In addition to the proliferation of private, fee-paying schools in India, non-governmental organisations (NGOs) play an important role in providing educational services, especially in un-served and under-served communities. This paper uses qualitative research to critically examine the nature and potential of NGO provision of primary schooling in India. In particular, it explores the contributions of one NGO programme which has sought to increase access for socially and economically marginalised children by establishing and providing support for small, rural, multigrade schools. The paper argues that NGO programmes like these have had positive impacts in terms of both access and quality because, firstly, the programmes are small-scale and locally rooted, and secondly, their organisation allows for greater flexibility and room for innovation in areas such as curriculum design, teacher education, and school networking than is commonly possible within government schools.
Blum, N. Small NGO schools in India: implications for access and innovation. Compare: A Journal of Comparative and International Education (2009) 39 (2) 235-248. [DOI: 10.1080/03057920902750491] [Special Issue: Non-state provision of education: Evidence from Africa and Asia]