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Title: Operation Blackboard : policy implementation in Indian elementary education
Author: Dyer, Caroline
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 1993
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In the search to achieve universal elementary education, India's 1986 National Policy on Education initiated a qualitative improvement in elementary education and a move away from textbook-centred instruction towards a child-centred approach. A major strategy was Operation Blackboard, a programme for upgrading physical facilities in small Indian elementary schools by providing an extra teacher, room and set of teaching-learning equipment. This thesis takes Operation Blackboard as a case-study through which to examine public policy implementation in India's complex federal polity. It contextualises the case study through discussions of the historical development of the elementary sector, and of the specific context of Gujarat State, where field research was carried out. It then draws on the theoretical literatures of policy science-based implementation research and educational policy in India, from policy inception through to 'grassroots', or policy rhetoric, and the 'reality' of contexts beyond the policy-making environment. By critically analysing Indian policy documents, the study illustrates that they have implicit and explicit rationales, which conflict once policy moves into 'reality': it suggests that implementors operate in the domain of this unresolved conflict and in this derives a major problem of implementation. The qualitative methodology adopted to explore this problem is one of 'backwards mapping', starting from three case study sites and working backwards through local and State governments to the central administration in New Delhi. The study finds that, despite statements protesting its great importance, elementary education is not at the top of any agenda. Centralised national policy does not allow for the varying capacity of teachers in different socio-economic contexts to absorb an innovation, while bureaucrats attach greater importance to operating norms than to outcomes of their actions.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available