Contrasting Effects of Educational Decentralization and Community Participation
The literature on education reforms suggests that bolstering the demand side can provide an effective counter to the collective power of organized actors. Community participation and school decentralization are the suggested reform interventions, and these measures find support for theoretical as well as practical policy considerations. Economists see in it the hope of bridging information asymmetry, political scientists of deepening democracy, and policy makers a way of increasing efficiency of programme implementation, as also overcoming community apathy towards schools. Both AP and Bihar adopted statutory measures to set up school councils. The outcomes were different but unanticipated in both states. In Andhra, the committees worked under strong central control and served a political purpose of identifying local development processes with the ruling Telugu Desam Party. In Bihar, the committees were a creation of policy entrepreneurship, but found little political support. On the ground they existed as abandoned institutions, with rampant elite capture.
Keywords: educational decentralization, demand side, village education committee, participatory democracy, panchayat, school council, school education committee, school management committee, Right to Education
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