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Inside Indian Schools: The Enigma Of Equity And Quality

After seventy years of independence, the tragic reality is that the schools we attend and the quality of education we receive are influenced by our identity; who we are, where we live, how much we earn and our gender.

In Inside Indian Schools: The Enigma of Equity and Quality, Vimala Ramachandran explores the contours of a school system that is facing a crisis of legitimacy. While India aspires to march towards a knowledge driven society and economy, millions of young people are left behind. Those who can afford march out of government schools only to realize that the private schools (barring the elite schools) are no better. The schools they attend leaves them with little knowledge or skill, a very low self-esteem and a bleak future.

The inequalities in the larger society are reflected in the school system, and the elite schools to which the majority of the children have no access, stand apart from the rest. The book argues that the struggle for equality in education, in all schools, is ultimately a struggle for quality, both being two sides of the same coin.

Published: 2018
Pages: 288
Publisher: Oriental BlackSwan

Getting Children Back to School

Firmly rooted in the belief that every child has a right to basic education, this volume explores strategies and alternatives to keep children in school, reach out to those outside the schooling system, and improve the quality of elementary education.

Published: September 2003
Pages: 440
Publisher: SAGE India

Gender and Social Equity

This volume provides an insightful understanding of the ground realities of primary education programmes, particularly those run by the District Primary Education Programme (DPEP).

Published: June 2004
Pages: 380
Publisher: SAGE India

Books and Reports

  1. (2020) Vimala Ramachandran, Deepa Das, Ganesh Nigam and Anjali Shandilya. Contract Teachers in India: Recent Trends and Current Status. Azim Premji University. Bangalore.
  2. (2020) Vimala Ramachandran and Nagendra Nagpal. Secondary Education in Rajasthan: A qualitative study supported by AJWS. Jaipur.
  3. (2019) Vimala Ramachandran and Niti Saxena. Quality and Systemic Functioning of Secondary Education in India: A study in Uttar Pradesh and Jharkhand. The World Bank Technical Background Paper. New Delhi
  4. (2019) Ramachandran, Vimala. Democratic Inequalities – the dilemma of elementary education in India. In N V Varghese and Madhumita Bandhopadhayay (Ed) Democracy and Education. OUP, New Delhi
  5. (2018) Ramachandran, Vimala. Equity and Quality are two sides of the same coin – essays on school education in India. Social Science Press. New Delhi
  6. (2017) Vimala Ramachandran, Niti Saxena and ERU Team. Formative study to enhance the understanding about reasons for smooth transition among boys and girls to Secondary Schools: National Synthesis Report Vol. 1 and 2. A study commissioned by UNICEF, ICO. New Delhi
  7. (2016) Ramachandran, Vimala, T Linden, Tara Beteille, Sangeeta Dey, Sangeeta Goyal and Prerna Goel Chatterji. Teachers in the Indian Education System – Synthesis of a nine-state study.
  8. (2013) ERU Research Team led by Rajni Patni. School Management for Quality Inclusive Education and Decentralised School Governance. European Union, NUEPA and Save The Children (India)
  9. (April 2013) Peter Boone, Ila Fazzio, Kameshwari Jandhyala, Chitra Jayanty, Simon Johnson, Vimala Ramachandran, Filipa Silva and Zhaoguo Zhan. April 2013. The surprising dire situation of children’s education in rural West Africa: Results from the CREO study in Guniea Bissau. National Bureau of Economic Research. Cambridge MA, USA.
  10. (2012) Vimala Ramachandran, Taramoni Naorem and team: Inclusion and exclusion of students in the school and in the classroom in primary and upper primary schools: A qualitative study commissioned by Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan, MHRD, Government of India, New Delhi. TSG, EdCIL New Delhi
  11. (2012) Vimala Ramachandran and Kameshwari Jandhyala (Ed): Cartographies of Empowerment – Tracing the journey of Mahila Samakhya, Zubaan, New Delhi
  12. (2011): ERU Team led by Dr. Rajni Patni. School Management for Quality Inclusive Education and Decentralised School Governance, Save the Children (new Delhi), European Union (New Delhi) and NUEPA, New Delhi
  13. (2010) With Diarra Mahamadou. Youth Literacy and Basic Life Skills: A Review of Policies and Practices. CIDA and UIL, Hamburg. 2010
  14. (2010) Vimala Ramachandran: Gender Issues in Higher Education - Advocacy Brief, UNESCO Bangkok
  15. (2009) ERU team. Equity in School Water and Sanitation – overcoming exclusion and discrimination in South Asia – India Country Report. UNICEF ROSA. Kathmandu, Nepal.
  16. (2008) Vimala Ramachandran: Health and girls education in South Asia: An essential synergy; UNICEF – UNGEI, Kathmandu
  17. (2008) Rashmi Sharma and Vimala Ramachandran: The Elementary Education System in India: A field based investigation into institutional structures, processes and dynamics, Routlege India.
  18. (2006) Leela Visaria and Vimala Ramachandran (Ed): Reality Check: Abortion in India, Routledge India, New Delhi.
  19. (2004) Vimala Ramachandran: Fostering opportunities to lean at an accelerated pace: Why do girls benefit enormously? UNICEF Working Paper, New Delhi
  20. (2004) Vimala Ramachandran (Ed): Hierarchies of Access: Gender and Equity in Primary Education; Sage Publications, New Delhi.
  21. (2004) Snakes and Ladders: Factors Influencing Successful Primary School Completion for Children in Poverty Contexts; South Asian Human Development Sector Report No. 6, World Bank, New Delhi
  22. (2003) Vimala Ramachandran (Ed): Getting children back to school: case studies in primary education; Sage Publications, New Delhi.
  23. (2001) Vimala Ramachandran and Harsh Sethi: Shiksha Karmi Project of Rajasthan – an overall appraisal; New Education Division Document No 7, Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency.
  24. (1998) Vimala Ramachandran: Girls and Women’s Education: Policies and Implementation Mechanisms – Case Study India; UNESCO-PROAP, Bangkok.
  25. (1998) Vimala Ramachandran (Ed) Bridging the gap between intention and action - Girls and Women’s Education in South Asia, Editor the book and author of the Indian experience, UNESCO-PROAP, Bangkok and ASPBAE, New Delhi, May.

Articles in Journals

  1. (2020). Vimala Ramachandran. School Teachers in NEP 2020: Contradictory messages and silence on critical issues. The India Forum: A journal-Magazine on Contemporary Issues. 2 October 2020
  2. (2020) Vimala Ramachandran. Teacher Belief in Children’s Potential is important. Learning Curve, Azim Premji University. Bangalore
  3. (2018) Vimala Ramachandran. From thre Womb ti Priamry School: Challenges, Policies and Prospects for the young Child in India. Mobile Creche Technical Background Paper
  4. (2015). Kameshwari Jandhyala and Vimala Ramachandran. Women Teachers Matter in Secondary Education. Economic and Political weekly. Volume L, Number 32, August 8, 2015
  5. (2014) Ramachandran, Vimala and Prerna Goel Chatterjee. June 2014. Evaluation of gender and equity issues under Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan. Volume 21(2), pp 157-178. 2014. Indian Journal of Gender Studies. New Delhi
  6. (2013) Ramachandran, Vimala and Taramani Naorem. November 2013. What it means to be a Dalit or Tribal child in our schools: A synthesis of Six-State Qualitative Study. Economic and Political Weekly. Vol XLVIII No 44, November 2, 2013.
  7. (2012) Vimala Ramachandran. Can rights go wrong? The RTE Conundrum in India. India International Centre Quarterly, Summer, July 2012 page numbers 56-63.
  8. (2012) Vimala Ramachandran. Evaluating gender and equity in elementary education: reflections on methodologies, processes and outcomes, Indian Journal of Gender Studies, Vol. 19, No. 2 (June 2012): PP 233–258
  9. (2011) Vimala Ramachandran. Reflections on School Leadership; Learning Curve Issue XVI, March 2011 (Published by Azim Premji Foundation, Bangalore)
  10. (2010) Vimala Ramachandran. Learning Social Science: What is right and wrong; Learning Curve Special issue on Social Sciences in School, Issue XV, 2010 (Published by Azim Premji Foundation, Bangalore)
  11. (2009) Vimala Ramachandran and Suman Bhattacharjea: Attend to primary school teachers, Vol. XLIV, No. 31, August 1, 2009 Economic and Political Weekly
  12. (2009) Vimala Ramachandran: Right to Education Act, Vol. XLIV, No 28, July 11, 2009, Economic and Political Weekly.
  13. (2009) Vimala Ramachandran: What is ‘para’ about some teachers? Vol. 34, No. 2, April-June 2009, VIKALPA (A journal of Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad)
  14. (2007) Vimala Ramachandran and Kameshwari Jandhyala: Strengthening the government school system – lessons from India, Economic and Political Weekly, VOL 42 No. 48 December 01 - December 07, 2007
  15. (2007): Vimala Ramachandran, Nishi Mehrotra and Kameshwari Jandhyala: Do incentives make a difference to meaningful education of socially underprivileged children? Journal of Educational Planning and Administration, NUEPA, New Delhi
  16. (2006) Vimala Ramachandran, Education and livelihood, Seminar 563, June. New Delhi
  17. (2005) Vimala Ramachandran: Why school teachers are de-motivated and disheartened, Economic and Political Weekly, VOL 40 No. 21 May 21 - May 27, 2005
  18. (2003) Vimala Ramachandran, Kameshwari Jandhyala and Aarti Saihjee: Through the life cycle of children: factors determining successful primary school completion; Economic and Political Weekly, VOL 38 No. 47 November 22 - November 28, 2003
  19. (2003) Vimala Ramachandran: Backward and forward linkages that strengthen primary education in Economic and Political Weekly, March 8-14, Volume XXXVIII, No 10
  20. (2002) Vimala Ramachandran and Aarti Saihjee: The New Segregation – reflections on gender and equity in primary education, Economic and Political Weekly; No 17 Vol. XXXVII, 27 April-2 May.
  21. (2001) Vimala Ramachandran: Community Participation in Primary Education – Innovations in Rajasthan; Economic and Political Weekly; Vol. XXXVI, June 23
  22. (1999) Vimala Ramachandran: Adult Education: A tale of empowerment denied; Economic and Political Weekly; Vol. XXXXIV, No 15 April 10.
  23. (1998) Vimala Ramachandran: Engendering Development: Lessons from Social Sector Programmes in India: Indian Journal of Gender Studies, Vol. 5: 1
  24. (1997) Leela Visaria and Vimala Ramachandran: Emerging issues in reproductive health, Economic and Political Weekly, Vol. 22, No 36, September 6
  25. (1997) Vimala Ramachandran: Changing face of the development sector in India; VOICES, Volume 1, Number 2
  26. (1996) Vimala Ramachandran: NGOs in the times of globalisation: from family planning to reproductive health; Seminar, November.
  27. (1996) Vimala Ramachandran: Fertility and women’s autonomy in the Indian Family; India International Centre Journal Special Issue on Women And The Family, Winter
  28. (1995) Vimala Ramachandran: Equality among unequal partners - relationship between NGOs and the government in India, The Administrator, Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration, Mussoorie, July.

Chapters in Published Books

  1. (2015) Ramachandran, Vimala. Exploring the legacy of three innovative programmes: What educational policy and practice learnt from Lok Jumbish, Shiksha Karmi and Mahila Samakhya. In A K Singh (Ed) Education and Empowerment in India: Policies and Practices. Routledge India.
  2. (2015) Ramachandran, Vimala. Democratic Inequalities – the dilemma of elementary education in India. In N V Varghese and MadhumitaBandhopadhayay (Ed) book on Democracy and Education. NUEPA. New Delhi
  3. (2015). Ramachandran, Vimala: Equity, quantity and quality: The precarious balancing act in Indian Schools, in Knut Axel Jacobson (Ed) Routledge Handbook of Contemporary India. Norway. (ISBN 978-0-415-73865-1)
  4. (2014) Ramachandran, Vimala: Gendered Inequalities in Education. In Devaki Jain and C P Sujaya (Ed): Indian Women Revisited. Publications Division of Government of India. 2014. (ISBN- 978-81-230-1799-0)
  5. (2009) Vimala Ramachandran: Quality, the Heart of Equity, in Cohen, Joel E., and Martin B. Malin, eds. 2009. International Perspectives on the Goals of Universal Basic and Secondary Education. New York: Routledge.
  6. (2009) Vimala Ramachandran: Democratic Inequalities: The Dilemma of Elementary Education in India, in Robert Cowen and Andrea M Kazamias (ed), International Handbook of Comparative Education, Volume II, Springer International Handbook of Education Series, The Netherlands
  7. (2009) Vimala Ramachandran: Systemic barriers to equity in education, in Preet Rustagi (Ed) Concerns, conflicts and cohesions: Universalisation of Elementary Education in India, Oxford University Press, New Delhi
  8. (2008) Vimala Ramachandran, Kameshwari Jandhyala and Aarti Saihjee: Through the Life Cycle of Children: Factors that facilitate / impede successful primary school completion, in Rama Baru (Ed) School Health Services in India, Sage Publications, New Delhi
  9. (2007) Vimala Ramachandran A school in every village – the Education Guarantee Scheme in Madhya Pradesh, India, in Deepa Nayayan and Elena Glinskaya (Ed) Ending Poverty in South Asia: Ideas that Work, World Bank, Washington DC.
  10. (2006) Vimala Ramachandran and Aarti Saihjee, The New Segregation in Primary Education – Implications for Local Governance, in Amit Prakash (Ed), Local Governance in India, Oxford University Press, New Delhi
  11. (2005) Kameshwari Jandhyala: Working within and without, in Mandira Kumar and Padma M Sarangapani (Ed), Improving Government Schools – What has been tried and what works, Sutradhar and Books for Change, Bangalore
  12. (2002) Vimala Ramachandran: Literacy, Development and Empowerment: Conceptual Issues, for edited book on Gender Gap in Basic Education Edited by Dr. Rekha Wazir; Sage Publication, N Delhi
  13. (2002) Vimala Ramachandran: Education and the status of women; in India Education Report Edited by Dr Govinda, Oxford University Press, New Delhi.
  14. (1998) Vimala Ramachandran: Voluntary organisation, professional agency or sub-contractor - the changing profile of the non-government sector in India, Dr. Pravin Visaria, M L Dantwala and Harsh Sethi (Eds.) Social Change through voluntary action, Sage Publications New Delhi, September
  15. (1996) Vimala Ramachandran: Redefining Safety Net: in N Rao, L Rurap and R Sudarshan (Eds.): Sites of Change: The Structural Context for Empowering Women in India, UNDP / FES
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