At the core of the spread of mass schooling in democratic nations has been a set of ideas and beliefs. It is a widely held, if not universally accepted, view that not only does schooling provide individuals with important competencies; it is an important tool of social engineering and overall progress of a nation. A democratic nation has, therefore, important stakes in educating every child for as many years as possible regardless of social origin, geographic locations and economic circumstances. The early political leadership of India had envisioned the school system along similar lines: as a social melting pot to foster social cohesion; as a social lift to diminish inequalities of birth; and as a national enterprise to accelerate the pace of economic progress and prosperity.
September 2015, volume 39, No 9