Institute for Social and Economic Change

Working Paper: 268

Civil Society Organisations and Elementary Education
Delivery in Madhya Pradesh

Reetika Syal



Despite various efforts for the past six decades, the Indian government has not achieved universal enrolment in elementary education. The government acknowledges that it may be too big a task to be accomplished by a single agency and has made a space for civil society and non-governmental efforts to achieve this goal alongside the government. In Madhya Pradesh, the CSO’s involvement in elementary education began with individual efforts for curriculum innovation in the 1970s. Persistent efforts by the CSOs to improve elementary education in government schools eventually resulted in their formal inclusion within the state government’s decentralised education structure. The CSOs in MP work in partnership with the state government and play a complementary role. The major findings of this paper indicate that the CSO’s involvement has helped improve attendance and retention rates of students in schools by introducing activity based teaching-learning material in classrooms and by increasing awareness and participation of parents and members of the village community in the delivery of elementary education and within the school system.

Working Papers