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Innovative Programmes for Gender Equality in Indian School Education

Sarabjit Kaur

Abstract: Background: National Education Policy 2020 aims to eliminate existing disparities in access to education for children from any gender or any under-represented group. After independence, India makes considerable strides in reducing gender gaps in education, but even today the goal of gender parity in school enrolments remains elusive. India provides Universal Elementary Education to all and this commitment has been articulated through Constitution, National Education Policies and other Innovative Programmes. All these initiatives put a strong emphasis on the education of girls and some of the programmes have been started particularly to eliminate gender gaps in school education. Purpose: This paper is an attempt to review the Innovative Programmes started by the Government of India to redress the gender gaps in school education and also to analyze the impact of these programmes on female literacy rates and enrolment rates of girls in elementary education. Before analyzing the innovative programmes and their impact on educational statistics, the paper briefly assesses the status of education in the Constitution of India and also studies the national policy perspective regarding universal elementary education of girls in the country in order to provide a sound background to this study. Methods: The method of document analysis for the review of policy documents and innovative programmes has been utilized and trend analysis method has been applied to study the educational statistics from the year 1950 to 2015. Results: The female literacy rates and enrolment of girls in total enrolments for the classes VI-VIII have registered an increase after the implementation of these programmes. Conclusions: It has been observed that these community-based programmes of the country have received a lot of international recognition for their contribution towards reducing gender gaps in elementary education. So, the experiences of these Innovative Programmes can prove quite beneficial for other countries struggling with gender gaps in school education.
Keywords: Children / policy / constitution / Programmes / Education of Girls / Literacy Rates / Female Literacy / Universal Elementary / reducing gender gaps

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