A study of participation and empowerment of community in Elementary Schools of a Backward State of India (Bihar)


Report Code: PI150010

No. of Pages: 160 pages


By: Shahla Kauser & Khagendra Kumar

Published Date: 07/Nov/2016


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Community participation and empowerment has the potential to make a major contribution towards educating people, increasing their awareness levels and improving their health and living condition. India has a long tradition of communities supporting education.

After independence, primary and middle schools were taken out of the control of local bodies and were transferred to governmental regulation. Thus centralization of education started which alienated it from the community.

The B.G. Kher Committee (1953) emphasized the need for decentralization of management to attract community involvement at the grassroots level. It recommended involvement of all types of local bodies to promote and manage education in the interest of mass education. Subsequently the Balwant Rai Mehta Committee (1957) recommended that primary education should become the responsibility of the Panchayats. Community participation was suggested by Kothari Education Commission (1964-66) as an important factor for fulfillment of constitutional directive of article 45 for providing free and compulsory elementary schooling to all the children between 6-14 years. Further, the Bonigirwar Committee (1971) viewed education as an instrument of social change and stated that education cannot function in isolation form social forces.

The need for decentralized planning of school education especially of primary education has been strongly stressed in NPE 1986 (as revised in 1992) which recommended not only promoting participation of the community in elementary education but also a movement towards empowering the local community to take major management decisions in this regard.

The subsequent 73rd and 74th constitutional amendments gave further momentum to this move towards decentralization and community empowerment in the management of education.

The Right to Education Act keeps up with this commitment of decentralization. It asks for the constitution of School Management Committees (SMCs) for every state and also emphasized community participation as a means of enhancing quality and accountability in education. Many provisions have been made in the Act to ensure quality education for all children in the age group of 6-14 years. Specific provisions have been made for democratization of schools and for parents and local communities to play their due roles in shaping and running of the schools in the form of School Management Committees (SMC).

It is generally believed that the route of empowerment is through involvement and participation, usually taking place in communities with common self interests. When people are entrusted with some power or given the opportunity to show their capabilities, participation becomes the means of empowerment leading people to feel and act empowered.

Statement of the Problem

A study of participation and empowerment of community in Elementary Education in Bihar


(i)         To explain the meaning of community participation and empowerment in elementary  education.

(ii)         To describe the developmental course of community participation/ empowerment in India.

(iii)        To discuss theoretical explanation of participation/ empowerment.

(iv)        To analyse of present linkages between community and elementary education in Bihar.

(v)        To find the capability of the present Panchayati Raj Institution in Bihar of serving participation and empowerment of excluded section of local community in the elementary education.

(vi)        To discuss the effectiveness of community in promoting elementary education both in qualitative and quantitative form in Bihar.

Method of Research

In view of the nature of the problem which involves study of various aspects of community participation and empowerment in primary education in Bihar. The investigator considered it suitable to employ descriptive survey method. This method of research aims to describe what exists at present in form of procedures, processes, trends and effect. This survey method is an organized attempt to analyse, interpret and report the present status of social institutions, groups or areas. In this type of research various types of information is collected using appropriate tools and techniques such as interview schedule.

This study was divided into two parts. First half of the study is theoretical and other half is empirical. Theoretical parts deals with the meaning of community participation and empowerment, developmental course of community participation, theoretical explanation of participation / empowerment and linkage between community and primary education in Bihar. Is the present Panchayti Raj Institutions in Bihar capable of serving participation and empowerment of excluded section of local community in primary education , and how far is community effective in promoting primary education both in quantitative and qualitative form in Bihar is dealt in empirical part.