Even in India, where quality of school-education, particularly in rural primary schools, is low, school-education is expected to make a substantial contribution to the development of a child’s potential. At the least, school-education can give a child socialization experiences she/ he is not likely to get otherwise: she/ he can learn to deal with the world outside the home, she/ he can learn to interact with children and adults other than family-members, she/ he can learn social skills, and develop self-confidence. If minimal learning levels are attained, the child will be able to write, speak, read and do simple arithmetical calculations. This will give her grounding for attaining higher levels of learning. The minimal capabilities will also expand the world of economic opportunities that will be available to her when she/ he become an adult: she/ he can think of opportunities other than doing unskilled manual labour.

For these reasons, children’s levels of participation in school can be considered key determinants of the development of their personalities, and the quality of life they will enjoy as life. In turn, these determine the quality of life and economic growth achieved by society at large.

Download Report