Deprivation of India’s scheduled caste children from primary education

Lakhan Singh, International Institute for Population Sciences (IIPS)

Total population of the Scheduled Castes (SC) in India is 16.3 percent of the total population (Census, 2001). Nearly 60 percent of all SC children of primary school age reside in six most disadvantaged northern states of India. Historically, caste system has placed SC population at bottom of caste hierarchy i.e. ‘lower castes’ and struggling for equal opportunity and status in society. Despite of many programmatic initiatives by Indian government, SC children are still deprived form elementary education. The proportion of SC children age 5-12 years in completing primary education is just 21 percent, whereas country has set the target of providing useful and quality elementary education to all children by 2010 in the country. Present papers assess the underlying causes of disadvantaged in primary education for SC children through analyzing NFHS-3 data. While analyzing data caste has emerged as highly significant predicators for ever attending school and elementary education.

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Presented in Poster Session 5: Contexts