This paper provides an overview of school education in India. First, it places India’s educational achievements in international perspective, particularly against countries with which it is now increasingly compared, especially China.
Second, the paper examines schooling access in terms of enrolment and school attendance rates, and schooling quality in terms of literacy rates, learning achievement levels, school resources, and teacher inputs.
Third, the paper investigates the role of private schooling in India, examining the extent of growth of private schooling and surveying evidence on the relative effectiveness and unit costs of private and public schools. Last, the paper discusses some major public education initiatives.
The concluding section suggests a future research agenda and appeals for rigorous evaluation of the impacts and costs of the numerous existing educational interventions, in order to learn about their relative cost-effectiveness for evidence-based policy-making.
Oxford Review of Economic Policy (2007) 23 (2) 168-195 [doi:10.1093/oxrep/grm015]