, Volume 38, Issue 3, pp 431–444 | Cite as

Education for All in India: assessing progress towards Dakar goals

  • Rangachar Govinda
Case Studies of Progress and Challenges in Quality and Equity.


About 60 years ago India established a policy of providing free and compulsory education to all children and began transforming the elite education system inherited from its colonial past into a mass education program. The task became a race against a rapidly growing population, which outstripped the pace at which children could be enrolled and educated in schools. Notwithstanding this demographic challenge, the system grew in size and the number of children participating in school grew many-fold. The struggle to reach the long cherished goal of universal elementary education continues even today. The present paper highlights two decades of EFA progress, paying particular attention to quantitative trends since 2001, and the policies framed and the strategies implemented to achieve greater equity and quality in the provision of basic education.


India Education for All Basic education 



The author gratefully acknowledges the assistance provided by Mona Sedwal and Madumita Bandopadhyay in collating relevant information for this article, which is a revised and abbreviated version of Govinda (2007a).


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.National University of Educational Planning and AdministrationNew DelhiIndia

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