Transitioning to better primary education: The role of an expatriate organisation in India
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© 2020 The Authors. Published by MDPI Publishing.
India is a signatory to the United Nations’ programs, accepting to implement the Millennium Development Goals and their successor, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). While progress on universal primary education has been made since 2000, attaining equitable education for all (SDG4), remains a challenge in rural India. With an estimated 200 million children under the age of fourteen, enrolment in commencing primary education has improved. However, progress beyond year V (primary education in India covers school years I to VIII) is inadequate. One third of children in rural areas drop out of school by that time and this increases to almost half by year VIII. Given India’s large diaspora, this article analyses the impact of a new model of educational support through the work of a non-resident expatriate association, India Rural Education and Development Inc. (IREAD). It uses a 2011–2019 longitudinal case study of a government school in the village of Lakhnu, Uttar Pradesh. Data from the activities of IREAD, researcher observations, interviews, photographs and infrastructure evidence, are analysed. A grounded theory emanating from the data is proposed and areas of improvement are suggested. The research concludes that a major shift is difficult to achieve but IREAD’s contribution delivers small steps in the right direction to improve educational opportunities and outcomes for rural children in India.
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