many the researcher attempts to probe the
women occupying high position in nature of the role of socialisation of
white collar jobs and no big women young girls to find some avenues to
traders in the market and there are empower them. This study attempts
hardly any owners in the agricultural to delve into the process of family
sectors of our economy. They still socialisation of young girls with special
stand far below in the power equation reference to their empowerment
in relation to men. among Christian families in Manipur.
In the political arena, the active On one hand the study explores
participation of Manipur women the gender construction through
is laudable by the presence of the socialisation and on the other hand it
powerful women’s bodies; Meira deconstructs the myth of empowered
Paibis, Naga Women Union Manipur, women of Manipur by deconstructing
Kuki Mothers’ Association and others. the socialisation roles of family.
They fight against alcoholism, drug
addiction, gender violence, human Conceptual Framework
rights violation, repeal of AFSPA, Since decades social scientists,
ethnic-clashes, gender unfriendly policy makers, academicians, social
customary laws, etc. But one also activists and feminists have defined
notices that empowerment of women the term ‘empowerment’ in numerous
is inadequate in lieu of the tremendous ways. This concept has been debated
works done by them. There is dearth at length at global and local levels.
of women’s representation in Manipur It is strongly felt that there is still
Legislative Assembly, despite female a room to reassess the means to
voters outnumber male voters. In empower women. Many have written
the Panchayat, women cross 33 per and conducted research on women’s
cent reservation in getting elected as empowerment at national and
leaders. Nonetheless, they also have regional level. However, they have
not been able to break the patriarchal in some ways overlooked the fact
hegemonising ideology. This that to empower women is to provide
constitutional provision has been a gender sensitive environment
Family Socialisation in Empowerment of Young Girls in Manipur 151

through the process of socialisation socialisation process during the

beginning from the family. influential age in a male dominated
Manipur is a patriarchal society. society. Psychoanalysts like Freud
The discrimination against women in (1964) argued that an individual
Manipur is not overt but very subtle. personality is developed during the
Radical feminists argued that as long formative age and continue as they
as there is existence of patriarchal achieve adulthood.
system, women’s subjugation will The study argues that the
remain. The chief predicament of a subordinate/inferior position of
woman lies in her very precarious women emerges or crystallises
condition of not being seen as a because the children, at the initial
total human being. Deeply ingrained stage constantly interact in a
social beliefs, social customs, biased ‘differentiated’ pattern in the society.
against women and various facets In the patriarchal society, gender often
of popular culture such as cinema, operates through the unquestioned
TV and popular literature contribute acceptance of power, for example,
to reinforce these overarching women internalising subordinate
stereotypical images and identity position in power relations with men
of women. In simple terms, it is through the process of socialisation.
present in women’s everyday lived This is, due to the fact that structural
experience. This is not to say that not and systematic gender bias exists
much have been done for the income in many societies and cultures.
generation in the family, legal rights Thus, women seem to accept and
and importance of education, health reinforce their own oppression (Alva
issues, technological innovations, 1999: 11-14). Hence, the process
etc. Because of the efforts, many of socialisation widely impacts
testimonials are heard and seen of the varied roles, identities and
women’s emancipation both at the stereotypes that gender is expected
macro and micro level. to perform as they develop into adult.
However, women socialisation Margaret Mead (1935) observed that
under male dominance perpetuates what is understood as masculinity
women’s age-old oppression. Thus, and femininity varies across cultures.
feminists argued that in order to Feminists have argued that it is
bring social transformation, the child-rearing practices which try
‘mindset’ of society needs to be to establish and perpetuate certain
changed. Perception and attitude differences between the sexes.
towards them should be changed; Therefore, sex-specific quality and the
they should be treated equally value that society attributes to them
as their male counterparts in all are produced by a range of institutions
walks of their life. As a result, this and beliefs that socialise boys and
study attempts to unveil the gender girls differently (Menon 2003: 8). As
 152 Journal of Indian Education February 2015

De Beavoir puts it, “One is not born, in empowerment of young girls in

but becomes, a woman” (1953: 257). society. However, socialisation is an
In addition, Oakley observed that the on-going process that needs to be
gender identities of children vary with studied.
the kind of families they live in, the The study focuses on the two
personalities of their parents and the significant concepts of socialisation
way their parents behave towards and empowerment. Socialisation
them (1972: 180). Socialisation from the functionalist perspective
process is gendered starting from is functional to the society in terms
the time the child is in womb. Boys of inculcating the social norms and
and girls from the age of four years values in the young ones to motivate
are able to identify their gender and able to perform role expectations
(Oakley 1972: 177) from the way they to create a stable society (Durkheim
are socialised in an expected role in 1965:70-71). Whereas Conflict
the society. Gendered socialisation theorists like Marx views socialisation
begins from family and thereby other as a way of perpetuating the status
social institutions follow. quo (Bottomore and Rubel 1963). It is
It is considerably essential to a process devised by the ruling class
look into the important agencies as for the perpetuation of ruling class
they play a decisive role in a society ideology especially the patriarchy.
in the process of socialisation. As The ideology of domination and
Kerckhoff (1972: 2) states that these subordination is found in socialisation
agencies’ task are to prepare new process.
members for their later activities In a patriarchal society, women
and responsibilities. Bhogle (1999: are socialised with norms and values
296) echoes that the development of internalising inferior position in the
gender-role behaviour is a gradual society. As a result they tend to accept
process that begins in infancy and their position as normal and natural,
continues throughout the life cycle. right and proper. In this way a ‘false
Gender roles are quite varied, and consciousness’ of reality is produced
the socialising experiences required which helps to maintain the unequal
to prepare individuals to carry gender relationship. Therefore, it is
them out are also quite varied. The imperative to understand in what
gender roles, gender biases and type of social milieu, structure, and
gender stereotypes are assigned processes we can empower women
and imbibed through socialisation through socialisation. Here, the
(Beal 1994; Macrae,, 1996). term empowerment is defined as the
Thus, since childhood both boys and process of socialising the young girls
girls learn their ascribed roles and in a gender sensitive atmosphere to
follow them throughout their lives. enable them to internalise positive self
Hence, this becomes an impediment image and self confidence, develop
Family Socialisation in Empowerment of Young Girls in Manipur 153

ability to think critically and organise human behaviour and the reasons that
in decision-making capacity enabling govern such behaviour. This involves
them to take control of their own a systematic and extensive study to
lives against the gender oppressive analyse attitudes and behaviours
systems. of an urban village towards gender
Since socialisation is one of sensitive in the process of family
the most basic functions of society socialisation. While quantitative
therefore it is necessary to understand methods enable the hypotheses to be
the processes which hinder the tested through the primary findings
empowerment of women. Thus, such as the use of observations
by intervention at the basic level and interview methods. The aim of
through socialisation, the process this mode of research is accurate
of empowerment can become easier. understanding and presentation
Since socialisation creates the basic of the phenomena investigated.
gendered personalities, it can become Furthermore, this research involves
a potent weapon for empowerment of case study of the parents in order to
the women. present an intensive study of a case
Therefore, in the light of the such as an event that focus on gender
above arguments, this study seeks to insensitivity in the society. Case
understand and examine how family studies sharpen the understanding
shape gender specific roles. Keeping of the researcher on several queries
young girls in the focus the study will raised over the phenomenon.
analyse the gender difference through Keeping in mind the descriptive
socialisation. This is so, because, the nature of the research topic, the
process of socialisation creates the study is conducted through personal
gender difference and thus, results interview and observation. Open-
in young girl’s disempowerment in ended interview schedule was
their adulthood. It is in this context administered to the respondents for
that the study looks at the important the collection of data. The researcher
questions – how parents treat their used these methods because it was
children with reference to gender suitable for both the illiterate and the
specific roles? How family socialisation educated respondents. Respondents
hampers women’s empowerment were personally interviewed by the
and how it effectively facilitates in researcher to allow comfortable
enhancing their empowerment? understanding and to make
subject’s own knowledge/or feelings
Research Methodology more meaningful. The basic tools
Both qualitative and quantitative the researcher used during field
methods are used for the present work were note book, pen, voice
study. Qualitative research helps to recorder and camera. However,
gather an in-depth understanding of personal interview method was time-
 154 Journal of Indian Education February 2015

consuming; it took approximately present study were the parents. The

40 to 60 minutes per respondent. researcher interviewed 80 parents
Nevertheless, it provided substantive which included educated, literate
and additional information focusing and illiterate parents.
on the subject, which is vital for the The researcher interviewed
study. Secondary Sources of data like parents of young children which
Research works, books, articles and included combination of both the
ethnographic accounts were studied. gender. These parents belong to
The study was conducted in the age groups 30-55 years. They
Dewlahland, one of the urban villages/ include both landowners and tenants
colonies situated in Imphal East but focussed on those who are
district of Manipur. Imphal east has inhabitants for more than 10 years in
four revenue sub-divisions and covers the researched area. Majority of them
numbers of colonies. Dewlahland are educated and are government
comes under Sub-division Circle, employees, self employed (business)
Porompat and the revenue village no. and works in private sector. It was
is 25 (A). Dewlahland was established found that mostly the students of
in the year 1962 and is located 2 classes I and II were not reliable
km away from Imphal ADP (Area as respondents and therefore their
Development Program) headquarter. respective parents were interviewed
The researcher chose this village as it on their daily societal interactions in
is a Christian dominated village and order to substantiate the findings.
is an amalgamation of multi-ethnic The researcher attempted a
groups; tribals, Meities (Manipuri) comprehensive understanding of
and Meitei pangal (Manipuri Muslim). the problems and tried to present it
A total sample of 200 respondents as objectively and accurately as she
was collected through purposive can. Three different languages were
sampling and snowball technique. The used to interview the respondents.
researcher interviewed the following They are Meiteilon (local-common
respondents: School going children – language) to different ethnic group,
from classes’ I-XII. The respondents English to school goers and Maola/
were categorised according to their Emela belonging to Mao community.
grades: primary (I-V), middle (VI- Most of the respondents’ identities are
VIII), high school (IX-X) and higher kept anonymous as per their request.
secondary (XI-XII). 30 respondents
from each group were interviewed The Structure of Christian
that include equal numbers of boys Family in Manipur/Dewlahland
and girls. In sum, the respondents Family structure in Manipur can be
in the study attending schools as broadly classified into two viz: Joint
students were 120. Another category or Extended family and Nuclear
of respondent included in the family. On the basis of observation
Family Socialisation in Empowerment of Young Girls in Manipur 155

and informal discussion with the Influence of Parents on

residents of Dewlahland one can Children’s Gender Socialisation
easily agree that with changes in the
technological and economic structure In Manipur, the role of parents in
of society, the traditional joint the family is not different from many
family structure changed to nuclear patriarchal societies. They teach
family particularly in urban areas. their children the social values,
Manipur society follows patriarchal norms, social mores, beliefs and
and patrilineal system. Dewlahland other traditional cultural practices
comprises of multi-ethnic groups. especially on gender specific roles.
Some of the ethnic communities Bandura (1973) argues that social
are Tangkhul, Mao, Maring, Mizo, learning takes place through
Ruangmei, Liangmei, Maram, Kuki, observation and modelling. Parents
Paite, Paomei, Anal, Chiru and become the role model in the
Thangal. They are mostly Christians. family. The position of mother and
There are also Meiteis, Meitei- father in the family plays a key role
Pangals (Manipuri Muslim) and other for the children at the influential
smaller groups. It is found that most stage to develop the sense of self,
of the Christian family follow nuclear gender identity, attitude, behaviour,
system. personality, beliefs etc. which they
Post Independence, due to growth propagate in their later life.
of education and job opportunities, From the time their children
social mobility became rampant and are babies, parents treat sons and
till date, the trend continues. Job daughters differently, showing
mobility is one major reason that different attitudes, dressing infants in
landed many senior inhabitants in gender specific colours, giving gender
Dewlahland. Progressively, young differentiated toys, and expecting
boys and girls migrates from hill to different behaviour from boys and
valley in search of better education girls (Thorne 1993). The preference of
or on demand of jobs and gradually son continues to exist in our society
bought land, constructed houses for various cultural reasons. The birth
and since then generations have of a son is wished in the Christian
established their own roots in family in Dewlahland however their
Dewlahland. Today, in this locality, attitude towards the birth of a girl
most of the houses are pucca child is equally a joyous moment. One
buildings and rooms are leased out to of the respondents emphasised “Our
families, students, business persons, way of welcoming the new born, be it
Government employees, etc. across a boy or a girl is usually a quiet affair.
communities. By and large, the Unlike Hindu, Christians do not have
tenants also exercise nuclear family. the culture of distributing sweets or
 156 Journal of Indian Education February 2015

celebrations which are prominent. of them are educated and well

Some invite pastors, church leaders established. They are working both
and loved ones at home for a meal to in Government and private sectors
bless the baby and the family.” in Dewlahland. Their minimum
Most of the families expressed the monthly income is Rs. 10,000. Some
yearning for a boy in the family but of the respondents are tenants but
young parents disagree that absence majority inhabits in their own land.
of a son in the family faced social Parents are in professions such as
stigma in the society. However, it is Doctor, engineer, advocate, lecturer
not to deny the talks of empathy that and primary teacher in a Government
takes place by the elders mainly in the sector. Some are into business such as
family including women on families running lodging, food, and stationary
that have no sons especially in regard shops and few are social workers.
to property and social prestige. An It is found that good numbers of
elderly man stated, “What is the use young mothers (occupants) are into
of buying lands and building houses business and teaching. Some claim
when there is no son in the family and to be housewives but is ambiguous
people do not much regard families in their claim as they assist their
that have no sons.” The absence of husbands in family business.
sons in the family lessens self- dignity/ In Dewlahland, majority of the
prestige hitherto these feelings are not parents prefer small family, although
shared openly especially among the it is not confined to two-norm child.
Christians but are usually shared in The average number of children in the
discrete. This mainly affects the dignity family is three. There is attitudinal
of men in the family. Male chauvinist change and increasing awareness
attitude remain rigid among the elders, on family planning among the young
although this bias attitude persists couples. Many families remain silent
among the educated men and women even if they are not so satisfied with
today as well but the perspective uneven sex of children. Besides, the
towards gender-acceptance has attitude of acceptance is apparently
broadened with the embracement of high among the Christians.
Christianity. Many believe that life However, there is preference of at
and death is in God’s control and so least a son in the family to provide
human beings do not have the right economic security and family line.
to blame anyone for things which are This desirability of having sons is
beyond human reach. made explicit by women themselves.
Parents who have only daughters are
Parents’ Attitude on the Size of
pitied. Their future is bleak for they
Family will have no support or succour in
Respondents (Parents) were in the old age. Some of the reasons they
age-group, 30-55 years. Majority shared in regard to sons’ preference
Family Socialisation in Empowerment of Young Girls in Manipur 157

are not so uncommon in other children to be independent, upward

patriarchal and patrilineal society. It economic mobility and to carve a niche
is in this manner the social worldview in the competent world. This is more
has been shaped in Dewlahland, so in the case of girl child, education
since time immemorial, which is is so fundamental to empower them
transferred from one generation to bearing in mind their position in the
another mediated by social change in society. As part of globalisation and
the system. modernisation, girls are encouraged
to be educated, but personal laws
Attitude of Parents Towards and norms remain within traditions
Education of Girls and Boys of patriarchal control.
The importance of education is Gender differentiation increases
embraced in recent times in urban – when it comes to higher education.
rural areas in Manipur. Agriculture The academic hierarchy remains
is the economic means in Manipur very firmly masculine (David and
but this is slowly diminishing due Woodward 1998). Generally the
to globalisation where there is high attitude of parents towards girls’
demand of educated boys and girls higher education is “It is more
in the larger market. Today, to meet than enough if girls know how to
the standards of living, education read and write. What is the point
becomes an essential requirement for of studying so much? Ultimately
all. In Dewlahland, it is found that all woman’s place is in the household.”
families send their children to schools Nevertheless parents, in Dewlahland
irrespective of gender. Majority of the do not discourage daughters who
children are sent to private schools. aspire to pursue further education
Gender is not an obstacle for choosing but simultaneously, they are not
schools. Most of the boys and girls persuasive if she shows disinterest
are sent to schools based in their in pursuing higher education. On the
localities. There are also children contrary, this attitude is not the same
going to the neighbouring schools. in the case of a boy child. Parents can
Today, one is apprehensive to go hundred miles for sons to pursue
comprehend life without education higher education be it in academic
as most of teaching-learning roles or any professional line. The gender
have been taken up by the formal differential treatment is intense in
education in the form of schools, the family when it comes to higher
colleges, universities and institutions education. As a result, traditional
of learning. These days, most of the social acceptance - expectations of
young and middle-aged parents are gender role in society reinforces the
educated and therefore, gradually prejudices against women’s higher
develop competent outlook for education.
 158 Journal of Indian Education February 2015

Gender Division of Labour within necessary handful of them assist

the Family family in cooking on occasions when
wife is busy or in case of sickness.
Different tasks and responsibilities A non-Christian father1 cited, “ei
are assigned to girls and boys, women thoina yumgi thabak toude, ei karbar
and men according to their sex-gender oina yengsille. (I seldom perform
roles, and not necessarily according household chores, I mostly look after
to their individual preferences the business).” Many respondents
or capabilities (Bhasin 2003:32). mostly women expressed that men’s
This is true in the universe of our contribution in the domestic chores
research. In Dewlahland majority such as cooking and cleaning is not
women performed household chores unacceptable when it is necessary but
such as cooking, serving, cleaning if it is done on regular basis then wives
utensils, sweeping, mopping floor, are often lampooned or ridiculed and
dusting off rooms, preparing tea, are specified by different names such
washing clothes, and assist children a ‘women who dominates husbands’,
in their studies, entertain guests, ‘lazy’, ‘not a good wife’ etc. In some
etc. They also execute outside work cases, husbands are also called as
like marketing, pay children’s school henpecked. It is looked down upon
fees in schools, kitchen gardening, as it is regarded as below dignity for
attend sick kins and neighbours in a man if he had to do domestic chores
hospitals and at home, bank work, on a regular basis and is regarded as
postal work etc. There are families shameful on the part of women in the
who employed helpers to assist the family when their menfolk had to do it.
family in their day to day chores. Hence, men seldom do domestic work.
Helpers are common among affluent The traditional gender role still
families or available in homes where takes its own forms in the urban
both parents are working either in family. Likewise, parents’ gender
Government or private or in families roles are reflected in boys and girls
that have toddlers. In this case, division of work at home. However,
mothers get time to engage in outside today, there are daughters who do not
work apart from household chores. have adequate free time to perform
Nevertheless, majority of the working housework because of the hectic
mothers are not exempted from doing schedules during week days. And in
household chores. families where there are helpers, the
Men, on the other hand go to office, amount of household work is less.
manage business and does marketing In the case of boys, majority of them
and sometimes visit sick relatives, are exempted from doing household
friends and neighbours. Normally, chores. However, both boys and girls
when at home, they read newspaper, are allotted household work but
study, do file work, and when it is the difference between them is boys
Family Socialisation in Empowerment of Young Girls in Manipur 159

perform on an uneven basis and immature and inconsequential

regular in case of girls. (Pfeffer and Behera 1996:2). Young
children may be considered immature
Decision Making in the Family: A in decision-making on adult issues
Male Bastion but somewhere down the line, special
Decision making in the family, importance is shown to boys in the
prerogative to make a decision and family, their views are listened with
who is given preference to participate appreciation whether they accept
in the decision making helps the it or not but girls are asked to shut
process of socialisation of youth. In up without giving the room to share
the universe of the study majority of her mind. This form of suppression
the parents responded that decisions of freedom of speech in the family,
on family issues are taken jointly. young girls imbibe inhibition persona
But few wives stated that they stay in a natural form in later life. This
aloof from issues that deal with unequal treatment affects the mindset
husband’s village. Some uttered and demeans the personality of girls
that most of the major decisions in in general and in the universe of the
the family are taken by husbands study in particular.
especially when the issue is on land,
some declared they feel it is the
Parents’ Attitude Towards
affairs of men. And some women Gender Health
are not interested and expressed Health is another sphere which helps
“Mapu oibanina loinamak khang- in the socialisation of the young
ngi. (Husband knows best).” There persons. Many studies have been
are also women who are consulted conducted in India showing the
on family issues but husbands are negligence of girl’s health in the family.
the ultimate decision makers. In this Feminists have also given numerous
regard, a non-Christian father stated, reasons on these grounds. According
“Eigi emungda eina No.1(ahanba) to them, one of the major reasons is
rai louwi. (I am the No.1 in decision due to the importance given to sons
making in the family).” in the Indian society. However, in
Children are not accorded the full Manipur, the undesirable attitude
respect to which they are intrinsically towards girl child in the family is
entitled as human beings. They are different. In Christian family, there is
usually understood as “incomplete no deprivation on health issues on the
vulnerable beings” progressing with basis of gender. They are taken care
adult’s help through stages needed of equally when they get sick, though
to turn them into mature adults the level of concerns increases when
(Mayall 1994: 3). Their thoughts and sons and grandsons are sick, yet it
deeds are weighed in the balance of does not deter them from providing
“grown up” standard and are found medical care equally.
 160 Journal of Indian Education February 2015

Gender bias is noticeable when Daughter’s Contributions and

it comes to nutrition. Nutrition does ‘Housewifisation’
not mean daughters are underfed
Parents are delighted over children’s
but it means the choicest items are
contributions in the family. But
reserved for them. Further, everyone
daughters’ contributions are normally
is conscious that their sons should
less acknowledged. Daughters’
be strong and healthy for which they
work at home is considered as their
should be served good food. Though
duty, as a natural job, best fitted
majority of the parents stated that
to the lives of women. They seldom
there exists equal treatment in the
receives acknowledgement. That is
family. However, girls expressed that
what it means to grow up female:
their brothers most of the time get to to learn to work and live without
eat their favourite parts of chicken being acknowledged (Kumar 2010:
or for that matter other good parts 79). It is this male exploited ideology
of meat. The girls also emphasised that Mies (1986: 110) called the
that parents, more often than not “housewifisation” of women. This
remember what their sons’ favourites means labour is considered as a
is. Even in sons’ absence during the natural resource, freely available like
meal time, mothers do not forget air and water. Many feminists are
to keep aside good pieces of meat also critical because such an attitude
for them. A young girl narrated her affects the dignity of women. It is
experience, which is revealing. Her said that ‘invisible’, ‘unrecognisable’
mother keeps reminding her that local labour is often taken for granted
eggs are for her brothers saying they and unappreciated. As Gnanadason
need to take care of health because writes, what happens in actual
they indulge in physical demanding practice is that women are taken for
activity. But these concerns are not a ride, made to do thankless jobs and
visible in case of daughters. unrecognised sacrifices (1986: 39).
In the light of this, it is not only On the other hand, sons’ duties are
girls that express the partiality but acknowledged through affections,
boys themselves are also aware of the praise and fulfilling their demands.
special attention meted out to them. There are cases, parents defend
This form of partiality when it comes sons even if they are not conducive
to equal share still prevails in the to family’s welfare or are credited for
family and this is commonly carried their occasional contribution time to
out by the women. Women themselves time, just because they are males.
treat motherhood with duality and Thus, it is observed that women’s
ambivalence. Due to the dominance works at home are undervalued
and universalism of patriarchal in most cases be it conscious or
practice, women end up negotiating subconscious. For this reason, young
with patriarchy (Denniz 1988: 274-90). girls embed their contributions at
Family Socialisation in Empowerment of Young Girls in Manipur 161

home insignificant and internalised Daughters’ immense contributions

acceptance of unequal treatment as are taken for granted. Their affection
normal in the society. As a result, and concerns for parents, their
young girls become accustomed to financial aid and physical care
such cultural bias practices and rendered to parents in their old age
inculcate self-denial and acceptance has no recognition. This can be said
of a subordinate position since first on the basis that when it comes
childhood. Self-denial is a special to distribution of land in the family,
quality if a man possesses it, but only sons are considered worthy.
defining characteristics of a woman Even if the sons do not live with
(Wharton 2005: 79). The notion of parents. Secondly, the society and
tolerance and self-restraint are also parents reinforce and perpetuate
rooted in a consciously cultivated gender discriminatory customary law
feminine role which is embedded in against daughter.
and legitimised by cultural ideology In cases where there are no sons
(Dube 1988: 180). When they, in in the family, men of immediate
turn, grow up and have families of relatives will be requested to
their own, they too implant the same intervene in matters of property,
biases in their daughter’s psyches, even when daughters are capable
consequently perpetuating this mode to handle family property. Parents
of character to generations to come. claimed to treat their children equally
Differential treatment of female and but most do not fight against social
male children by parents and other norms and cultural beliefs and
socialising agents creates gender practices that deprived their own
differences in behaviour. daughters from being a complete
human being and abstain from equal
Distribution of Property and distribution of property. When asked
Women Discrimination about the gender-unfriendly cultural
In tribal society in Manipur, as per practices, one of the mothers,
the custom, women are not allowed president of a women society replied,
to inherit ancestral property. Instead “In town, lifestyle and world view is
they are given certain moveable different, beliefs and practices can
domestic articles like almirah, beds, be reconsidered but when in village
furniture, clothes, shawls, kitchen it has to be according to the norms
wares, electronic appliances, etc. for whether we want it or not.” Most of
their daily use at the time of their the parents do not have the strong
marriage, thereby reinforcing the urge to fight against the gender-
notion that their role is confined unjust social norms but accept
to domestic chores, and her needs traditional gender roles, prejudices
should be centred around her family against women, gender stereotypes.
and home. In Dewlahland, very few respondents
 162 Journal of Indian Education February 2015

maintained that voice should be creation of certain dispositions of

raised against the gender unfriendly mind, and not merely behaviours.
cultural practices and beliefs. Salient among these dispositions are
self-denial, lack of autonomy, and
Daughter as Outsider acceptance of a subordinate position.
At home, young girls are socialised
in a way that they are external. Girls Daughter’s Marriage
at their young age are imparted the In tribal society, there are two
knowledge that the home where one types of marriages, firstly, arrange
is born and brought up is temporary, marriage where negotiations are
both in physical sense and in conducted through an elderly lady
emotional sense. With this teaching and secondly, love marriage, here the
itself, it makes the girls to feel like young boys or girls choose their own
an “outsider” even at home by their life partners. In Dewlahland parents
own parents. It also underscores prefer their children to search for life
a woman’s lack of autonomy with partner when the time is right for
respect to her visits to the natal home. they believe that children know what
A young married lady 2 narrated, “I is best for them. One of the mothers3
used to visit my natal home twice said “It is not easy anymore to find
or more times in a year, however alliances for children like it used to
parents told me to restrict my visiting be during early times. Today, most
to them often. They make me feel of the young boys and girls move out
like an outsider.” Most of the parents of state for their further studies and
do not encourage their married we hardly know them.” Today, due
daughters to share the same kind of to change of space and time, it looks
relationships as they used to share like our society is turning into an
before their marriage, however, many individualistic society where children
parents do not hesitate to seek their are given more liberty to choose one’s
help financially or in sickness more life partner. However, parents do have
often than sons. On the contrary, in certain desires of their children’s
sons’ cases, even if they are barely choice. They prefer endogamous
there when parents need them, they marriage (same community). “I prefer
are the family’s pride and permanent arrange marriage for my children and
members in the family because belonging to the same caste, it might
they carry the family line. Girls are be difficult to find alliance for them
considered in lesser terms than but if they are qualified then it won’t
boys. Patriarchal ideology constructs be difficult” states a non-Christian
bias cultural arrangement against father4.
women. The ideology of women’s Parents are also concerned for
subordination requires the precise the health of the spouse. A mother
Family Socialisation in Empowerment of Young Girls in Manipur 163

emphasised ‘health’ as one of the for parents and kins. In the urge to
important parameter for the choice of gain social respect, a respondent 5
life partners for their adult children. narrated her excruciating experience.
This is because Manipur society Her mother forcefully marries her
today is stricken with social evils away when she was barely 18 years
such as use of drugs, prostitution, to a man double her age. She was
sexual indulgence, alcoholism studying in a reputed college and
etc. She narrated the horrendous was very ambitious. She wanted to
experience that her sister went become a Doctor but this dream was
through post marriage. Her sister short lived when her youth days and
is diagnosed with HIV+ which was dreams were robbed by her mother’s
transmitted by her husband who was merciless insatiability for money and
oblivious of dreaded contamination. social status. Despite of the persistent
Thus, because of this reason, the protest by the relatives, she was
mother stated that health becomes married off to a divorcee man, father
the primary concern factor and foster to a son. However, his marital status
peruse medical check-up before the was not a factor for her mother as he
commitment. was a Government servant in a good
Children are advised to be position.
‘Shingba (clever)’ in looking out According to the findings, it is
for life partner. Clever for parents observed that although the liberty
would mean for instance, boys to choose life partner is given to
should look out for girls who have children, yet daughter’s choices
good moral reputation, educated, are more subjected to scrutiny.
and responsible and adapt family Their individuality is subdued and
affairs with tolerance and submissive suppressed due to the greed of social
nature. If she is earning, working respect.
either in private and government
sectors even in a low rank is a plus Impact of Language in Gender
point for the family. For girls, the boys Socialisation
have to be economically established. It is not an attempt to conceptualise
The preference is Government and explain how children learn to
employee or belongs to affluent speak languages but, it is an attempt
family. Society is stricken with the to investigate the use of language
awe of Government jobs whereas to boys and girls in mitigating their
working in private sectors are yet to action in order to distinguish gender
receive positive outlook. Government roles and examine the impact of
officials are highly respected in the language usage in emancipation
society and therefore to earn social of a girl child. Mead (1934) wrote
respect is considered imperative about the importance of patterns
 164 Journal of Indian Education February 2015

of language usage, primarily with Girls are considered vulnerable

reference to the implications for the whereas boys as strong in the
listener. He emphasised the socio- socialisation process. Her capability
generic origins of the self through is denounced by bias explanations
interactions with others. According to and therefore, it leads to gradual
Mead, the self was not an existential developing of self denial in her
entity, but rather a construction personality. Language is patriarchal
of personhood through habitual and therefore carries and reflects
interactions. Socialisation is a lifelong gender biases and gender inequalities.
process which is accomplished To make the matter worse is the use
primarily through communicative of abusive language such as Kashubi
interactions in the cultural setting. (prostitute), Hin-cha-bi (witch), which
These messages, communicated is sexist and directed mostly towards
mainly through language, are the girls/women folk.
substance from which the child On the other hand, the use of
actively constructs a world view. gender-neutral language is important
Language is an extremely potent tool for girls in their empowerment. For
for repressing or emancipating any instance, there was a 7 years old little
social relations (Cameron 1998: 148). girl crying bitterly, when enquired by
It can play an important role in the her mother, she so innocently said
development of individual psychology. that her friends (all boys) in a running
As seen in the light of the above, race left her behind, they didn’t wait
girls are constraints to do things that for her in which her mother replied
interest them such as playing outdoor “why do you have to cry if you can’t
games like football, carpentry work, defeat them, you should have run
and visit friends etc. which according faster”. It is the use of gender just
to parents are labelled as work of language that boosts the confidence
boys. For example, if a girl climbs of girl child and which will greatly
the tree then she is chided by saying impact her personality. This kind of
‘Are you a boy that you are climbing gender just language mitigation on
the tree?’ if a girl is good at playing children’s action needs to be used.
football and volleyball then ‘she From a contextual perspective,
plays just like a man’, if she is not feminists claim that gender norms
allowed to meet her friends while her cannot be changed only at the
brother can then ‘boys are boys, they institutional levels but also must be
are different’. According to West and addressed at the interactional level
Zimmerman (1987), if we do gender (West and Zimmerman 1987). There
appropriately, we simultaneously are other factors also that restrict
reproduce and legitimate patriarchal their movements in the name of
hegemonic standards that are based gender and therefore pull girls down
on sex category. to subservient position which affects
Family Socialisation in Empowerment of Young Girls in Manipur 165

not only their personality but also means under men’s control. These
their mindset. It is through language iniquitous practices are mostly
that girls are learning that the instigated by men when it comes to
relations between the sexes are power politics. Women in the family are
relations where men are dominant instructed whom to vote for and most
and in control, while women are importantly young children become
subordinated and inferior. This leads aware of political socialisation and
to low level of confidence among thereby young girls internalises that
women and they imbibe inferior politics is a man’s world.
complex which affects their everyday
lives. Thus, there is a need to provide Girl child: Tradition and
gender neutral or gender sensitive Modernity
language so as to impregnate gender Due to emergence of education,
equality mindset. social changes have taken place;
change of house structure, lifestyle
Politics: A Man’s World became westernised, local medicines
Both men and women, in Manipur, were replaced by scientific medicines,
believe that politics is a man’s world. food habits, better infrastructure,
It is men who occupy centre stage in etc. A mother in 50s recalls, “We are
the politics. At home, political talks grateful that Christianity came along
are mostly dominated by men and with education. Our society has
this is more common in rural areas. benefited in numerous ways. But,
Male headed society is yet to accept social relations today have become
and encourage women to participate complicated due to the emergence
in political sphere, and so, women of globalisation and sophisticated
in Manipur still hold abysmal low technology.” Changes occur at fastest
position in political participation. pace today, youngster considered
A handful of women have become the elders thinking belong to school
MLAs despite of women constituting of old thoughts. Moreover, the wide
half the population in Manipur. gap of behavioural and attitudinal
However, in almost every state changes between the girls then and
election, it is reported that women now is conspicuous as many mothers
voters outnumber men. Women shared their memories of their youth-
actively participate in casting their as young and compared it with young
votes but one should not overlook the girls of today. The table below shows
adverse activities at the backdrop. the behavioural and attitudinal
Women outnumber men because changes of girls in tradition and
female voters are the soft targets and modern period as told by them to the
are easily lured to perform unfair researcher.
 166 Journal of Indian Education February 2015

Table 1
Presenting behavioural change among young girls
Behaviour in Traditional society Behaviour in Modern society
Ignorant Clever
Performed household chores dutifully Focus on studies
Less competent More competent
Conventional in dressing sense Fashionable
Respect elders Lack of respect
Less worries Pressure and tensions
Limited wants Unlimited
Introvert Extrovert
Source: Compilation of information collected from 80 respondents (parents), Dewlahland

From Table 1, it is observed that the parallel space, however, due

due to urbanisation, modernisation, to constant cultural negotiation of
globalisation and hi-tech era, a gender identity, women still continue
shift has taken in the process of to witness the secondary position
socialisation. The table depicts in family in particular that has a
colossal differentiation between the huge impact on women becoming
young girls of past days. Conflict fully empowered. The dynamism of
and resistance in the family has patriarchy is the biggest enemy for
aggravated because there is an women’s empowerment in Manipur
imbalance in the interests, attitudes society, which can be generalised to
and behaviour pattern between whole Indian society and the world.
children and parents. This is evident Globalisation and its impact on
because gender stereotypes of a girl gender differences in the family
child continue to withhold traditional Manipur, as we know is a small
mindset. There is constant conflict of state in North East India could not
self identity and interests of oneself remain unaffected by Globalisation.
among the younger generation. Due At the outset, in economic terms
to competitive world, children have globalisation keeps Manipur
become more individualistic and do connected with the rest of the
not have many friends. They have world at large. Due to increased job
become aggressive by nature and opportunities in market, the attitude
suffer from mental stress. It is found of people has changed towards
that girl child are becoming bold and education, lifestyle, health, fashion,
independent. It is precisely because outlook on male and female etc.
of different types of exposure. In Everyday there are advertisements
sharing the power relations with men, for the new jobs on the one hand and
many women have started to share government reports on the creation of
Family Socialisation in Empowerment of Young Girls in Manipur 167

new jobs on the other. These media worse off as they have to survive in
advertisements and reports also an inflation prone economy/society.
highlight specific educational and Economic fluctuation has taken a toll
professional qualification required in the lives of people in Manipur. Due
or necessary for applying. It is found to this reason, monetary security
that in Dewlahland, parents give has become the central focus for the
importance to education. They send families. Parents opined that they will
their young children to schools based want their educated daughter-in-law
in the valley and adolescence children to earn if there is a need to generate
post-higher secondary are sent to income in the family. Moreover,
other neighbouring states such as their attitude towards sending their
Shillong and Guwahati and mostly daughters outside the state has
to metros like Delhi and Bangalore changed. They have started sending
for further studies. The education their daughters to cities like Delhi,
of girl child in Manipur has been an Bangalore and Mumbai to pursue
important issue for a lot of women education and to earn.
and progressive minded men. The impact of globalisation
It is believed that, formal education on the young girls has been
is clearly one of the strongest assets interesting. On the one hand, it
for the growth and development of has allowed them to occupy the
confident and progressive women. economic space, with opportunities
Education facilitates women to have for higher education means higher
a better chance in life. However, it pay raising their self-confidence
is observed that at the primary level and independence. Globalisation
of education, there is usually a high has provided a power to uproot the
female enrolment, but by secondary traditional views about women that
and tertiary levels enrolment drops. have kept them economically poor
One of the mothers said that “boys and socially exploited. The growth of
education is taken more seriously, we the computer and technology sector
neglect to encourage girls when they has provided middle class young girls
do not want to pursue further studies.” the capacity to negotiate their role
Thus, many women who have higher and status within the household and
education today have either achieved society. On the other hand, gender
it on their own or were simply lucky traditional roles continue to hinder
to have found themselves in a place, their movements. For most women,
where they could be educated outside their domestic responsibilities are not
their nuclear families. The low level alleviated. Additionally, prostitution
and lack of education seriously and abuse are on rise in Manipur
disadvantaged many women that they despite globalisation and some say
are unable to reap the positive fruits that the materialistic greed is one
of globalisation, which makes them of the main causes. Globalisation
 168 Journal of Indian Education February 2015

has not improved much the lives of produces gender inequality. Since
women. It has not been able to bring childhood, young girls are socialised
transformation in the attitude to to internalise certain dispositions
eliminate gender bias. There is no or of mind vis-à-vis self denial, lack
less sign of resistance from the women of autonomy, and acceptance of
sides against the discrimination subordinate position, thus depriving
and deprivation meted out to young of her individuality. Therefore, the
girls in the society. Most of the whole process stops young girls from
respondents are happy to perform becoming an empowered being in their
the role assigned to them since their later life. Today, the grave concern is
childhood by their parents and other to socialise young girls in a gender
social agencies. sensitive atmosphere for them to
inherent the right mindset of gender
Conclusion equality and developed personality
Differential treatment of boys and that enables them to stand in equal
girls in the family socialisation is footing with men.
insidious. The practice of traditional
gender roles shapes one on the basis End notes
of gender stereotype, gender identity 1. Interview with Mr. Singh, a
and places the young boys and girls businessman on 28th September
in masculine and feminine roles by 2010 at his residence, Dewlahland.
creating boundaries, for the two, with 2. Interview with Mrs Komuni, an
dos and don’ts. Gender ideologies are educated housewife on 22nd
frequently hierarchical and sexual November 2010 at her residence,
inequality is embedded in thought, Dewlahland.
language and social institutions. The 3. Interview with Areiti, a private
socio-cultural practices and social teacher on 11th December 2010
norms that favour men in turn deprive at her residence, Dewlahland.
the freedom of young girls in the 4. Interview with Mr. Singh, op.cit.
family in particular. For this reason, 5. Interview with Mrs. Kayini, an
the preference of son is inherent in the educated housewife on 12th
male dominated society. Socialisation December 2010 at her residence,
process in the family is gendered and Dewlahland.

Alva, Margaret. 1999. Thy Worst Enemy. In Education and Women’s Empowerment.
Association of Indian Universities, AIU House, New Delhi.
Bandura, A. 1973. Aggression: A Social Learning Analysis. Prentice Hall, Englewood
Cliffs, N.J.
Beal, C. 1994. Boys and Girls: The Development of Gender Roles. Mcgraw-Hill, New York.
Family Socialisation in Empowerment of Young Girls in Manipur 169

Bhasin, Kamla. 2003. Understanding Gender. Women Unlimited, New Delhi.

Bhogle, Sudha. 1999. ‘Gender Roles: The Construct in the Indian context’, in Saraswathi,
T. S. (eds.). Culture, Socialisation and Human Development: Theory, Research and
Applications in India. Sage Publications, New Delhi.
Bottomore, T.B. and M. Rubel. 1963. Karl Marx: Selected Writings in Sociology and Social
Philosophy. Penguin Books, Harmondsworth.
Cameron, D. (ed.) 1998. The Feminist Critique of Language: A Reader. Second edition.
Routledge, London.
David, M. And D. Woodward. 1998. Negotiating the Glass Ceiling. Paul Chapman, London.
De Beavoir, Simone. 1953 The Second Sex. Vintage Books, New York.
Denniz Kandiyoti. 1988. Bargaining with Patriarchy. Gender and Society, 2(3), 274-90
Dube, Leela. 1988. On the Construction of Gender: Hindu Girls in Patrilineal India.
Economic and Political Weekly. 23, 18
Durkheim, Emile. 1965. Education and Sociology. The Free Press, Delhi.
Freud, S. 1964. ‘Femininity’. In New Introductory Lectures on Psychoanalysis trans.
J. Strachey, Norton, New York.
Gnanadason, Aruna. 1986. A Mother turned Women, in God’s Image, April p.39
Kerckhoff, Alan C. 1972. Socialisation and Social Class. Prentice - Hall.
Kumar, Krishna. April 24, 2010. Culture, State and Girls: An Educational Perspective.
Economic and Political Weekly. Vol. XI.V NO. 17.
Macrae, C.N., C. Stangor, M. Hewstone. 1996. Stereotypes and Stereotyping. The Guilford
Press, New York.
Mayall, Berry. (ed.) 1994. Children’s Childhoods: Observed and Experienced. The Falmer
Press, Taylor and Francis Inc., New York.
Mead, George H. 1934. Mind, Self, and Society: From the Standpoint of a Social
Behaviourist. University of Chicago Press, Chicago.
Mead, Margaret. 1935. Sex and Temperament in Three Primitive Societies. Mentor,
New York.
Menon, Nivedita. 2003. Feminism. National Federation of Indian Women, Delhi
Mies, Maria. 1986. Patriarchy and Accumulation on a World Scale Woman in the
International Division of Labour. Sed Books, London.
Oakley, Ann. 1972. Sex, Gender and Society. Temple Smith, London.
Pfeffer, Goerge and Deepak Kumar Behera, (ed.) 1996. Contemporary Society: Childhood
and Complex Order. Manak Publications Pvt. Ltd., New Delhi.
Thorne. 1993. Gender Play: Girls and Boys in school. Rutger University Press,
New Brunswick, NJ.
West, C. and D. Zimmerman. 1987. Doing Gender. Gender and Society, 1, 125-151
Wharton, Amy S. 2005. The Sociology of Gender: An Introduction to Theory and Research.
Blackwell Publishing Ltd., UK.
Disabled Children in Inclusive Classrooms
Behavioural Problems and Behaviour
Management Strategies
Farzana Shehla*

Every child is unique and behaves differently in different situations. Most of
these behaviours are normal and do not pose any threat for child. But behaviour
such as regular temper tantrums or aggressive outbursts may become difficult
to handle and often teachers regard these as behaviour problems. These
behaviours prove hurdle for children as well as classroom transactions.
Generally termed behaviour problems, these difficult behaviours are sometimes
considered part of the expected developmental process and sometimes
diagnosed as conduct disorders and affect a number of children. These
behaviour problems significantly interfere with their ability to learn and develop.
It is very difficult for a teacher to handle all sorts of behaviour problems in a
classroom. The problem gets intensified if children with disability are included
in the classroom as a part of inclusion process. Inclusion provides opportunities
to these children to participate in education with non disabled children without
any discrimination. But if the class comprises of a good number of children with
one or other kind of disability along with normal children in inclusive classroom
then the responsibility of teacher increases. Different types of disability bring
with it various kinds of associated behaviour problems in the classroom. This
complicates the teaching learning process. This theoretical paper focuses on
the behaviour problems of children with different types of disability in the
classroom after inclusion and also reflects on the challenging role of teachers
in making classroom teaching effective. There are many strategies presented in
this paper to help teachers succeed in their endeavour.

* UGC Senior Research Fellow, Faculty of Education, Osmania University, Hyderabad 500007. 
Disabled Children in Inclusive Classrooms— Behavioural... 171

Introduction aggression may include fear, anger

etc. Refusing reasonable requests,
Every child is unique and behaves
running off instead of coming when
differently in different situations.
called, becoming limp and dropping
Most of these behaviours are normal
to the floor, resisting transitions, not
and do not pose any threat for child.
performing chores or duties are few
But behaviour such as regular temper
of the non- compliant/ disruptive
tantrums or aggressive outbursts
behaviours observed in children. The
may become difficult to handle
reason could be attempt to control
and often teachers regard these
others or it may be an attempt to
as behaviour problems. Although
exert independence. Disability also
behaviour problems include range of
causes inappropriate social behaviour
behaviours, which can be considered
which includes failure to have learned
part of the expected developmental
more appropriate social skills and
process, these are also sometimes rules - stripping, showing affection to
diagnosed as ‘conduct disorders’ strangers, stealing or hoarding, lying,
and affect a number of children and masturbating in public, swearing or
significantly interfere with children’s shouting. These children also lack
ability to learn and develop. self-regulation over bodily functions
Behavioural Problems in Disabled and show copresis, enuresis, drooling,
and tongue thrust like behaviours.
Other than the above, there are
Disabled children like any other other behavioural issues of children
children also exhibit many behavioural suffering from disability. A child
problems and causes include the become drowsy and has impaired
direct effect of disability upon the attention due to epileptic seizures.
child, the severity of disability, the type Epilepsy can also become the cause
of disability etc. The most common of for unusual or challenging behaviour
these behaviours are the self- injurious and lead to abnormal perceptions.
and stereotypic behaviours. Self- Children suffering from hearing
injurious behaviours lead to physical problems face difficulty in following
harm and include banging head, instructions. Sometimes, not hearing
biting, scratching self and many such what's been said can be mistaken for
responses that inflict direct harm on not doing what they are told. Tourette's
the individual. This may be the result syndrome involves repetitive,
of higher levels of pain tolerance, or involuntary jerking movements of the
to get attention, or may be organic. face or body (motor tics) and sudden
On the other hand stereotypic outbursts of noise or swearing (vocal
behaviour is the repetitive behaviour tics). Repetitive obsessive behaviour
that persists for long periods of child and problems with anger control
and others. The reasons for growing are sometimes seen. Autism and
 172 Journal of Indian Education February 2015

Aspergers syndrome are associated learning disabled children had more

with difficulties in verbal and non behavioural problems than normal
verbal communication, social children and both internalising and
skills, imagination and obsessive externalising problems are associated
preoccupations. So, a child with with learning disabilities (Epstein et
Asperger’s syndrome may hide under al, 1986). Other studies have found
a desk when becomes overwhelmed that perceptual motor difficulties,
from sensory overload due to being poor concentration, hyperactivity and
in a busy classroom. Depression low self esteem were associated with
and anxiety disorders can cause learning disabled children. Research
poor concentration, irritability has also shown that challenging
and restlessness. Attention deficit behaviour has negative consequences
hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) for children, including rejection from
children are hyperactive, feel difficulty peers, poor academic outcomes and
in concentrating and sticking to increases in the risk of children
tasks. A student with severe attention becoming recurrent juvenile offenders
difficulties or extreme sensory (Bhavani K., 2007). Children with
processing disorders might be highly
developmental disabilities often have
distracted or distressed by the
communication difficulties and so
presence of other students while they
may display challenging behaviour as
are at work. Students with behavioural
a way of communicating their needs
problems may not feel accepted by
and wishes. Children perform well in
other members of the class, and this
one task while struggle to perform
puts them at high risk of academic
failure. Children with learning other tasks. This mismatch between
disability may develop anxiety when ability, expectations and outcomes
asked to read in front of others and can cause terrific disappointment
become very disruptive. A child with and upset resulting in a cascade of
an Attachment Disorder may lash out emotions and behaviours that can
when he feels threatened in any way. interfere with everyday functioning in
Behaviour problems in children are school, at home and in the community.
most often referred to as being either Children with disabilities perceive
internalising or externalising in problems for social interactions.
nature, and can include behaviours Children with neuromuscular
that are a danger to oneself or to diseases (NMDs) may be affected by
others, such as self-injury, self- a range of mental health problems,
isolating or biting and hitting. A including personality disorders, social
number of studies consistently problems, attention deficits, affective
have reported that children with disorders, anxiety and depression.
learning disabilities have behavioural (Darkea J., Bushbyb K, Couteurc
problems. About 39 to 54% of A.L., McConachied H., 2006)
Disabled Children in Inclusive Classrooms— Behavioural... 173

Inclusive classrooms work, students with all types of mild

Inclusion is not a new term today. disabilities, and students whose
Special education for children with disabilities require relatively few
special needs emphasises inclusion specialised services are generally
which, in broader sense, is about included in a normal classroom.
the child’s right to participate and Teachers’ role in Behavioural
the school’s duty to accept the
child. Inclusion rejects the use of
special schools or classrooms to Teachers are often faced with great
separate students with disabilities rewards and challenges when
from students without disabilities. supporting children in inclusive
International organisations classrooms, particularly when
particularly UNESCO, now see problem behaviour may arise. It is
inclusive schooling as an effective very difficult for a teacher to handle
approach in the education of this all sorts of behaviour problems
class of learners. Inclusion refers to in a classroom. Different types of
the "full-time placement of children disability bring with it various kinds
with mild, moderate and severe of associated behaviour problems in
disabilities in regular classrooms" the classroom. This complicates the
(Garuba A., 2003). teaching learning process. The role of
An inclusive classroom is teachers in handling these problems
comprised of students with special is very crucial and they must know
educational needs along with proper ways to manage inappropriate
normal children. But all students behaviours. First step is responding
with disabilities cannot be included appropriately to problem behaviour.
in the regular classrooms because How should teachers respond when
of their effect on other students. children with problem behaviour
For example, students with severe are included in the classroom? The
behavioural problems, such that they most effective tool to handle problem
represent a serious physical danger behaviour is to prevent it from
to others, are poor candidates for occurring in the first place. Teachers
inclusion, because the school has a should respond by understanding
duty to provide a safe environment why a child might be engaging
to all students and staff. However, in problem behaviour, and then
most students with special needs establishing strategies that prevent
can attend school, are not violent, do that behaviour from occurring.
not have severe sensory processing Problem behaviour often occurs
disorders, etc and can be selected for in children when they try to avoid
inclusion. The students who suffer something/work, demand attention
from physical disabilities that have from somebody and some internal
no or little effect on their academic reason within the child (e.g. constant
 174 Journal of Indian Education February 2015

moving in the chair because the child increases targeted behaviour) and
has ADHD). Secondly, teachers should negative reinforcement (taking away
be creative enough to use different something aversive that increases
strategies for managing problem targeted behaviour).
behaviours in his/her classroom. Creating the Behaviour Plan–
There are two types of approaches in There is logic behind the behaviours.
behaviour management. Eliminating The challenge is to understand its
undesirable behaviour is one way context. The teacher must observe the
while educative approach which behaviour; when does it occur, where
encourages adaptive behaviour and does it occur and why he/she think
promotes maximum participation it occurred, Individual differences
of individual in meaningful, daily should be recognised and considered
activities is another one. Instruction as part of the inclusion process.
and process of behaviour control goes
on simultaneously. Exploring the Consequences– It
includes teacher’s observation
Behaviour Management regarding what happened when the
Strategies in Inclusive Classroom behaviour occurred, when did these
There are effective strategies that can consequences take place and how
support teachers and their students did the student respond to these
who exhibit challenging behaviour. consequences.
According to the Individuals with Considering Alternatives– Moving
Disabilities Education Act (IDEA, student, regrouping class, rearranging
1975) children with disabilities must environment, changing time of activity,
be given education along with children changing class format etc. can help
who are not disabled and in the case dealing with problem behaviours. In
of a child whose behaviour impedes order to facilitate a better understanding
his or her learning or that of others of the things the student finds difficult
appropriate strategies including or stressful, open communication
positive behavioural intervention between his/her teacher and parent/
strategies and supports must be carer is very helpful.
used to address that behaviour. Understanding Disability and
Behaviour of children can be shaped Teaching New Skills– Children’s
by concerted efforts by teachers who behaviour problems point to the need
are continuously engaged with them. for an understanding of the child’s
Few of the behaviour management disability and the behaviours the
strategies are as follows– disability may cause and teaching
Giving Reinforcement– This is a children new skills such as how
most commonly used strategy for to play friendly at recess instead of
dealing with classroom behaviours. hitting others can work. Combining
It includes positive reinforcement easy tasks with hard tasks is another
(presenting something positive that way, as problem behaviour is likely
Disabled Children in Inclusive Classrooms— Behavioural... 175

to occur with more challenging of the stress response and work

academic tasks. If behaviour accordingly. The student would
escalates and the child is unable to benefit from taking part in structured
follow the instructions/rules, teacher group activities to help consolidate
must minimise the verbal interaction social skills. The student may need
and instructs the child to have some teacher explaining the rules and
time in the quiet and safe place, and if what to expect beforehand, therefore
necessary the child is led to the area. minimising potential anxiety/stress.
Bringing Change in routine– As it is in Keeping the Expectation Low–
the case of all children, following the Children with disabilities often
same routine (though very important) develop considerable stress or
may become monotonous for children anxiety (about their performance and
with disability very soon. In such ability to complete school work) and
situation an excursion or other such exhibit difficult behaviours. In these
activity can work in bringing the instances, expectations need to be
child’s interest back. For the new lowered to meet the child’s current
situation the teacher must provide level of ability in order for him to
the child prior warning as possible experience success. This in turn
so the child has time to mentally builds confidence and better enables
prepare; for example allowing the him to attempt harder work. Students
child some time looking at pictures of must also be explained what exactly is
the place he will be visiting. expected of them when participating
Minimising the Stress Level– The in some work to reduce their anxiety
cause of increased stress in students in relation to completing school
(like noisy unstructured activities, work or other activities. Teacher can
new tasks or activities, changes in provide special job that the student
routine etc.), must be taken care of. can perform at the start of each day
Social interaction for a long period of can boost the self esteem. Some
time also overwhelms students who children like re-ordering materials
struggle with social skills. Teachers such as books in the classroom, and
must arrange a screened off area this can serve as a stress relieving
with a bean bag and some boxes with activity, or having access to things
activities that are soothing, such they can fiddle with.
as building blocks, toy cars etc. for Proper Seating Arrangements–
children when they are overwhelmed. Seating is usually very important
Another good alternative is to provide to help minimise distractions. The
a physical outlet for the stress, such teacher must try to place the student
as running an errand, or lifting where there are minimal visual
and carrying something heavy in and auditory distractions. Sensory
the classroom. It is important to processing difficulties cause a child
understand the underlying cause to be either hypersensitive (over
 176 Journal of Indian Education February 2015

response) or hyposensitive (under a need for tactile sensation and can

response) to various sensory stimuli, help to reduce unwanted behaviours.
with each child vary in their sensitivity
to different things and the degree of Conclusion
sensitivity. Due to an uncomfortable Behaviour problems are part of
seating position, background noise, growing up and difficult behaviours
or even a smell, the child suffers are always challenging for teachers.
considerable stress and anxiety. Teachers need diverse thinking
Behaviours are then generated in an when dealing with both types of
attempt to reduce the stress or escape children (with and without disability).
from the situation. Students may feel Different types of disability demand
uncomfortable when sitting on the different management strategies. It is
carpet and listening to the teacher. important for teacher in an inclusive
In such instances, alternative seating classroom to design activities keeping
can be arranged to help minimise in mind the requirements of children
the difficulties and therefore help with disabilities. Understanding
to minimise the distractions. It may the problems and using proper
be easier for the student to sit in a management techniques can help in
chair or cushion. Also a stress ball smooth functioning of all the activities
or something tactile may help satisfy in inclusive classroom.

Beal S., and J. Tranter. Behaviour management strategies– children with disabilities.
Retrieved from http–// on 20/08/2014.
Epstein, Cullinan and Lloyd. 1986. Behaviour-problem patterns among the Learning
Disabled III. Replication across age and sex. Learning Disability Quarterly, 9,43-54.
Bhavani K. 2007. Nature of learning disability and behaviour of children with age range
of 5 to 12 years. Journal of Community Guidance and Research, pp.173-179.
Darkea J., K. Bushbyb, A. L. Couteurc, H. McConachied. 2006. Survey of behaviour
problems in children with neuromuscular diseases. European Journal of Paediatric
Neurology, 129–134
Elsworth S. Problems with Inclusion in the Classroom. Retrieved from http–//www.ehow.
com/info_7875391_problems-inclusion-classroom.html on 20/08/2014.
Garuba A. 2003. Inclusive Education in the 21st century– Challenges and Opportunities
for Nigeria. Asia Pacific Disability Rehabilitation Journal. 191 Vol. 14 No. 2.
Gregory O’Brien. 1996. Behavioural problems in disabled children. Journal of the Royal
Society of Medicine. 89(1)– 57P–58P
Jade West. 2010. Behavioural problems in children with developmental disabilities–
behavioural-based parent training programmes. Retrieved from http–//www.cerebra.
on 20/08/2014.
Martin E. Behaviour Management of Children with Severe Disabilities. Retrieved from www. on 19/08/2013.