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Centre for South Asian Studies: Research


Paper Details

Author: Caroline Dyer

Title: The Improvement of Primary School Quality in India: Successes and Failures of 'Operation Blackboard'

Year: 1996

ISBN: 1 900 795 03 5

This paper examines teachers’ responses to the teaching-learning aid component of Operation Blackboard, a scheme to upgrade primary school facilities; and the implications for policy innovation aimed at improving the quality of primary schooling. Provision of teaching-learning aids posed a challenge to the long-established teacher-centred, textbook culture of schools which the National Policy on Education, 1986, sought to change. Adoption or rejection of this innovation emerge was conditioned by teachers’ professional capacities, the nature of their pre-and in-service training, personal motivation, and the relationship with the communities among whom they work. On the basis of the case study, the paper argues that policy innovation can only be successful if teachers’ capacities are accurately assessed, which may involve a reduction in policy aspirations and a slower, but more realistic, pace of change.

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