This paper provides an overview of secondary education in India with focus on the development trajectory currently pursued in the sub-sector reviewing the current status, development policies, approaches and reform programmes. While discussing the tremendous progress made in enhancing secondary schooling opportunities in India during the past six decades, the paper highlights the increasing regional, gender and social disparities in secondary education. It is argued that there is a large deficit in policy planning for secondary education development, which not only goes against the principle of inclusive development and the service-led growth strategy but also affects India’s capacity to connect effectively to globalisation. The broad development approach pursued by the country needs a clearer framework for change with more focus on decentralisation and governance issues and quality improvement. The paper identifies key challenges relating to implementation of major reform programmes including Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan (RMSA). It concludes that India needs to step up investment in pre-reform activities for creating a sustainable environment for initiating change; improving political will; introducing strategic management models ensuring continuity in change at the school level; and increasing budgetary allocation to make more inclusive quality secondary education a reality.
Biswal, K. Secondary Education in India: Development Policies, Programmes and Challenges. In: CREATE Pathways to Access Series, Research Monograph Number 63. (2011) 1-57. ISBN 0-901881-73-2