20080110 Education Inclusion and Exclusion in South Africa and India

20080110 Education Inclusion and Exclusion in South Africa and India
Education Exclusion and Inclusion: Policy and Implementation in South Africa and India

This is one of a series of Education Papers issued by the Central Research Department of the Department For International Development.

Persistent inequalities of gender, class, race, caste and ethnicity are evident in education systems worldwide, whether at the stage of enrolment and attendance, in outcomes and achievement, or in terms of the consequent opportunities to which education is expected to give rise.  In South Africa and India, the
patterns of inequality in education correlate consistently and significantly with race and caste, and further, with gender and poverty, and suggest the complex intersections between each in the production of persistent education exclusion. In both countries, further constitutional and other policy commitments and efforts have explicitly addressed the issue of race and caste disadvantage.It is the persistence of education exclusion in countries where there is an explicit comment to inclusion that this study addresses. Based on a two year study of education inclusion and exclusion in South Africa and India, this report focuses on the qualitative experiences of these excluded groups. This qualitative experience is important to point to because exclusion occurs despite both India and South Africa having respectively made strong and explicit constitutional and other policy commitments and efforts to address the issue of caste and race disadvantage. Whilst changes are evident in the access of these different groups to education over time, and while important initiatives have been undertaken in both countries to improve the positions of the disadvantaged, there is a need to understand better why exclusion continues to characterise the education landscape through, firstly, analysing how different forms of inequality intersect, and secondly, examining how different groups experience inclusive policies that are carried out in their name.